A spectacular new double green is to be built on holes 9 and 18 at Doha Golf Club and all of the greens are being completely relayed, with work at the famous venue getting underway in April.
The huge new green will wrap around the existing lake, bringing the action closer to the clubhouse, enhancing the building’s visibility during play.
The work to the putting surfaces will be the first of its kind since the course was first constructed in 1996, with the grass on the greens changing to the paspallum ‘dynasty’ species.
“The decision to undertake the first major renovation works since the original construction was taken after the 2019 Qatar Masters tournament,” explained Gary McGlinchey, General Manager, Doha Golf Club. “The greens were constructed in 1996, grass technology has come a long way since then and the passpallum dynasty grass we have selected doesn’t mind the TSE water we are now forced to use.”
The majority of the greens will be expanded back to their original size and will be reinstated back to their original slopes and elevations, with the greens on holes 4 and 7 receiving very slight changes to their contouring.
Work will begin on April 1st and the club aims for the new greens to be playable on October 1st, with the course remaining open with the use of temporary greens.
The putting surfaces will be totally renovated, with the grass, drainage pipes, root zone and drainage layers all being replaced.
Course designer Peter Harradine is backing the changes to the course and outlined the design of the new green for holes 9 and 18.
“Since the course was first constructed the only thing that has changed is the addition of a few new tees to give certain holes a bit more length,” said Harradine. “The double green for holes 9 and 18 will be 50% larger than the combined size of their original greens – it’s going to be enormous. It is a completely new green and will be unrecognizable from the original course layout.
“The grasses are changing on all the greens because the water supply is changing and paspallum looks good and it’s a greener grass. The ‘dynasty’ version of paspallum is more salt tolerant and more draught tolerant, and sewage-treated effluent tends to have a little more salt.”
Officials and staff at Doha Golf Club have consulted with Harradine and his team throughout the planning process and are pleased to have his backing.
“Peter is great to work with as he has a passion for golf course design and the game of golf,” said McGlinchey. “He has extensive experience and vision and understands the challenges of a harsh arid environment and is always looking for something different to enhance the design.
“All changes to Doha Golf Club layout have been approved and undertaken after consultation and review with Peter. Pre COVID-19, Peter would visit the course on a yearly basis and happily work with us, to keep the layout challenging and enjoyable.
“He wants his legacy to be quality, challenging golf courses that provide a memorable and enjoyable experience for all levels of players. Doha Golf Course is timeless because of its unique foundation, its design, its ability to withstand the harsh environment, and that it is constantly evolving to provide a great golfing experience.
“Members at Doha Golf Club will benefit from the new green on holes 9 and 18 as they’ll be able to watch their friends make or miss putts from the vantage point of the clubhouse before the players walk off into the 19th hole.
“When we host future major tournaments we can cater hospitality much easier from the existing clubhouse rather than having to build temporary structures behind the green which block the view from the clubhouse.
“The size of the green will also allow for more pin-positions, which will add to the excitement.”