Golf Course Renovation Project Wraps Up
by Eric Bennett, Director of Agronomy
What a great summer it has been at Ocean Reef Club. The Golf Course Maintenance Team has been hard at work improving many areas, building a few new ones and completing our summer maintenance programs. We have focused on providing a new feel to the Dolphin Course, along with preparing the Hammock to be in excellent condition.
A Fresh Feel to a Member-Favorite Course
The new Clubhouse is going to be spectacular, so we wanted to provide some equally spectacular views of the Dolphin Course as well. Therefore, we completely renovated hole number nine, the putting green, the short game practice area, along with re-grassing number seven.
Number nine became much shorter but remains just as challenging as we pushed the green to the water’s edge on the front and left side. The new putting green was raised three and a half feet to deal with the ever-present king tides. It was also constructed with practice in mind, providing a flatter surface allowing you to train not just on speed but alignment as well.
The short game area increased in size approximately 7,000 square feet. We built a new putting surface that will allow players to hit shots up to sixty yards. This new green is in addition to the current green giving golfers two different options for short game practice. We also expanded the original bunker and added another.
All of number seven, with the exception of the green, was re-grassed using Celebration Bermuda, the same type of turf that is on the rest of the golf course. The rough was also changed to Celebration, providing more consistency shot to shot.
Luscious Landscaping Added to the Dolphin
The landscapes on the Dolphin Golf Course has been given a dramatic upgrade as well. We wanted to give the Dolphin a tropical jungle feel, using a variety of different plantings, most of them native with a few exotic. At the heart of it, we wanted to provide a lush, colorful landscape that will be especially appreciated when enjoying lunch in the new Clubhouse.
Summer Course Cultivation Complete
Our summer cultural practices have been successfully completed, with all greens, fairways, tees and approaches heavily cultivated throughout the summer. Yearly aeration is essential to providing the first-class product Ocean Reef Club Members have come to expect. This summer, we also focused on providing the best conditions the Club has experienced by cultivating as quickly as possible during the first half of each closure. This allowed us to focus on the course’s playability and overall presentation in the weeks prior to opening.
We are looking forward to an outstanding golfing season and getting back to some shade of normalcy. I can’t wait to see everyone back at The Reef.