The Montgomerie, Dubai replaces greens

Managed by Troon Golf and designed by Colin Montgomerie and Desmond Muirhead, The Montgomerie, Dubai’s golf course and academy opened in October 2002. About 40,000 rounds of golf are played on the 81-hectare course every year.

Since its opening, the club has struggled with the grass used during course construction, a species used, and subsequently removed, by several other clubs at the time. Despite substantial care and attention, the grass deteriorated year by year in the fierce heat to the point that large areas of the putting greens were covered in brown patches. 

“It would deteriorate to a point that the summer heat would actually kill it. The grass that was chosen in this region for golf course construction back in the early 2000s just wasn’t tested or proven for this type of climate.” said Ray Metz, general manager. 

At The Montgomerie, that translates into a Dh5 million (US$1.3m) makeover programme that will see all 18 fading putting greens dug up over the next two years and replaced with a new species of turf grass that makers claim will not wilt in the UAE’s intense heat.

The work will halve the number of playable holes for the next four months and for the same period of time next year; The front nine holes were closed from 1st June until Sept 30 2008, and the remaining holes a year later, to allow the turf and top six inches of soil to be replaced with a mix of blended silica sand and peat moss. The hot summer months provide the best growing conditions and tend to keep all but the bravest golfers off the course.

A species of turf grass known as TifEagle Ultradwarf Bermuda will be used on the putting greens, which is widely used by new courses in the UAE and, according to its makers, retains its colour under the harsh glare of the Arabian sun. The greens will then be compacted and reshaped to their original contours.

By Robert Ditcham - The National.ae