Exciting new golf course and clubhouse upgrades are taking place at the Laguna Phuket Golf Club in Phuket. Major works on the new front 9 holes are now finished and it is expected to open in July 2014. Following this the new back 9 holes will undergo the same upgrade and design process, with an anticipated re-opening to complete the full 18 hole golf course by January 2015. Alongside the golf course improvements, the Laguna Phuket GC clubhouse is undergoing complete renovations which are due to be completed in November 2014.
Highlights of the golf course project include design improvements to all holes by leading golf course architect Paul Jansen (lead architect on many of Nick Faldo’s design projects), the introduction of a full 18 hole golf cart path, reconstructed greens to USGA specifications, a newly installed irrigation system and extensive improvements to drainage throughout the golf course.
The biggest change design wise has been switching round of the two 9 holes, making the old 10th the new 1st. This makes sense for several reasons including having the 1st tee close to the newly renovated practice facilities, and having the new 18th green directly in front of the clubhouse. The majority of hole layouts remain the same, with new contouring to all greens/fairways plus a reduction and repositioning of all bunkers. The exception to this is the change to old hole #17, which has now been split into a shorter par 5, followed by a tricky par 3.
Zoysia grass has been used throughout the course on tees and fairways, which new Bermuda grass on all greens. Contouring and grading, combined with vastly improved drainage, will help keep the golf course in excellent condition year-round and add interest to the layout. The irrigation system has been upgraded, reducing water consumption and helping to prevent the problems associated with encroaching foreign grasses.
Wetland ” Juncus ” grasses have been planted around the lagoons to attract the wildlife and create a more natural feel around the course. During the earthworks many large rocks have been found from the mining years and have been left around the edges of the lagoons to enhance the look. The caddies have been out training on the new course already and helping with the weeding program for the newly grassed holes. Hand weeding of tee boxes helps the preferred Zoysia grass to grow strongly without any other contaminated grass affected it, which has been a problem on all the Phuket courses over the years.
So with Laguna back on the Phuket golf scene very shortly and those quality 5 star hotels that make up this up market resort, I for one are looking forward to going back to play one of my favourite courses!