Golf Course Superintendant at West Cliffs Golf Course.
Pedro gave some time for a Q&A session to provide insights into the West Cliffs experience.
GEO: As the future greenkeeper of West Links, what was your role in the building of the course?
Pedro: Follow the construction process, attending all meetings related with the project, bringing my 15 years local experience as Praia Del Rey Golf and Beach Resort golf course superintendent, and be part of the normal changes and last hour decisions that always take place.
GEO: How have you set the course up to play and what will the players experience be like when they come to West Cliffs Golf Links?
Pedro: West Cliffs is a unique golf experience. We have been privilege with a great master piece by Cynthia Dye and her team. Golfscape/Progolf have done a great construction work, and the natural site is breathtaking.
The set up of the course as to preserve the challenge created by the architect as well as an enjoyable experience in a way that players could take the best of this jewel.
GEO: What are the main points that you see were unique about the way in which West Cliffs Golf Links was designed, constructed?
Pedro: The respect for the natural site, the concern regarding a sustainable maintenance, offer a unique golf experience.
GEO: What were your own main considerations around sustainability and responsible golf course management during construction and how will you be applying them to the future day-to-day management?
Pedro: Make the least intervention possible in the natural site, restore and preserve the natural place by eliminating the invasive species, make the best management possible of natural resources. Have the least impact possible on nature. The use of well adapted grass species to local weather conditions, diseases and pests. A great investment on the water storage capacity and the recuperation off all sources of water available, including surface water, run off water, drainage water, treated effluent water, when possible. The choice for an efficient pump station and an efficient irrigation system in conjunction with different types of softwares, like a weather station and complete on line water management system. The use, when possible of electric and hybrid equipment. A Best Managing Practices (BMP) approach on the the day to day maintenance and on the annual planning, with a monitoring plan, regarding water and soil/Tissue analyses, in order to have a balanced fertilization plan based on slow released products and spoon feeding, to avoid nutrient loss, and excess grow which have also an impact in less fuel consumption. The use of a specific sprayer machine that gives the best results. Of course the information and education of the staff is essential in order to have a sustainable approach. Bernardo Almeida is the new Head Greenkeeper at West Cliffs and he is constructing a good motivated team.
A lot of work as also to be put on the preservation of the wild nature and is biodiversity.
We are entirely compromised with GEO and that will help us to become better and better.