Royal Calcutta, while famous for being the oldest golf club in the world outside the British Isles has worked hard to keep up with the times, constantly upgrading the course and its maintenance practices. Today the venerable RCGC boasts an 18 hole championship course which is perhaps in the best condition it has been since it was founded in 1829 and moved to its current location in 1911.
In its quest for providing world class playing conditions, in keeping with its “Royal” status, RCGC has dialled in on a precise nutrient program using slow-release fertilizers, and the Club is cautious on the frequency of other turf care product applications that enhance growing quality turf in an environmentally friendly fashion. Their entire management program has been developed over the past decade under the guidance of Quality Golf of Thailand, who in their 10-year tenure have diligently trained all the staff to be self-sufficient in maintaining international tournament standards and developed a management and benchmarking system that the Club uses monthly.
During the monsoons, all the rainwater is collected within the property, and the Club is in the process and planning for utilizing rainwater as a primary source of irrigation.
They monitor moisture requirements using a device Pogo Turf Pro. This helps manage moisture contents in the greens profile based on the superintendent and the assistant superintendent’s warning alerts. Standard policy is to hand water hot spots and only turn on overhead irrigation when necessary. It brings pure science and precision to the art of turf management.
The golf course has a local variety of Bermuda grass called Calcutta Doob on fairways and rough areas. The tees and greens are planted with Selection One, a local, more suitable variety of Bermuda Grass for heavily used tees and putting greens that survive well during the harsh West Bengal monsoons.
Post lockdown, the Club has entrusted the greens’ maintenance and course to its in-house team, who have been trained by the best in the industry. The course is managed by Nikhil Sanwal, Deputy Golf Course Superintendent, and Rikky Mondal, Assistant Golf Course Superintendent. Additionally, Tony Taylor of Quality Golf, is advising remotely. The Club is fortunate to have a greens committee whose members devote countless hours to help guide the club staff.
It’s important to note that the club has just come through its busiest playing period which sees a record number of rounds.