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In the tumultuous year of 2020, while the world underwent unprecedented changes, The San Roque Club in Spain, famous as a European Tour Qualifying venue where such players as Padraig Harrington and Lee Westwood earned their Tour card, embarked on its own journey, with the successful implementation of a complete renovation, confirming its status as a must-play location for golf enthusiasts visiting Southern Spain.

Today, as we reflect upon the works carried out three years ago, we consider the accomplishments and impact these improvements have had on the golf course, club and players alike.

Turfgrass® was retained by The San Roque Club as Project Managers to complete a large-scale renovation of the historic old course in early 2020. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Turfgrass® remained committed to the time-constrained project finding innovative solutions and adapting their approach to work within the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. Under the direction of Stephen Dundas, Owners Representative and President of the Club, Turfgrass® and Atlantic Golf Construction commenced the main work on the 7th of January, 2 months before the onslaught of the Pandemic. Amazingly, the course was opened 11 months later on the 5th of December 2020!

The comprehensive redevelopment encompassed the implementation of a state-of-the-art irrigation and drainage systems, a redesigned bunker layout, and the introduction of new tees, fairways, roughs, and greens. Bunker areas were reduced by more than 66% making the course more efficient to maintain and Latitude 36 Bermuda was introduced as the preferred species for the fairways and semi rough, which has proven a winner as it gives better colour and density during the shoulder months in winter. Pure Select was the chosen grass for the tees and greens. The rolling surrounds were also sown with bent and effectively treated as greens and this has become synonymous with San Roque. The real defence on the course now are the tightly mown areas around the greens rather than the bunkers.

During the pandemic, more than 100,000 tonnes of sand capping was imported to give a firm, fast golf course. This also assisted in reducing the amount of invasive weed grasses resulting in a reduction of pesticidal use on the fairways and semi rough. In the long term, we are assisting is reducing the cost of maintaining the course whilst doing the right thing for the environment. The capital expenditure was higher, but it is paying dividends now.

The San Roque Club renovation project has yielded some remarkable outcomes, significantly impacting the course’s overall presentation while generating financial benefits. An objective of the renovation was to substantially reduce the amount of irrigated turf. Previously encompassing 55 hectares, the course now maintains a more efficient 38 hectares. This equates to the removal of over 170,000m2 of irrigated grass. These areas became mulched natural zones under the trees where it was difficult to grow grass and machines would damage the roots. Efforts continue today to reduce this even further and guarantee an environmentally sustainable golf course.

This eco – conscious approach not only contributes to a sustainable future, it also translates to significant cost savings, freeing up resources and the team to focus on other areas, elevating the course’s overall presentation and ensuring the golf course’s enduring appeal.

Under the direction of Turfgrass®, the club also installed a new efficient irrigation system, and implemented new water management strategies.  As such, The San Roque Club has successfully decreased their water usage by an impressive 41%, while maintaining the quality of their course. This commitment to water conservation not only helps preserve this natural resources but also aligns with their goal of being a sustainable and environmentally friendly golf course. Showcasing their dedication to fostering a greener future and setting an example for other courses to follow in the pursuit of environmental stewardship.

San Roque stands as a shining example of how golf courses can integrate modern practices to achieve harmonious balance between playability aesthetics and environmental conservation. The golf course has firmly established itself as a leader in this field. Over the past three years, numerous top clubs from across Europe have visited San Roque, and many of them now adopt the club’s innovative practices and amenities. This recognition further affirms that renovation plays a crucial role in securing the future economic and environmental success of any golf course. By aligning with Turfgrass®, you guarantee the enduring relevance, enjoyment, and sustainability of your golf course for both players and the environment. This partnership strengthens the course’s longevity, elevates the overall golfing experience, attracts new players, and secures its ongoing success for the years to come.

Affirms Stephen Dundas, President of The San Roque Club, “Turfgrass®, played a pivotal role in our renovation, with their exceptional services and professionalism, providing invaluable support throughout the entire process. They are a trusted partner, ensuring the project’s success and contributing to the transformation of San Roque into a world-class course.” He concluded, “It is undeniable that without Turfgrass’s involvement, the outcome would have been significantly different. For those aspiring to be among the best courses globally, collaborating with Turfgrass® is a testament to their commitment to excellence.”