Royal Valderrama Club, an internationally recognised model for sustainability, efficient use of natural resources and environmental awareness since its creation in 1974, has built an artificial lake whose water will be used to irrigate the golf course.
The new water reserve is located on the right bank of the 11th hole at the renowned Costa del Sol course, which is recognised as one of the finest in Europe.
Providing capacity for about 58,000 cubic metres, and involving a €600,000 investment for its construction, the lake will be fed by rainwater and drainage from the course (almost all the drainage water from the second nine is directed to the new lake).
Before construction, nearly 70 cork oaks were transplanted to enable the work to be carried out. The lake will fill-up during winter and provide irrigation water during the summer months when the course experiences its high consumption peaks.
The lake will mean significant savings in energy costs for the club, and will also serve as a habitat for many birds that migrate through the Straits.
Its construction is another chapter in Valderrama's strong commitment to the environment and the use of natural resources. According to general manager Javier Reviriego, in recent years a series of measures have been taken to optimise and save water consumption.
In this regard, he cites the installation – between 2016 and 2017 – of a new, fully digitised irrigation system "that allows us to regulate the irrigation of each sprinkler on the course", as well as the incorporation of hardness and humidity sensors on the greens "that allow us to regulate irrigation as needed”.
At the same time, many grassy areas around the course have been replaced by mulch (cork oak bark). "These are areas of rough that are shaded by the trees and which barely come into play, which has allowed us to disconnect more than 300 sprinklers," explains Reviriego.
"All golf courses," he says, "have an obligation to improve our commitment to environmental sustainability. As a sector, we must stay ahead of the critics and improve our processes to become a benchmark in natural resource management.
"That commitment by courses should not be limited to mere environmental certifications. We must strengthen our message with investments that clearly demonstrate the path we are going to follow regarding the management of our environment and resources."
The venue for the 1997 Ryder Cup and numerous other major international tournaments, Royal Valderrama has produced a video showing construction progress at the lake and featuring some spectacular images.
The club will host a new edition of the Estrella Damm N.A. Andalucía Masters from October 13 to 16, the most lucrative in prizemoney of four DP World Tour events being held in Spain this year.