Every year, as the agronomy consultants of El Paraíso Golf Club, we are invited to participate in the members Annual General Meeting to explain the members our vision and the rationale behind current decisions that are made, and future to be made, regarding golf agronomy and golf course renovations. This is an excellent opportunity to keep the members fully informed of the current conditions of the golf course, and to provide detailed information regarding the strategy to face future challenges that are to come. Also, to answer to their queries and worries about the subject. A positive and effective communication with the members in private clubs is vital, this why this presentation is very important to us.
The presentation that we made in coordination with Jose Luis González – Head Greenkeeper – and David Ramos – Managing director – was held on September 29th in the club house; and had two main points: accomplished goals and future challenges.
To start with, and regarding the accomplished goals, we went through the renovation of the green collars. The works were carried out last June, and a 1.5m wide hybrid bermudagrass collar was installed. Before this, there was both cool and warm season grass contamination in the collars, so that a chemical treatment was not an option. The works were carried out by an external contractor and the result was excellent.
Next, it was shown the new sand storage bays that were constructed to organize the different types of sand. This action is contemplated within the maintenance yard & surrounds improvement plan.
Regarding irrigation, we reported on the installation of a new jockey pump. Also, in the acquisition of a new irrigation computer, that included a reconfiguration of the software, and an optimized programming.
To conclude, we showed the progress on the landscape improvement plan, that included the implementation of native areas. Before the implementation of this plan, inputs on rough areas represented a 35% of the maintenance budget. They also meant a 75% of the total maintained area. The landscape plan aims to create up to 7 ha. of native areas. This will make the course more sustainable by naturalizing the course and reducing input costs. Also, it will enable us to use freed resources in other areas.
Regarding future challenges, the biggest ones are the renovation of the irrigation lake in hole 18th and the pump stations of the fairway and green irrigation systems. These need investment on their control systems and hydraulic and energy efficiency.
Besides, we commented on the kikuyugrass control program that started a year ago. The program has resulted on the near eradication of this species on tees and fairways. It must continue in roughs (contamination in roughs was considerably higher). To achieve this, winter overseeding need to be avoided, so that the bermudagrass, with no competence and no shade, will thrive from the beginning of the spring.
Afterwards, we went through the opportunity to improve playing conditions, aesthetics, and agronomy in greens if green mowing starts being done using manual mowers. Also, with the implementation of a primary 6mm mowing height bentgrass collar that would perform as a “buffer” strip between the green and the bermudagrass.
Other challenges, such as the adequation and renovation of cart paths, the biannual palm tree pruning plan, and the maintenance yard and surrounds improvement plan were also reviewed.
Finally, recommendations regarding investment on machinery to replace existing ones (in terms of working hours and condition), and to purchase new ones (to cover specific needs) was also reviewed.
We will continue working side by side with the Head Greenkeeper and the Managing Director in this coming 2.022, a very exciting year that precedes the 50th anniversary of the Club.