A history by Tommy Fjastad
In September 1991, Dr Wilhelm Meister invited me to Leisure Lodge Resort and asked if I could design and build an 18 hole Championship golf course. This was a challenge I could not refuse. I had just completed construction of the Windsor Golf & Country Club course, designed by Tom Macauley of Ireland.
In May 1992, the use of heavy earth moving equipment and trucks by Silanga Ltd. headed by Brian Haworth started, a very experienced in earth moving. John Saunders of Silanga Ltd., designed and installed the all important reticulation system.
The land on which we were to build was mainly coral outcrops. The only fertile part was the western area, used by local inhabitants to grow coconuts, cashew nuts and mangoes.
The wonderful indigenous trees were carefully incorporated in the design, in particular the baobab trees. To fill the large areas without soil, a barren farm some 12 km away was purchased. Working with two Caterpillar D8s and a front loader able to load a 9-ton truck in 4 minutes, we moved nearly 1,000 tons a day. This was carefully offloaded along the length and breadth of each fairway ¬shifting a total of 100,000 tons of soil.
We then moved the fleet to the areas with sand for construction of the greens. Each green (made to USGA specifications) required between 450 and 600 tons of sand. Sand was also required to fill the 88 bunkers around the course, some 15,000 tons. We then transported 80 truck loads of well composted coconut coir for mixing with the greens root zone.
See the next chapter in our next "beach letter"