Al Muskewitz: Cherokee County CC greens on comeback
Jun 26, 2009 | 3936 views |  0 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The golf course at Cherokee County Country Club is on the comeback trail.

While the club's greens were severely damaged by heavy rains following the application of chemicals in late April, manager Steve Baker is dispelling rumors they were lost altogether and has authorized a discount rate to entice players back to the Centre facility.

Starting this weekend through July 12, golfers can play the course anytime for $15. Tee times are required for holidays and weekends.

"We're trying to get back our loyal customers," Baker said. "They basically had quit showing up."

The measure of a golf course is the quality of its greens, and CCCC's putting surfaces fell victim to six inches of rain right after superintendent Shane McElwee applied pre-emerge chemicals.

"I knew exactly what it was when I saw it," McElwee said. "And it's been about to kill me, because I'm a perfectionist."

Course officials estimated the greens to be "75-80 percent" back, with several returning faster than others. They are still playing four temporary greens — Nos. 5, 7, 8 and 10 — which they hope to be off in a month.

"We're going to have our Invitational Aug. 22-23, and I fully expect them to be almost perfect by then," McElwee said.

Baker estimated play has been down by nearly two-thirds during the greens recovery. He said play in the club's monthly senior scrambles — two since the problem arose — has remained at its usual pace of 30-plus teams.

They were forced to reschedule the invitational and their Two-Person Scramble (Sept. 26-27). The next senior scramble is July 13. Entry fee for it is $25 and includes lunch. Call the pro shop for all the details (927-5070).

Timber Ridge project done: Speaking of grens restoration, Talladega's Timber Ridge Golf Club will reopen its front nine for the Fourth of July weekend after replacing those bentgrass greens with tift drawf bermuda. The back nine will get the same treatment starting July 13. Course owner Wayne Strickland is shooting for Sept. 10 as the date to have all 18 holes open.

"You can't grow bentgrass this time of year on our budget," Strickland said. "If we had Robert Trent Jones (Trail) or Cider Ridge's we might be able to continue, but we don't have that down here. It's just too difficult to grow in this climate."

Strickland closed the front nine on May 12, but kept the back open for play, and he reported the course's regular games maintained a solid participation.

He tested the new greens Thursday and said they were rolling "as good as the bentgrass greens" and they had yet to be cut to a proper height.

The delay on starting on the back nine is to accommodate an 18-hole, multi-format two-man tournament on July 11.

"If you're ever going to make the change, you're going to have to bite the bullet for one year," Strickland said. "Overall, when I look back in retrospect, it's looking like this might have been a good year to do it with the weather we've had."
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