Friday, July 15, 2016

The Pipeline, july 15, 2016

     Nayarit, Mexico. Costa Capomo, a forthcoming resort community on the Riviera Nayarit, has a new name and a new architectural team for its golf course. The community is now called Costa Canuva, and its 18-hole course, originally intended to be a solo Greg Norman product, will now be the world’s first track to be co-designed by Norman and Lorena Ochoa. The retired mega-stars on their respective professional golf tours have been joined in a marriage of marketing convenience since 2010, when they made a failed attempt to win the commission for the course that will host the golf competition at this year’s Olympic Games. For the course at Costa Canuva, they’ve promised to deliver what’s been described as “an unforgettable playing experience.” As for the rest of Costa Canuva, little else has changed. The community is still being developed by an affiliate of Mota-Engil, a major Portuguese construction conglomerate, and it’ll still take shape on 630 acres, including more than four miles’ worth of beaches, in La Peñita de Jaltemba, a town roughly 40 miles north of Puerto Vallarta International Airport. Mota-Engil Tourismo has master-planned the community to include 2,500 housing units of various kinds, five hotels, a beach club, and other attractions. Ochoa, Mexico’s most famous golfer and the world’s top-ranked female golfer in the late 2000s, has called the commission at Costa Canuva “a dream come true.” It’s also a second-chance opportunity for the Norman/Ochoa partnership, which had agreed to co-design a golf course at the Mayakoba resort, on the Riviera Maya, in early 2011. So far, however, the course hasn’t been built.

     Cienfuegos Province, Cuba. A Spanish group is negotiating for the right to create a six-course golf complex in the Cuban city known as “the Pearl of the South.” If an agreement is reached, Madrid-based Urbas Grupo Financiero SA will build Cuba’s largest golf resort at Rancho Luna, a resort community that’s slated to take shape in the city of Cienfuegos, on the nation’s southern coast. The property, which Cuban authorities earmarked for a golf resort years ago, has been master-planned to include 4,500 villas and apartments, six hotels, a marina, places to eat and drink, and other attractions, including the 18-hole golf courses. Urbas Grupo appears to have chosen an attractive location for its first golf venture, as Cienfuegos, the capital of Cienfuegos Province, has been likened to Paris, France. Lonely Planet says the city, located roughly 200 miles southeast of Havana, overlooks Cuba’s “most spectacular natural bay” and has “long seduced travelers from around the island with its elegance, enlightened French spirit, and feisty Caribbean panache.” A construction schedule hasn’t been announced.

     The original version of the preceding post first appeared in the April 2016 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.

     Sohar, Oman. A group of Omani business leaders think it’s the right time to build the first golf course in the mythical home of Sinbad the Sailor. At a meeting earlier this year, more than two dozen top-level executives in Sohar, a bustling port city, established a steering committee to determine if a nine- or 18-hole course might be financially viable. The idea is likely to get a thumbs-up, for Oman currently has only a handful of 18-hole “grassed” golf courses, and most of them are in and around Muscat, a trip of more than 100 miles from Sohar. “There are a lot people in Sohar who are interested to play golf regularly,” said Mundhir Al Barwani, the chairman of the Oman Golf Committee, the overseer of golf in the sultanate. “Building a golf course in Sohar will encourage more people to take up the sport and embed it in the Oman sporting culture.” Al Barwani is a member of the steering committee, along with representatives from the Port of Sohar, Majis Industrial Services Company, Sohar Aluminum, and other local corporations.

     The original version of the preceding post first appeared in the May 2016 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.

     New South Wales, Australia. Road construction in southern Sydney is going to force a long-established golf club to relocate. Kogarah Golf Club, a venue in Arncliffe that opened in the 1930s, will be moving to a site in nearby Barton Park. A time line hasn’t yet been set, but the news comes as no surprise to the club’s members, as work on the planned WestConnex motorway has been in the works for more than a decade. In fact, the club isn’t reluctant to relocate, because it’s lost members in recent years and believes a new home, especially one with a freshly built, “international-standard” course, will help to attract new members and ensure its long-term economic viability. Kogarah’s current home is located on property owned by Rockdale Council. When the club departs, a technology park that includes a hotel and a shopping area is expected to take its place.

     The original version of the preceding post first appeared in the October 2015 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.

     Walsall, England. To reverse a serious decline in membership, a golf club in suburban Birmingham, England aims to “target a different audience” with what it’s called “a different approach to golf.” It’s been said that Calderfields Golf & Country Club is “fast becoming one of the most prestigious golf and leisure facilities in the Midlands,” but since 2010 the club has reportedly seen its membership drop by nearly 43 percent, from 620 to 355. Calderfields believes it can solve its financial troubles by building new attractions, in particular a nine-hole golf course and a training center with a short-game practice area. The club hopes the additions will encourage more participation from women, children, beginners, people with disabilities, and anyone who’s “put off by the membership money involved and the length of an 18-hole course.” The new attractions will complement the club’s 18-hole, Roy Winters-designed layout.

     Saint-Tropez, France. In a venture that it believes will propel the golf industry “into a new dimension,” a U.S. company has been contracted to build an all-synthetic golf course on the eastern end of the French Riviera. Southwest Greens International, a firm based in Calhoun, Georgia, will create the nine-hole track at a Golf Up facility in Saint-Tropez, a one-time vacation spot for European jet-setters and French New Wave filmmakers. The facility, scheduled to open in the spring of next year, has been designed by Jean-Claude Cornillot, an architect based in Wasquehal, France, and it’ll be built by SGI’s Netherlands-based construction affiliate, Southwest Greens Construction. It’s being developed by Robert Roussille of Nice-based Golf Up, and it’ll be accompanied by a driving range, a practice area, a clubhouse, and a group of apartments that will, according to a press release, capture “the essence of a typical charming village in Provence.”

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