Viva the Links Look
(2-2008)

Award-winning Mexican resort club, The Links at Las Palomas, is enjoying especially cool weather this winter. "Frankly, you could make yourself believe you were in Scotland if you stayed away from the tequila and cold beer," says Forrest Richardson, golf architect of the 18-hole seaside course.

Located in the State of Sonora, which is in northern Mexico, Las Palomas was built in 2004 and planted with SeaDwarf Paspalum. The planting plan called for SeaDwarf on all turfed areas, tees, fairways, roughs and greens. "Fast and firm is at play even in the summer," notes Richardson. "But during this time of year players get the visual to go along with the fun breaks on fairways and approaches."

Superintendent Rick Gillespie has plenty to do even when the grass is resting. Maintenance activity turns to details such as dunes management, bunker restoration due to wind damage, and irrigation system repairs. Gillespie now lives in Mexico, making the transformation from nearly 30 years in an American club with typically lush fairways and anything-but fast and firm conditions. "It's a mindset," he says. "Once you understand the links and how it behaves, you realize that golf is better when it fits the environment."

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