INFINITUM Lakes course, which recently hosted the DP World Tour’s ISPS Handa Championship in Spain, is to undergo extensive maintenance work this summer with the layout’s fairways upgraded from Rye grass to the more sustainable Bermuda Tifway 419.
The planned work - which will see all 18 fairways renovated - is due to last four months with a re-opening date scheduled for mid-September. The changes will be made as INFINITUM prepares to welcome the return of the DP World Tour’s Final Stage Qualifying School from November 11-16 following a three-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The six-day qualifying showpiece will be played over both the water-strewn Lakes and the more mature, treelined Hills course. Improvements on the former will be seen as another step on the INFINITUM journey to being one of Europe’s premier golf destinations with two championship courses of the highest quality, along with the highly regarded and beautifully maintained nine-hole Ruins course.
Bermuda Tifway 419 is one of the most durable species of grass due to it being heat and drought-resistant – able to subsist through the summer conditions of the Costa Dorada.
The grass is noted for its quick regrowth, which helps the surface to recover from any injuries. However, despite the extra maintenance needed to counter its rapid growth in high summer months, the grass requires 60 per cent less mowing in the winter, which will help ensure the reduction of fuel consumption.
To add to this, Bermuda Tifway 419 has a high tolerance to high-salinity stress – where abnormal levels of salt water can have severe impairments on grasses - and brings a 15 per cent reduction in irrigation needs. Once installed, the Lakes course will also see a further 30 per cent reduction in the use of fertilizers.
Agustín García Pascual, chief business officer at INFINITUM, said: “Despite the Lakes Course hosting our first DP World Tour event last month with the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain, we felt it was important to make these substantial changes now as we look to build for the future.
“By installing Bermuda Tifway 419 grass, we will be making the course and playing surface more sustainable due to it being more hard-wearing and able to withstand the temperatures of the summer months. The relatively open fairways of the Lakes course mean the layout can suffer from the hot, dry temperatures but changing to Bermuda Tifway 419 will ensure we have a surface that can stand up to the rigours of this, ensuring the consistent quality of our fairways that will remain in impeccable condition all year round.
“In November, we will be welcoming the DP World Tour back to INFINITUM as we host Final Stage Qualifying, and we believe these changes will have the Lakes course playing at its very best as we embark on a new chapter in the story of INFINITUM.”
Designed by Greg Norman and opened for play in 2008, the par-71 Lakes course has quickly built a reputation as one of Spain’s most highly regarded layouts. Set to the west of the beautiful city of Tarragona on the Costa Dorada, Norman’s design runs effortlessly around the wetlands of the Sequia Major (an area of protected natural beauty), with water the layout’s chief defence, testing players and their positional play on no fewer than 14 holes.
Last month, the course was the venue for a famous ‘home’ win for local hero Pablo Larrazábal, who claimed a thrilling one-shot victory after birdieing the final hole and closing with a Sunday 62 at the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain.
The Lakes is complemented beautifully by its neighbouring Hills course, which delivers a much different test with players having to navigate their way across the layout, with several elevated tees serving up stunning vistas of the course and the Mediterranean Sea beyond. Natural pine trees congest the course’s fairways with a number of greens enveloped by towering cliffs.
INFINITUM Ruins course, also designed by Norman, has been rated as one of the world’s best nine-hole layouts. With heavily contoured greens that will test even the best player’s putting, the Ruins serves as the perfect place for those looking to play a quick round or cap their day off with an extra nine holes as it wends through plantations of olive trees and historic Roman archaeological remains.
“The developments we are making will help us build for the future and the quality of all three of our courses is testament to the investment and diligence we have at INFINITUM,” said Agustín García Pascual. “We look forward to reopening our Lakes course in September as we begin our second journey – and a three-year partnership with the DP World Tour – as the host of Final Stage Qualifying School.”