In the high desert of Northern Arizona, Polidori Development is obtaining approvals for a short 9-hole course to be a hybrid of natural turf and artificial turf green surfaces. The project, The Orchard Club, involves approximately six acres as part of a private caravan park. Integral to the design is the use of the revolutionary golf ball: The P.3 Ball manufactured by Almost Golf of California. (www.almostgolf.com)
“The decision was not easy to reach,” says golf course architect Forrest Richardson. “But we ultimately went with what nature was trying to tell us: ‘Water is a premium in this arid, desert climate…go with the approach that uses less.'”
The Orchard Club plan could become a prototype for both water conservation and alternative facilities. The course involves holes from 40-yards to 100-yards, consuming just over 2.5 acres of natural turf that will require water. These areas consist of tees, approaches and collars. The remaining turf, approximately one acre, will be synthetic turf set to a height matching a closely mowed putting green. Combined with the use of the P.3 golf ball, a ball that travels about 1/3 the distance of a regular golf ball, the course will play to a distance of about 2,000-yards. Holes that play 50-yards will play about 150-yards using the P.3 ball.
“The idea is to conserve land, water and resources, says Richardson. “What would consume nearly 75,000,000 U.S. Gallons of water annually, and about 20 acres of land, is being managed within a much smaller footprint.”
Richardson also notes the savings of maintenance cost with the artificial turf, a product that is expected to last ten years in the harsh Arizona desert. As for the P.3 ball, the team also cites the safety of the lighter weight golf ball. “You can hit it off line and it will not do much damage,” notes Kevin Rich, associate golf course architect for the project. “Quite simply, we are able to tighten the corridors of the playing area because the P.3 ball does not produce not the customary projectile of the standard golf ball.”
Polidori expects approvals to be gained sometime in 2008 with construction to begin shortly after. The project is located along historic Route 66, the legendary road that crossed the United States during the revolutionary days of early motor car travel. Polidori Development is located in Lake Havasu, Arizona.