Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: For championship golf facilities such as the TPC Kuala Lumpur (TPC KL), the selection of a new turfgrass is serious business.
For the upcoming renovation of its acclaimed West Course, TPC KL has chosen Celebration Bermudagrass from Atlas Turf International, A Full Business Member of the Asian Golf Industry Federation (AGIF).
TPC KL is the first facility in Southeast Asia to join the PGA Tour’s TPC Network.
Meanwhile, Mohd Nizam Othman, the club’s Head of Agronomy has become the first professional in Malaysia to earn the qualification of Certified Golf Course Superintendent from the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America.
Next month, TPC KL – a Golf Course Facility Member of the AGIF – will be in the spotlight again as the venue for the PGA Tour’s CIMB Classic and the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia.
A team of experts, including Nizam, led the search for the new turfgrass. In a process involving visits to turf farms and championship golf facilities such as TPC Sawgrass in Florida, the team chose Celebration Bermudagrass for fairways and tee boxes.
“Celebration Bermudagrass has high disease and insect resistance,” said Nizam. “Less pesticides used means less cost.”
Other benefits of Celebration that contributed to its selection according to Nizam were divot recovery, density, and color. The selection committee considered all available turfgrass options including zoysias, paspalums, and bermudagrasses. Among bermudagrasses, Celebration rates highly in independent research for not only disease and insect resistance and recovery, but also texture and shade tolerance.
“Celebration is quite dense and has very nice colour,” said Nizam. “For our climate and conditions, Celebration is the right choice.”
The re-grassing is part of a larger renovation plan by Parslow and Winter Golf Design that includes the lengthening of selected holes, modifications to bunkers and fairways, and potential contour changes to greens.
Work will begin in November following the two major tournaments with a targeted completion date of September, 2018.
In order to have the turfgrass ready to plant exactly when needed, TPC KL worked with global turfgrass provider Atlas Turf International to create an on-site Celebration nursery. Sprigs arrived in August and the nursery was planted immediately.
Atlas Turf President John Holmes said: “Rather than importing the entire amount, an on-site nursery gives TPC KL the affordable option of grassing with the highest quality, licensed and certified turfgrasses. And the grass is available as it is needed in the overall renovation schedule.
“I had the honour of working with TPC KL during their 2007 renovation when the facility was Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. At that time, I provided the club with SeaIsle Supreme, one of the earliest commercial paspalums available. It has been remarkable to see the growth of the facility and its commitment to continual improvement.”
Atlas Turf International is the exclusive provider of Celebration Bermudagrass in Southeast Asia. Atlas Turf has supplied numerous golf courses throughout the region with sprigs and seeded certified and licensed bermuda, paspalum and zoysia turfgrasses.
Atlas Turf works closely with each facility to assist in selecting the specific turfgrass species and variety to meet its unique needs.