The upgrading project at TPC Kuala Lumpur’s West Course is on track as the club prepares to host the 2018 CIMB Classic later this year.
Since November last year, renovation works to re-surface all the greens with TifEagle Bermuda grass, and the fairways and tee boxes with ‘Celebration’ Bermuda grass, have progressed as planned. Both grasses used are identical to those at TPC Sawgrass, home to The Players Championship, which is the PGA Tour’s annual flagship tournament in the United States.
“All 18 West greens were successfully re-turfed in mid-March and are now in the growing-in phase while the re-turfing exercise on six remaining tee boxes and six fairways will be completed by the end of May, followed by a three-month growing-in period,” said TPC Kuala Lumpur’s head of agronomy Mohd Nizam Othman.
The West Course is earmarked to be in prime championship condition by end September and will be ready for the CIMB Classic, the only PGA Tour tournament in Southeast Asia, on October 11-14. Nizam said a minimum green speed of 12 on the stimpmeter will be achieved upon completion of the project, while the upgraded fairways will present a new level of firmness similar to other PGA Tour venues.
The major make-over of the West Course is a joint effort between TPC Kuala Lumpur, PGA Tour and Parslow & Winter Golf Design. Some modifications include repositioning bunkers and creating new tees to enhance the original design strategy. A new 80-yard short game practice area and an additional putting green have also been built as part of the upgrading project.
Prior to the renovation works, sample soil from the West Course was sent to the United States for tests to ensure the construction is in compliance with USGA standards. This resulted in six inches of organic materials being removed and replaced on the previous greens and three inches of organic materials dug out from the surfaces of the fairways.
“We have adhered closely to USGA standards in regard to soil specifications in our goal to create and deliver the best possible playing surfaces all year round to our members and high-level tournament players,” said Nizam.
The only golf club in Asia to be part of the PGA Tour’s Tournament Players Club (TPC) network, TPC Kuala Lumpur also hosts the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia on its East Course.