Bangalore, India: The Swan Golf Designs’ (SGD) renovated course at Karnataka Golf Association (KGA) successfully hosted The Bonallack Trophy, the biennial match between Europe and Asia’s top amateurs.
Five years ago SGD was selected to lead the upgradation of the original Peter Thomson-designed course at KGA, with the project completed in two phases of nine holes over a 10-month period.
The complete renovation of the golf course encompassed 19 new greens, new tees, new bunkering and a completely re-grassed course using TIFdwarf and TIFway 419 Bermuda grasses. A modernised irrigation system was also installed as part of the comprehensive relaying of the golf course.
In addition to the golf course renewal, SGD designed and implemented an ambitious engineering project to prevent annual flooding and the resultant closure of the course through the monsoon season. This project, wholly integrated with the remodelling work, included raising much of the course by more than a metre, installing kilometres of drainage pipe, hectares of water storage lakes and a sophisticated evacuation system utilising the irrigation pumps.
Since the project’s completion, the golf course has never been closed to play due to flooding.
More recently Howard Swan made two consultative visits to help KGA prepare for the prestigious event, working closely with the golf course superintendent and her team to execute an intensive programme of culturing to present the finest quality of golf course possible.
At the conclusion of the match, won by Europe 17½-14½, the course received rave reviews from the organisers and players alike, as well as representatives of the Asia Pacific Golf Confederation, the European Golf Association and The R&A.
Swan, an Asian Golf Industry Federation member, said: “The result we managed to achieve at KGA is perhaps the greatest we have in our 40 odd years of our professional work, meeting all the challenges of working in India, particularly with the climate as well as a highly inexperienced labour force.
“It is really gratifying to see just how well the renovation turned out with so many people involved, with so much hard work and with those involved showing so much enthusiasm in doing something they had probably never seen before in their lives. I was particularly pleased that the golf course challenged so many of the best amateurs in the world.”
The Bonallack Trophy is the second international event to be held at KGA, with the Asian Tour’s Indian Open having been played on the 7,227-yard par-72 layout in 2010, becoming the first golf course in southern India to do so.