Since Willow Creek opened in 1995, golfers have loved the straightforward design and the exceptional condition of the course near Greer.
But after 20 plus years, some things needed to be replaced and improved and this summer Willow Creek is making a big change.
“We are going to Tiff Eagle Bermuda greens,” said PGA Professional Steve Goforth. “Our weather has changed a lot over the years and Bermuda greens have really improved and we decided it was a good time for the changeover,” he said.
Superintendent Kyle Traynham will supervise the remodeling project.
“Tiff Eagle Bermuda greens will give us a more consistent playing surface on all the greens all around the course,” he said. “It also means we will be in peak playing condition at the times of the year people want to play the most,” he said.
Moving from a bent grass to Tiff Eagle changes the major maintenance schedule for the course
. Instead of the greens being aerified in April and September, when demand for play is greatest, the greens will be “punched” in the middle of the summer.
“We are also going to bring the greens back to their original size. Over the years they have shrunk for a number of different reasons. The new greens will give us some additional hole placement opportunities because the greens will be bigger,” said Goforth.
Traynham’s schedule calls for the current turf to be killed off now and sprigged with the new turf around the tenth of July.
“If weather conditions cooperate, we should be back open for play around Labor Day. It will take about 6 to 8 weeks,” said Traynham.
During the transition, Willow Creek will be open, but will play with a different twist.
“We are setting up the course backwards. Golfers will play from the green to the tee where we will have the temporary greens. It is going to give golfers a unique perspective on the course and we are going to use larger cups on the greens too,” said the Willow Creek pro.
The large practice range and short game facility will be open during the transition as will the golf shop and grill.
“We already have an exceptional golf course and with the upgrade to Tiff Eagle Bermuda greens Willow Creek is going to be even better and better all year round,” said Goforth.