A new green for hole 13 at the Nans Les Pins golf club

Following the redevelopment of holes 14 and 15 in early 2023, Golf Sainte Baume, situated in Nans Les Pins between Var and Provence, continues the modification of its layout with the establishment of a new playing area that will host the 13th green. Monitor the step-by-step progression of the implementation of these operations.

These undertakings in no way impede the current progression on the course; you can observe them from the vantage point of the new tee at hole 14. Immerse yourself in the behind-the-scenes process of creating a green.

Nouveau green 13 au Golf Sainte Baume - piquettage
Nouveau green 13 au Golf Sainte Baume - décaissage

Study and analysis

The redesign of hole 13 was studied following the alterations made to holes 14 and 15. The available plot behind the tee of hole 14 has paved the way for a new playing area, transforming hole 13 from its current PAR 4 – a very short 270m dogleg right, to a longer fairway while retaining its PAR 4 status. This modification introduces novelty and technical challenges to the course.

After conceptualization, the feasibility study spanned several months. Initial staking was implemented to delineate a 600 m² area. It is worth noting that regulations mandate a minimum of 500m² for an international green. The green’s dimensions were established at 30m in length/depth and 20m in width, with its design conceived in a classic spirit, featuring only a gentle slope and grass bunkers as defenses.

The project was envisioned comprehensively, aiming to eliminate certain existing bunkers, erase the current green, and, of course, extend the fairway to the upcoming green. In August 2023, the construction commenced with the excavation of the entire area to a depth of one meter, shaping the subgrade.

Nouveau green 13 au Golf Sainte Baume - drainage
Nouveau green du 13 Golf Sainte Baume - couche de drainage

Earthmoving and Drainage

During the winter of 2024, with a slowdown due to weather conditions, the subgrade was finalized as planned, incorporating the necessary slopes for drainage and requirements for proper irrigation management. Subsequently, it was excavated to accommodate the drainage system.

The installation of drains and drainage antennas took place, along with the excavation of trenches to house the future irrigation equipment. The critical stages of effective drainage then commenced with the application and dispersion of permeable materials above the drains.

A first layer, 10cm in height, of 6/16 gravel was spread. Following this, a second layer consisting of finer gravel, known as “rice grain” with dimensions of 4/6, was added. To ensure the optimal drainage efficiency, this second layer of gravel had to be applied in multiple stages and compacted progressively between each step. This process aids in compacting the mixture and prepares it for the next layer.

Nouveau green 13 au Golf Sainte Baume
Nouveau green 13 au Golf Sainte Baume

Irrigation and substrate

For the final 30 centimeters, multiple layers of materials were superimposed, primarily consisting of sand and amendments. These layers were meticulously implemented and compacted using a roller. The last 10 centimeters were filled with a foundational fertilizer. As sand tends to be neutral, the introduction of this amendment, an element of enriched fertilizer, will nourish the future soil.

The optimized management of the water resource was studied prior to the developments. GPS surveys determined four optimal points for the irrigation system. Positioned at intervals of 16 or 19 meters, four sets of two sprinklers were arranged in the area. Beyond pinpoint locations, the choice of sprinkler type was carefully considered.

Back-to-back sprinklers were selected for their ability to regulate irrigation for two distinct zones with precise timing. Calibration will be configured so that each pair of sprinklers can serve both the interior and exterior of the green area, responding with exceptional accuracy to the hydration needs of the surface. This preliminary study is indispensable for precise daily management.

With the essential elements now installed and in place, we yield to the primary actor in the success of this landscaping – nature. Through the elements of rain, wind, and sun, the developments anchor themselves and find their place before the seeding phase commences, marking the initiation of the final stage of the project. We will return to the site in April.