Renovations made to course at Brays Island Plantation in South Carolina

Renovations made to course at Brays Island Plantation in South Carolina
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

A series of renovations are taking place at the course at Brays Island Plantation in Sheldon, South Carolina.

Staff at the club are working with maintenance partner IGM to fix up the Ron Garl-designed course.

Before the current project began, the original TifDwarf bermudagrass had deteriorated and mutations had occurred across the greens.

“This led to inferior playing conditions compared to other courses in the area and fell well below the owners’ expectations,” explained Tyler Minamyer, IGM’s regional manager. “Also, the irrigation system was original and had to be replaced before addressing the turfgrass.”

IGM and Brays Island worked to plan the renovation and raise funds from 2009-2011, before an irrigation replacement process got underway in the summer of 2011. This was carried out hole-by-hole in order to minimise disruption to golfers.

Once this stage of the project was complete, attention shifted to the grasses. With the existing TifDwarf bermudagrass, new seed would not establish well in mutated areas, meaning those areas transitioned poorly back to bermudagrass come the spring.

The decision to adopt TifEagle bermudagrass was taken, and Minamyer said: “The owners wanted faster, more consistent greens that were comparable to competition. And TifEagle grass won’t require over-seeding, which means less disruption to play and better performance during spring and fall when the Plantation is busiest.”

The course closed on 1 June 2015 to allow the grass time to grow in, and is expected to reopen on 5 September 2015.

As part of the recent work, two greens have been redesigned in order to lessen slope severity and accommodate the new type of grass.

Minamyer added: “Everything has to be replaced at some point, but we’ll do everything we can to extend the useful life of the course and recommend investments in the course that will have the greatest potential for return.”

“Our relationship with IGM is a great partnership,” said Kevin Rhatigan, general manager of Brays Island Plantation. “It’s not just having a comfort level with a really good superintendent in Jeff Miller for day-to-day operations but more like having on-site consultants to manage a major project like this.” 

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