David Williams Golf Design

Implementation of Masterplan at Salobre Golf and Resort On Gran Canaria Starts With Phase One in Summer 2023

David Williams Golf Design were commissioned to produce masterplans for both the courses, the Old/South and New/North courses, at Salobre Golf and Resort, on the island of Gran Canaria in the summer of 2022. On completion of the plans, the resort determined to phase the proposed works, starting with the Old Course.

The opening hole of the Old Course at Salobre

Headed by Alejandro Gonzalez, Director of Golf, the resort decided to phase the implementation of the masterplan of that course, starting in summer 2023, the quiet period for golf tourism on the Canary Islands, with a large reduction in grassed areas to dramatically reduce the requirement for water, a scarce resource on the islands, the course being wall-to-wall grass on fairways and rough areas since its inception.

Working in collaboration with Surtec, the renowned Spanish irrigation specialists, plans were drawn up by DWGD for every hole to create a clean division between the grass fairways and the surrounding proposed waste areas, which were to be formed of picón, the local sand.

The par 3 fourth hole on the Old Course

As David explains, “Considerable research and experimentation was carried out with the picón, to establish a surface which was firm enough to walk or ride on, but not too firm to bounce all off-line shots down away from the fairways into surrounding deeper vegetation. Thought was given to adding small quantities of cement to the sand to produce the necessary firmness, but ultimately it was decided to roll the surface with a heavy 5,000kg roller to give the necessary effect. The picón areas are also irrigated every four days.”

Surtec undertook the changing of over 700 sprinklers from 360°to 180°to only irrigate the grass areas daily, with the resort’s own staff removing all the grass from outside the fairways in the new picón waste areas. However, it wasn’t all wasted as some was re-used to turf over removed bunkers, also part of the DWGD masterplan.

The par 5 fifteenth hole, looking back from behind the green

The construction of new bunkers and the re-designing of all retained bunkers will form the major part of next summer’s phase of renovation, with ideally all the masterplan proposals for the Old Course being implemented in the next couple of years.

And then to tackle the realisation of the masterplan of the New Course in future years!