Golf courses around the world bear the signature of architect Cynthia Dye McGarey. With a project list including numerous courses in the United States, Europe, and Asia, perhaps the most remote is New Caledonia in the South Pacific. When McGarey tackled turf selection for Exclusiv Golf de Deva, the list of considerations far exceeded the number of plane connections required to travel from her United States base to the remote Oceania location.
As a French Pacific island nation, New Caledonia imposes strict regulations on imports. This environmentally sensitive area with clay soil, tropical climates, and complex water issues presented turfgrass challenges. Although a decades-old variety of bermudagrass could be locally sourced and was used on other courses on the island, McGarey wanted to avoid its mutation issues and select a turfgrass more sustainable for the region.
Keeping in mind the project’s goals as well as sustainability, water source, climate issues, and more, McGarey narrowed her choice for the greens turfgrass to paspalum. Navigating complicated importing issues led her specifically to Pure Dynasty® Seeded Paspalum. As the most advanced seeded paspalum available, Pure Dynasty solved the problem of importing restrictions on vegetative products.
“The seeded Pure Dynasty greens were cost-effective, smooth, and true with good speed,” said McGarey.
Grow-in of the greens progressed smoothly with no issues of washouts or wind erosion that some seeded projects encounter. Pure Dynasty features a patented water-absorbent coating called PureCoat+™ that enhances establishment and survivability. However, due to political and economic issues at the time, the greens experienced a period of maintenance neglect after the initial grow-in.
“The greens sat for almost a year being minimally maintained,” said McGarey.
Had she selected another variety of turfgrass, it may not have survived the neglect. Fortunately, when the outside issues were resolved and the contractor took over the maintenance, the Pure Dynasty greens rebounded.
“When Exclusiv Golf de Deva finally opened, the greens were well received,” said McGarey. “By far, the best on the island. The owners were ecstatic with the golf course conditions.”
Dr. Ron Duncan, a noted paspalum expert and developer of one of the parent strains in Pure Dynasty, consulted with the maintenance team at Exclusiv to develop agronomic practices to meet the unique challenges of the New Caledonia environment and ensure that the greens met the high expectations of the resort clientele as well as the demands of hosting tournaments such as the South Pacific Open Championship and the Amateur Golf World Cup.
McGarey’s careful selection of Pure Dynasty as the greens turfgrass paid off and delivered benefits that have contributed to the project’s success.
“In the flat light of the tropics, the color difference of Pure Dynasty helps the greens stand out and provide a better target,” said McGarey. “As part of a resort, I wanted [the greens] to be both challenging and playable for all levels of golfers. Pure Dynasty greens have good speed but also allow the ball to stick slightly. This helps players when the prevailing ocean breezes kick up in the afternoon. I got my wish to have paspalum greens in New Caledonia.”