As excitement mounts for the highly anticipated Solheim Cup, Turfgrass® invites you behind the scenes for a glimpse into the last stages of preparation
The foundation of an exceptional golf tournament lies in the perfection of the playing surface. Over the last 3 years leading up to the inaugural tee-off, the Turfgrass® Team has collaborated closely with the Course Superintendent, Ignacio Soto and Tournament Director, Davide Lantos to carefully craft the maintenance schedule and course setup, in preparation for the Solheim Cup. With the course currently closed to daily play, key playing surfaces can rest from aggressive surface preparation techniques, ahead of a more intensive programme of works scheduled for advance week and tournament week.
Given the region’s exposure to scorching summer temperatures, hand watering measures have become a necessary requirement in treating specific heat stress areas across the course. During this week, every effort has been made to ensure the course and its surroundings are maintained to the highest possible standards of playability, appearance and attention to detail. This includes a focus on intricate details such as edging the thousands of sprinkler heads and drainage catch basins, tending to cart path borders and precise trimming of hedgerows around the perimeter of the golf course, in order to maximise the spectator experience.
The week leading up to the tournament is known as advance week. During advance week our main emphasis is on fine-tuning the course to achieve peak performance. Activities will include the redistribution of sand within the bunkers, precise directional mowing of fairways, vigilant monitoring of putting surface quality and essential applications of nutrition, growth regulation and soil surfactant. These processes include tasks such as the installation of new hole cups, comprehensive hole-changing and painting clinics, and the application of pre-tournament treatments aimed at enhancing both the visual appeal and playability of the course. This attention to detail will ensure the course is ready to host the Solheim Cup, while ensuring that every aspect is optimised for a successful event.
September 18th will mark the commencement of tournament week. This is when execution takes centre stage. Practice days will be invaluable for the orientation of turf management volunteers and fine-tuning maintenance plans through collaboration with the Superintendent and Tournament Director. Daily review meetings will guarantee the implementation of precise mowing, rolling, irrigation and data collection strategies. Our onsite Agronomy Team consisting of Julian Mooney and Adam Moeller will be in constant dialogue with the Tournament Director, Rules Officials, and the Superintendent, imparting real-time insights on course conditions, playability, meteorological shifts, and potential challenges. This unified and thorough approach will enable the Tournament Director to make informed decisions surrounding course set-up. Roving agronomy response vehicles will be prepared with equipment to adjust any on-course items which may arise during play. Throughout the event, the greenkeeping team will remain ever-present, diligently ensuring that the course maintains peak condition for a seamless and exceptional tournament experience.
Despite all this planning and preparation, there is one element that remains outside of our control and that is the weather. Armed with technology and expertise, we constantly monitor weather forecasts, from the immediate outlook to long-range projections. The whims of rain, wind and temperature are constantly being scrutinised by a team of on-site meteorologists. In the event of unexpected adversity, we will ensure that swift and effective contingency plans are in place, as much as possible.
With the impending start of The 2023 Solheim Cup, there is a tangible wave of excitement and anticipation. Behind the scenes, the turf management team at Finca Cortesin have worked tirelessly, leaving no aspect of the course unattended. Dedication, expertise, and passion have all been demonstrated in preparation for this tournament. With the countdown now in full swing, we are on the verge of witnessing the fruition of years of painstaking preparation, teamwork, and unwavering commitment. This is a moment to celebrate the pinnacle of this world-class competition that the Solheim Cup represents and to appreciate the extraordinary effort that has gone into making this event a showcase of excellence.
The Solheim Cup 2023, an event of exceptional public interest whose official venue is Finca Cortesin, is sponsored by PING, Costa del Sol Tourism and Rolex as global partners; and by the Consejería de Turismo, Cultura y Deporte de la Junta de Andalucía, with co-financing from the European Union, Acosol, the Marbella Town Hall and the Benahavís Town Hall as official partners, and Casares Town Hall and Reale Seguros are official sponsors. Solán de Cabras, Eversheds Sutherland, Toro, Vithas, E-Z-GO, Jet Set Sports and Olin are official suppliers. BMW Automotor Premium is official sustainability car. Peninsula and Trablisa are sustainability partners. Marca and Radio Marca are official media. Promoted and organised by Deporte & Business. LET, LPGA, RFEG, CSD and RFGA collaborate in its organisation.
More information on the website www.solheimcup2023.eu, on the Twitter account @SolheimCup2023, on the Instagram account @solheimcup2023esp and on the Facebook page Solheim Cup 2023.