Renovation of The Oconee course at Reynolds Plantation in Georgia, USA will be completed by autumn, as part of a significant enhancement programme at the six-course golf and lake community.
Work on the course, which was originally laid out by Rees Jones in 2002, will see all eighteen greens being converted to Champion hybrid bermudagrass.
“Since opening, The Oconee course has always provided a challenging, but also very playable, enjoyable and visually interesting golf experience,” said architect Rees Jones. “Our future vision for the course is simply to refine and enhance those existing characteristics to assure the course remains so favourably received.”
The greens are also being brought back to their original outermost edges. Restored collars have been turfed with different cultivars of bermudagrass depending on the level of sunlight received by the respective areas of the course.
“That is important to us here in the southeast,” Mark Lammi, vice president of golf operations at Reynolds Plantation said of the turfgrass options. “We can use types that are more specific to each environment, rather than the more traditional ‘one size fits all’ approach.”
The renovation of The Oconee has also seen the expansion of the teeing ground in the practice area, with a size increase of over 12,000 sq ft. Tree canopies have also been shaped across the course.
“We are also adjusting select fairway and greenside mowing patterns, in order to improve playability, create new and diverse shot options and improve the visual definition of the course,” Jones added. “We continue to work with the maintenance department to identify and address both general and specific issues that will improve everyday playability, course presentation and overall maintenance efficiency.”
Reynolds Plantation has already converted the greens on two of its six courses. On the Nicklaus-designed Great Waters course, greens were converted to Mini Verde bermudagrass, and TifEagle bermudagrass was put in place on greens at the Bob Cupp-designed The Landing course.