Alcoa golf course joins others in switching to Bermuda grass

Alcoa golf course joins others in switching to Bermuda grass

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On the Memorial Day holiday, the members at Green Meadow Golf Club took advantage of the beautiful weather. On the Memorial Day holiday, the members at Green Meadow Golf Club took advantage of the beautiful weather.
Christine Song, fourth on Future's Tour money list, is working hard to get to the LPGA. Christine Song, fourth on Future's Tour money list, is working hard to get to the LPGA.
"I'm hoping to have a college scholarship to a good school," 12-year-old Braeden Wear said. "I'm hoping to have a college scholarship to a good school," 12-year-old Braeden Wear said.
This grass may be green now, but come July or August, the course managers have a tough time keeping it alive in the heat. This grass may be green now, but come July or August, the course managers have a tough time keeping it alive in the heat.
The course is following a number of other courses in the area and switching to Bermuda grass. The course is following a number of other courses in the area and switching to Bermuda grass.

By GENE PATTERSON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

ALCOA (WATE) - As the popularity of golf has grown over the past decade or two, so has the need for better and hardier grasses - grasses that can stand up to the increased play and the heat of late summer in Tennessee.

At Green Meadow Golf Club in Alcoa, they've joined a trend that is taking over the South.
     
On the Memorial Day holiday, the members at Green Meadow Golf Club took advantage of the beautiful weather.
   
On the practice range, players of every level were warming up, honing their swings.

On this day, we spotted Christine Song, fourth on Future's Tour money list, working hard to get to the LPGA.

Braeden Wear, 12, was on the putting green. He's been playing since he was five and has a goal in mind.

"I'm hoping to have a college scholarship to a good school," he said.

But the vast majority of golfers here or anywhere play strictly for fun.

"It's a game you can play your whole life," said Jeff Curtis.

Curtis is the general manager at Green Meadow, where they have started a major renovation

They're converting their traditional bent grass greens to ultra-dwarf Bermuda, specifically mini Verde, a grass that holds up well, even during the hottest times of the year.

"We've had bent grass here and in the summertime when you get the heat and humidity in July and August, it's very, very difficult to keep it alive," Curtis said.

Green Meadow is just the latest course to go this route.

Last year, River Islands converted. Willow Creek in Knoxville is also going to Bermuda this summer. Curtis believes it's just a matter of time before all the courses in the area turn to Bermuda.
            
For the members, most were excited about the new greens. And so far, there have been few complaints about the temporary greens the golfers will be playing on this summer.

"It's just something you have to get used to and bide your time till we get the new ones," said member Kevin Morgan.

Mark Twain once described golf as a "good walk spoiled." But for those who love the sport, there is nothing quite so pretty as the perfect swing or the sound of a ball rolling into the cup. 

This fall, those putts at Green Meadow will be made on a new surface, but the joy of playing is as old as the Spirit of East Tennessee.


If you know someone who you believe is an example of the Spirit of East Tennessee, e-mail me at gpatterson@wate.com.

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