Jumeirah Golf Estates goes greener with appointment of world renowned Agronomist

Travel News Asia Monday, 5 June 2006

Nakheel is aiming to set the maintenance and playing conditioning standards for all golf courses in Dubai to follow after announcing that it will work with world-renowned agronomist Terry Buchen CGCS, MG (Certified Golf Course Superintendent and Master Greenkeeper) on its Jumeirah Golf Estates development.

Buchen is a third party independent consulting agronomist for Golf Agronomy International, based in Williamsburg, Virginia, USA and will be the consulting golf course agronomist for the Fire Earth, Water and Wind golf courses.

Buchen has personally consulted on more than 120 new and renovated/restored golf course projects worldwide and has personally grown-in 13 new golf course projects as a golf course manager, prior to starting his own agronomy consulting business. He is a PGA Tour Agronomist and Advance Tournament Official, responsible for preparing courses 4-8 weeks in advance for tournaments on the mens tour in the United States. Buchen is also one of only 41 Master Greenkeepers in the world, awarded by the British and International Golf Greenkeepers Association and is also a contributing writer for several renowned golf industry magazines. With inherent experience, technical knowledge and common sense he will advise on the best agronomic and playing conditions possible.

As a former golf course manager, Buchen has been involved from start to finish at the Castle Pines Golf Club near Denver, Colorado, USA; Sunrise Country Club and Rancho Las Palmas Country Club near Palm Springs, California, USA; and has consulted on desert courses at The Estancia Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; DC Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, USA; The Quarry at LaQuinta in LaQuinta, and Desert Willow Golf Club in Palm Desert both in California, USA; Chileno Bay Club and Querencia in Cabo San Lucas, Baja California, Mexico; and Santander Golf in Boadilla, Spain among many others.

Buchen said, I aim to provide the best agronomic and playing conditioning standards possible and to set the maintenance and playing conditioning standards in Dubai for all other golf courses to follow.

The overall temperature extremes and weather conditions are quite a challenge, but fortunately they are very predictable and very consistent. Obviously, warm season turfgrasses will be used that thrive growing during the desert heat during the summertime months. Conversely, the warm season turfgrasses are normally not quite growing at their full potential during the wintertime "high tourist" season and many different agronomic plans are thus put in place to provide the best playing conditions possible, for example, winter overseeding as necessary and appropriate. Our goals and objectives are to provide tournament-like playing conditions on a year-round basis are very achievable.

Buchen has already reviewed and provided his recommendations on the entire golf course development process, including golf course architect's plans and technical specifications; irrigation system designer's blueprints and specifications; greens specifications; irrigation system pump station technical specifications; pre-plant fertilizer and soil amendments; physical and nutrient soil testing of the soils considered for the greensmix and gravel, tees, fairways and roughs; and bunker sand suitability testing. He will also perform on-site agronomic consulting during establishment of the sprig and sod turfgrass nursery and periodically during grow-in and subsequent routine maintenance.

Ms. Dina Al Jaflah, Jumeirah Golf Estates General Manager, said, The environmental approach to all of Nakheel golfs projects is unique to the company and throughout the planning process Nakheel has aimed to improve and heighten indigenous flora and fauna, while researching ways to minimise water consumption at each course. In this day and age there is a huge onus on the developer and the management teams to protect and enhance the environment of a golf course and its surrounding area and this is one of the underpinning elements for each course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Buchen added, The Jumeirah Golf Estates golf courses will be using treated sewage effluent water for all irrigation purposes and to use natural and sprayable-type fertilizers and soil amendments whenever possible to be very environmentally friendly. Chemicals will be used only when needed and will be applied with no harm to the environment. Also leaving the surrounding native desert flora as natural as possible is a prime goal and objective.

Following the recent site visit of lead golf course designer Greg Norman, Jumeirah Golf Estates is on schedule for completion of its first two courses, Fire and Earth, in late 2007.

See other recent news regarding: Jumeirah, Golf, Dubai

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