06/09/2014

One of the premier golf courses on the Grand Strand, Tidewater Golf Plantation, will be closing for more than 14 weeks for a major renovation project that will include a conversion of its greens to MiniVerde Ultradwarf Bermuda grass.

The renovations will begin when the course closes after play on Sunday, June 8.  It is scheduled to reopen on September 25.

Tidewater’s greens came out of a harsh winter in rough shape like many courses throughout the country did.  The course operators have utilized lab analysis of the greens’ soil and property’s water composition to determine their best course of action.

Tidewater general manager, Archie Lemon, says that they are very excited about the new project and looking forward to bringing the greens back to their standards.

Golf Digest named Tidewater the Best New Public Course in the U.S. after it opened in 1990, and it has since been ranked among the top 100 public courses in the country by both Golfweek and Golf Magazine.

Tidewater is a 7,044-yard layout that is located between the Intracoastal Waterway and Cherry Grove Inlet.  It has several holes along the water and is credited to developer Ken Tomlinson with routing by Rees Jones.

Originally, the course had Penncross bentgrass greens, but were redone in 1999 to A1 bent.  When the A1 did not perform as well as expected the greens were changed to TifEagle Bermuda in 2002.  Tidewater was one of the first courses in the area to install one of the ultradwarf Bermudas that are now featured on most Grand Strand courses.

Course operators used International Sports Turf Research Center of Lenexa, Kan. and Rep Consulting Inc. of Hartville, Ohio to analyze the soil and water and the research showed the top four inches of soil mix beneath the grass on the greens were creating the problems.  A buildup of organic matter was affecting the health of the grass and drainage.

Operators have chosen to strip and rebuild the greens rather than replace the greens through a quick no-till method that is popular in the area.  Spence Golf Inc. of Greensboro, N.C. will oversee the restriping and rebuilding of the greens.  Golf course architect Kris Spence will rebuild green collars to assist with drainage, help expand greens back to their original size and reduce excessive grade in greens.

Former Burroughs & Chapin and Dunes Golf and Beach Club superintendent Randy Allen of Modern Turf will install and oversee the grow-in of the new MiniVerde surfaces.  MiniVerde was chosen because it has a stronger root system than other comparable ultradwarf Bermuda grasses.

While Tidewater is closed, bunker sand will be added or replaced and some trees will be trimmed or removed to assist the new greens with more sunlight and air flow.

If you are planning a Fall or Spring golf trip to Myrtle Beach, you might want to add Tidewater to your list of courses to play.  It should be in great condition.