A Look at the New Dubai Hills

Anchoring one of Dubai’s newest luxury residential developments is a championship golf course as challenging as it is beautiful. Dubai Hills, a European Golf Design project by architect Gary Johnston, is an 18-hole, par 72 course of 7,200 yards.

“The golf course has a distinct valley-like feel with many of the holes set down below the surrounding dunes, ridges, and villas,” says Johnston. “Deep wadis [ravines] come into play on much of the front nine, and a series of lakes add to the challenge on the closing holes of both the front and back nine.”

When selecting turfgrass for the project, climate and soil conditions were considered, and of primary concern was the quality of the water source. “The golf course uses recycled waste water for irrigation, and consequently, we required a grass variety that would be able to tolerate the high salinity levels that we often experience,” says Johnston.

Desert Landscape served as the contractor for the project and currently manages maintenance. Rob Leask of Desert Landscape’s Agronomy Golf Division noted that “high summer temperatures, mild winters, and the ability to grow on sandy soil” were also factors involved in the turfgrass selection process.

To meet their needs, Platinum TE™ Paspalum was selected for the greens and Pure Dynasty® Seeded Paspalum for the remainder of the course. “We specifically selected Platinum TE and Pure Dynasty due to their performance in the extreme UAE conditions and their ability to produce high quality playing surfaces,” says Johnston.

From rough shaping to full turf coverage, the project spanned approximately a year and a half. Grow-in for the seeded paspalum Pure Dynasty varied according to the season with full coverage achieved in three to four weeks in the summer and five to six weeks in the winter.

Dubai Hills, developed by Emaar Properties and managed by Troon Golf is expected to open in early 2018.

Atlas Turf International