Singapore: Golfplan principals Kevin Ramsey and David Dale have hailed the rebirth of Seletar Golf Course as a model for golf courses around the region.
After an extensive makeover that lasted 18 months, the club that is located next to the Lower Seletar Reservoir re-opened in April. In the ensuing four months, it’s received rave reviews from members and guests.
It’s not just the new design and new grass which have attracted praise, but the entire infrastructure and its emphasis on the environment and long-term sustainability.
“Before the rebuild, Seletar could detain just over 60,000 cubic metres of water; now that figure is 132,000. The area of maintained turf has gone down from 54.9 to 36.5 hectares. Turf has been replaced with bahiagrass and other non-irrigated landscape elements. The total area of bunkers is down by 43 per cent, and the course has been sandcapped to improve drainage,” wrote Adam Lawrence, in the latest edition of Golf Course Architecture.
Dale believes Seletar now has the opportunity to establish itself as a leading facility in Singapore.
“This is the model for clubs moving forward, to keep quality high, be much more environmentally responsible and sustainable, and be more efficient with maintenance costs,” said Dale, whose company is a Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).
Highlighted by the new bunkers, which are equipped to keep moisture levels optimal, eliminating common maintenance and playability problems, the course creates many strategic options on how to approach each hole.
“We have created options on shot selection. We always try to make the golfer think before pulling the trigger. Or in some cases, rethink,” Ramsey told Golf Course Architecture.
Dale added: “The smaller greens, strategic greenside bunkering and position of pins for the day directly impact players’ success, when their tee ball is in the proper landing zone in the fairway, or failure, if they are out of position and cannot attack the hole location of the day. A tee shot down the middle of a fairway does not typically provide the ideal angle for the approach shot.”
Seletar is also the first golf course in Singapore to use the Zoysia Zeon turf grass, developed by Texas firm Bladerunner Farms, and marketed in Asia by Sports Turf Solutions. The greens are grassed with Platinum TE paspalum, supplied by Atlas Turf International.
Sports Turf Solutions and Atlas Turf International are both Full Business Members of the AGIF.
The entire Seletar Country Club undertaking was project managed by Owen Hester of Green Dynasty, an Associate Business Member of the AGIF.
Hester said: “Through our experience, we were able to reduce the initial planning budget by more than $5 million and achieve total water sustainability. All works were completed on time while the construction works came in more than $1.7 million under budget due to strict quality control.”