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807 Sea Mountain Hwy, Unit B
North Myrtle Beach, SC 29582
By Chris King on June 21, 2009
The summer months offer Myrtle Beach area golf courses the opportunity to “freshen up” for the Fall golf season, and several of the area’s most prominent courses are doing just that.
The summer’s biggest change is taking place at Rivers Edge, where the Arnold Palmer design is replacing all 18 greens.
Arrowhead Country Club and Sandpiper Bay, both 27-hole facilities that have earned a 4-star ranking in Golf Digest’s prestigious “Best Place to Play” Guide, are converting nine holes to Mini-Verde Ultradwarf Bermudagrass.
Tidewater Golf Club, one of America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses, closed on June 22 for a six-week renovation project with an emphasis on the tee boxes.
Rivers Edge closed on June 1 to begin installation of new SeaDwarf Seashore Paspalum greens. The paspalum grass has a very high tolerance for sodium, making it perfect for Rivers Edge, which plays along a stunning saltwater marsh.
“Rivers Edge has decided to change the putting surfaces to create more positive consistent conditions on the putting surfaces,” Dave Downing, president of Signature Golf Group, said.
Rivers Edge is the second Myrtle Beach area golf course to install paspalum, following the recently reopened Pine Lakes, but it will be the first course in the world to undergo a No-Till conversion.
No-Till is a process by which the new grass is planted without tearing out the existing surface. The No-Till process has two benefits: it maintains the existing contours of the greens surface and it allows a golf course to reopen sooner as the renovation process is much faster than standard methods of renovation that in effect would destroy the greens and require them to be rebuilt.
Rivers Edge tested the No-Till process last year by replacing its practice putting green, a conversion Downing called “very successful.”
Rivers Edge, which has been ranked among America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses by Golf Digest, will reopen in August.
Sandpiper Bay, in the middle of three-year project to replace all the facility’s greens, is converting to Mini-Verde on the Piper nine, which comes on the heels of the Sand course making the switch in the summer of 2008.
“It’s a better putting surface for this climate,” Sandpiper’s head pro and assistant general manager Richard Kascsak said. “Players on the Sand course love the greens.”
While the greens are being replaced, Sandpiper is also doing work on the bridges that connect the second and third holes and the sixth and seventh. The Piper nine will reopen on August 17.
Arrowhead is also replacing its greens nine holes at time, leaving 18 open. The Cypress is currently making the conversion to Mini-Verde, which is growing in popularity. Mini-Verde enjoys many of bentgrass’ putting qualities, but it is able to thrive in the South Carolina sun.
The Waterway nine at Arrowhead has already made the transition to Mini-Verde, and the Lakes nine will make the switch after the new greens at Cypress are ready for play.
At Tidewater, renovations will concentrate on enlarging, leveling and resodding all tee boxes; adding new sets of tees to enhance the playability and aesthetics; pruning and removing trees on the course; installing Erosion Barrier Tubing on the 10th hole for erosion control and beautification; and installing drain tile in select fairways and greens to enhance draining. While the project is underway, the Tidewater grounds crew will focus on intensified agronomic projects such as aerification, top-dressing and grooming of all turf grass areas.