Tropical Heaven at Nirwana
Tropical Heaven at Nirwana
Stepped landscape
Stepped landscape
Encroaching bamboo
Encroaching bamboo

Nirwana Bali Golf Club

“We have adopted a preventative style of maintenance”, Adam Calver, Director of Agronomy

Nirwana truly is a unique property and it’s very important to the local community historically as well as economically.

The land for the club was provided by local families and they have stayed involved. “We have a good working relationship built on mutual trust, respect and resource sharing throughout the entire resort.

There are 19 Hindu temples on the property, many of them over 300 years old, and they are used daily. We have the Indian Ocean on 5 holes, paddy rice fields, and jungle on the rest of the holes. We’ve preserved 10 hectares of rice production on traditional stepped land, and have a team of local rice farmers who cultivate and plant and harvest the rice working alongside the golf course maintenance crew.  

There was a lot of work to do when I arrived 2½ years ago. All the equipment was out-dated, so part of my objective was to restore and replace these and get some new systems in place. I bought new mowers and a set of Bernhard grinders. I’d used them before at the Kananaskis Country Golf Course, Canada, Olympic View Golf Club as well as at Jumeirah Golf Estates in Dubai so I knew exactly what I was buying.

I’ve been in golf management for 15 years and I’ve been looking at different ways to manage and identify problematic situations. We keep a lot more records and data now which allows us to identify how and why things happen and that helps us to adopt a preventative style of maintenance.

Here, with consistent heat and an average temperature of 28° C there’s no real sense of urgency because the climate doesn’t require it. It’s just constant – and to some degree, predictable.

Quality of cut is hugely important, and also education. 90% of our team is very local, and they are interested to learn and improve their knowledge, as much as I am about the local conditions.”

“I use an integrated pest management (IPM) philosophy so we are very aware that we only spray if we have to and then only the areas that are infected, so if you have high disease pressure we apply when we have to. We spot spray and keep a close eye on the areas and progress. We have reduced our use of fungicides and only spray the greens that are infected. If the grass is cut sharply and cleanly it’s much healthier and has less stress. We do get more pressure in the rainy season but again we just keep a close eye on things. 

People play in big numbers right through the year. We do 3,000 rounds a month in the rainy season so it can be a real challenge for us to maintain quality, and that’s why we have large crews.

“Bali could not be more different from Canada where I grew up, but my ambition was to work in as many different climates as golf could provide, and that’s what I’ve done: from the extreme cold of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to the relentless winter rains of west coast British Columbia, the searing heat of the Arabian deserts of Dubai, and now the lush tropics of Bali.” 

The Balinese people are delightful and very welcoming to an expat.

I am really proud that we have just been recognised as 66 in the top 100 golf courses outside US. It’s an on-going challenge to bring the course back to international standards and one I love doing, and it’s good to know we have been recognised for that already.”