Featured Application: Holiday Park Pitch Putt in Kelowna, British Columbia Is Reborn, Courtesy of STI Kelowna
The next time you fly into Kelowna, British Columbia take a look out your window and admire the beautiful, postcard-like views…and the Holiday Park Resort’s brand new six hole golf course.
The course is over 40 years old, and was a natural grass course until about two years ago when the Spring thaw and heavy run-off from the nearby mountains flooded the creek and the course, dumping four feet of silt and dirt onto the golf course. The course was ruined.
Locals and the volunteers who run the course weren’t sure what to do.
Enter Scott Smockum and his team with STI Canada in Kelowna. Several meetings with the course made it clear that maintenance costs over a ten year period would be just as substantial as the cost of installing synthetic turf greens.
The course is located on the edge of a creek, which is a protected spawning area, making pesticides and fertilizers a risky option to try to bring back the natural grass. Scott and his team with STI Kelowna have over ten years of natural grass golf course contruction, so laying out the course and shaping the greens was nothing new.
Scott and his team brought in over 1000 yards of gravel to create the base for the greens, walkways, green spaces and tee boxes. This ensured that there would be no movement over the years.
The Resort chose the STI Tour Shot for the putting greens, and the SoftLawn Bluegrass Blend for the fringe areas and walkways. Each of the six greens used about 2000 square feet of putting turf and another 2000 to 3000 square feet of fringe material.
The Tour Shot was infilled with two types of sand. The first layer used 20/40 silica sand, which acted as a ballast to hold the turf tight. Then a larger 12/20 Envirofill layer was used, which resists compaction, helping to absorb the impact of the golf ball. To help the greens receive shots better, the team used a 5MM shock pad under the putting surfaces.
The greens are groomed so that the larger Envirofill sand moves upon the impact of the ball, creating depressions in the infill, much like a natural grass green does.
Each hole is about 60 yards in length. The longest hole is 79 yards, and the shortest hole is 55 yards. At these distances, a solid shot stops within 10 feet of initial impact. All parties involved are happy with the receptivity and puttability. Scott and his team left the greens a little slow at first.
They plan to return and add more infill later this fall when the initial sand has more time to settle.
Each green has four holes, three of which are plugged. Three hole placements are fair, relatively easy locations, and one “Sunday pin” is a bit harder for tournaments and special events.
“We plan to hydro seed the bare areas to help with containment and to give it a finished look, but the Arizona-style golf course was exactly what we had envisioned,” Smockum said of the project. He added, “This was the best design and product selection that I have been a part of.”
The greenspace between holes one and four provided a space for two custom logos. One is for Synthetic Turf International, and the other is the resort’s slogan, Sweetlife!