Tim Lobb & Partners Select Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum for Soma Bay Designs
The designers at Lobb & Partners are no strangers to Egypt or paspalum. Before embarking on the renovation and design work for multiple projects at Soma Bay in Hurghada, Tim Lobb was part of the design team of Thomson Perrett & Lobb responsible for the incredible NewGiza golf course and El Ein Bay Golf Resort, both featuring paspalum. So when the owners of Soma Bay embarked on new work at the resort for the practice academy, they called again on Tim Lobb, along with his design partner James Edwards, who selected Pure Dynasty Seeded Paspalum from Atlas Turf International.
Soma Bay, a resort destination whose property borders the Red Sea on three sides, features multiple luxury hotels, residential properties, a marina, and a Gary Player Signature Design 18-hole golf course constructed in the ’90s. The current expansion includes renovation of the driving range and a new short game area that make up the Golf Academy. In addition, there is a new 9-hole par-3 course. All of which feature Pure Dynasty.
“We decided from the start it would be paspalum based on the great success we had with Platinum TE on previous projects in the region,” said Lobb. “Since it’s easier to get a seeded product into Egypt these days and Pure Dynasty is in the same family with Platinum TE, it was the natural choice.”
Pure Dynasty, developed by Pure Seed, is the newest and most advanced seeded paspalum on the market. Sharing genetics with the vegetative variety Platinum TE, the seeded version demonstrates the same elite turf qualities, including unmatched salt tolerance, heat tolerance, deep roots for durability and drought resistance, and much more.
“We knew we didn’t want much rough and wanted quite a tight cut around the holes. Using one grass variety throughout helped to achieve this. The Pure Dynasty works wall-to-wall,” Lobb said.
As the case often is, water also played a part in the decision.
“At Soma Bay, the irrigation is all desalinated water. And here, the process is a bit special as it’s all produced by solar power. So while the water quality is rather good, it can be salty sometimes, and it’s better to have Pure Dynasty.”
With the renovated driving range and short game area completed and grassing underway on the par-3 course, Pure Dynasty’s attributes stand out.
“The grass has performed very well. Coverage is quite consistent and is not grainy. Putting on the Pure Dynasty is superb,” said Lobb. “And I love the color. Even in the cooler months, it retains its color quite well.”
Lobb is pleased with the performance of the grass and feels it matches the quality and expectations of the facility. As part of the resort destination, the Golf Academy elements and par-3 course offer activities for holiday-goers and resident golfers. Making Soma Bay more unique and fun are the entertainment aspects added to the project.
“The driving range and short game area are floodlit, creating a nighttime golf entertainment spot. It’s complete with a massive 5,000 square meter putting green, and they will even have a dedicated hole-in-one challenge from the bar to an island green, which is not completed just yet,” Lobb said. “In the evenings, there will be deejay music playing and quite a holiday atmosphere.”
The par-3 course, scheduled to be completed this winter, will supplement the practice and academy area.
To complete the work at Soma Bay, Lobb has designed another course on the property – a second full 18-hole course that he describes as “fun and player-friendly.” What grass is specified wall-to-wall for the finale? Pure Dynasty, of course.