Fashioned by Mark Hollinger of JMP Golf Design in 2004, the 18-hole layout at Las Lomas Club de Golf in the Zapopan suburb of Guadalajara is set in the heart of a successful urban residential golf community.
The original 300-acre site was severely degraded and heavily eroded, with the city ring road running directly through the middle of it. Not only that, the property had been used for many years as a municipal dump.
All the rubbish was excavated and separated before the inorganic debris was taken offsite. The organic material was then mixed with the existing earth to create a usable soil mix. Roadway noise was minimized by erecting a series of high walls, along with heavy sound-absorbing planting and landscaping.
Twelve holes lie on one side of the main highway and six on the other so a tunnel was constructed to link the two areas. The road is now hidden from inside the development and drivers outside are unaware of the golf course and residences within.
Water was a challenging issue to overcome. A treatment plant was installed to purify the water that flowed nearby and salt-tolerant grasses and landscape materials were chosen for the build. An intricate subsurface drainage and storage system was also developed to gather, store, and reuse all the water on site.
Mark Hollinger told us: “Las Lomas is an upscale in-city residential golf community in the centre of a major growth corridor in Guadalajara. The course is designed to accommodate a fine urban club which is designed as the main project amenity for the residential neighborhood which we planned with views into the golf landscape.
The landscape component is also done in such a way that it creates a wonderful environment for both golf and to live. It’s one of the top multi-use private urban development projects anywhere, the modern version of the Guadalajara Country Club.
It’s exactly what Mexico needs much more of, this was designed and constructed for Mexicans to enjoy and live next to, not for just foreigners, which is the story of most of the top golf projects, it seems.
And it was created on a site offering very little from a natural feature standpoint, which is usually the case facing a designer when given an urban golf project. We had numerous significant challenges which we overcame, one by one, creating a great story for international golf.
Twelve holes are built on one side of the city ring road and six on the other so we built underpass tunnels and high privacy walls with heavy sound absorbing landscaping treatments so you don’t know the highway road is there from inside the development and the car drivers are unaware that the golf course and residential development is there.”