In a perfect world, turfgrass consultant David Brinkel says he would prefer to directly plant turfgrass stolons on his golf course projects. However, living and working in the real world rather than a perfect one, Brinkel is grateful that the option of an onsite nursery is available.
The Dubai-based consultant is currently assisting DLF, India’s leading real estate developer, with the initial nine holes of the Gary Player designed Magnolia Course at the DLF Golf & Country Club in Gurgaon, near New Delhi. Brinkel worked with premium turfgrass supplier Atlas Turf International Limited to establish an onsite nursery for the MiniVerde™ Ultra Dwarf and Celebration® bermudagrasses selected for the project.
“Having the turfgrass accessible on our time schedule and being able to plant exactly when we were ready is the reason we chose to go with an onsite nursery,” said Brinkel. “Importation is not always a predictable process and can affect project timing. Getting a direct shipment into India and cleared through customs can involve delays and a bit of uncertainty at times. Using an onsite nursery allowed us to get the materials in ahead of time, plant the stock, and have the turfgrass in place and ready when we were.”
Plans for the nursery began early in the project, as soon as the turfgrass selections were made. Brinkel ensured that the nursery site was ready when the stolons arrived.
“A successful nursery needs to be developed under the right guidelines,” said Brinkel. “The nursery site cannot be just any plot of available land. It needs to be an extension of the golf course growing conditions, using the same materials including soil, water, and fertility program.”
The stolons arrived in Gurgaon in spring of this year for nursery development. The course is currently in the final stages with grassing from the nursery already under way in some areas. The remainder of the grassing process will continue through India’s short winter, depending on the soil temperatures.
“Working with projects all over the globe, any number of factors can determine whether a direct plant or an onsite nursery is best for a given project,” said John Holmes, president of Atlas Turf International. “We offer our customers both options with the goal being to optimize grassing conditions no matter what the circumstances of the project are. If it’s determined that a turfgrass nursery is the way to go, we offer assistance to customers with all aspects of the process. This might include site selection, soil and water analysis, nursery management, equipment procurement, production management, budgeting, and more.”
Celebration and MiniVerde were selected for the DLF project based on Brinkel’s recommendation. The project owner was looking for aggressive turfgrass that could recover quickly and sustain heavy play. In addition, Brinkel knew the golf course would need turf that could withstand the climatic variations of the New Delhi area – summer temperatures reaching 50 degrees Celsius and winter temperatures falling below freezing along with three months of monsoons and nine months of virtually no rain.
“With weather conditions shifting to these opposite extremes, we needed turfgrasses that could handle the variations,” said Brinkel. “Both Celebration and MiniVerde have better cold tolerance than other varieties considered. In addition, wear tolerance is historically proven, and the lateral growth is high so incidents of divots and damage recover faster.”
When the nine-hole course at DLF Golf & Country Club opens in July/August 2013, re-construction of the back nine of the existing DLF Country Club will begin, resulting in a full 18-hole Gary Player Signature course. That design is already being considered. The modern championship course will utilize advanced technology and eco-friendly techniques including irrigating with water from their sewage treatment plant.