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Greens Renovation Project

Last month we unveiled the new Pure Distinction bentgrass putting surfaces on our Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. The greens look absolutely amazing and it has been great to hear all of the wonderful comments from our members.

By Marc DeWall  ::  Photography by Nick Menger

Considering our greens were sodded the first two weeks of October and that we were able to open the golf course in such a relatively short time (eight weeks) is a testament to this form of bentgrass. We are very excited about all of the great characteristics of this grass. Pure Distinction is one of the newest bentgrasses on the market. It is uniquely bright colored and combines the great playability characteristics of previous bents while offering some improvements to the health and durability. It is more dense, upright, aggressive and should have less thatch. It also has a stronger resistance to disease, heat, cold and wear. All of this will help us achieve smooth and true putting greens as we move forward. However, we do want to note that although the greens are ready for play, three-month old greens are still in their “infancy” and will continue to settle in over the course of the next six to nine months. So, look for them to continue to stabilize, firm up, speed up and settle in over the course of this year. 

The recent closure allowed us to complete some other projects on the golf course that I believe our golfers are going to enjoy as they help improve aesthetics, playability and turf conditions. One of the biggest things we were able to accomplish and the most notable differences you will see involve tree-trimming and tree removal. Sunshine and airflow are two critical components to growing healthy turf and while we’ve been trimming trees throughout the golf course since opening, some areas needed more significant work to minimize shade in sensitive areas and promote airflow. The closure allowed us the opportunity to tackle those. Well over 500 trees throughout the golf course were limbed-up or removed which will greatly enhance turf and playability in those areas. What is important about this is not only the playability of the holes, but also it has really opened up original design sightlines where you can truly see everything each hole has to offer, so aesthetics have also improved. Needless to say, this is a delicate process as we all appreciate and understand the beauty that our oak trees add in framing the golf course, so selection of clearing and trimming was meticulously discussed and planned.  

The bunkers received a thorough depth-check and sand was moved and added as needed. The creeks were aggressively trimmed and cleaned and look fantastic. Several areas of the course needed drainage improvement and we were able to complete work on #1, #10 and #17 which should provide more playable conditions in those areas (you will still notice the residual effects from re-sodding over these drainage improvements in front of these greens — they’ll improve over the course of the next spring and summer). New bridges were installed on #14 and we added rock along the cart paths on holes #4 and #14 in areas that were worn. This will allow for carts to pull to the side without doing damage. Finally, over the years we had several “sand dams” built up that prevented water from properly draining off the putting surfaces. Many of those areas have been fixed and resodded, but again the zoysia in those greens surround areas likely won’t fully heal up until next spring or summer.  

As you can see, we have done a tremendous amount of work over the last couple of months and are excited to showcase the golf course. If you have not already had the chance to come out and play, I hope you do soon and enjoy the improved playability and aesthetics for years to come. Thank you for all of the great support and patience as we tackled these golf course improvements.

Marc DeWall, PGA is the General Manager at The Clubs of Cordillera Ranch. He can be reached at mdewall@cordilleraranch.com or 830.336.9000.