It's Not Easy Being Green - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

It's Not Easy Being Green

July 25, 2006

Albany -- Doublegate Country Club members were not happy with the greens on the golf course.

The grass that had been in place for over twenty years was not holding up to the demands of a faster playing surface.

Doublegate sought out the opinion of the United States Golf Association, and the USGA suggestions have the course looking very different.

Golf courses pride themselves on appearance, from finely manicured fairways to immaculate green putting surfaces, but the greens at Doublegate Country Club are looking pretty brown.

"We're actually in the process of killing the greens right now," says General Manager Michael Bunting.

It's not an homage to the British Open.

The grass currently on the greens can't be cut low enough to play with the speed the members would like, and Bunting says it's all going to be replaced with a more durable "Champion" grass.

"Champion is a superior putting surface. We've done a lot of research. They've actually done over 400 courses with this grass, and it's definitely a superior putting surface."

After the current greens are killed off, the top level will be removed, with the new grass seeded in its place.

There will be some time before golfers are able to get back out on the course.

"We're hoping for six weeks," says Bunting. "The shortest grow-in was 4 1/2 weeks, the longest was nine, so we're hoping for six, but saying between six and eight."

Once it's complete, Bunting says golfers will see a big difference.

"We're looking forward to a really great golf course, and this grass should last forever."

Doublegate will be one of only two courses between Atlanta and Florida with the new "Champion" grass.

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