Most of Chicopee Woods Golf Course now boasts Bermuda grass as renovations continue.
It may be the first public golf course in North Georgia with such grass. Bermuda grass stands up to heat better and has firmer blades and less need for fungicide.
The Hall County golf course is getting some needed improvements, including newly installed irrigation and grass, rehabilitated sand bunkers and improved cart paths.
Jim Arendt, director of golf, recently gave a presentation about the renovation to county commissioners.
“This is like a two-to-three year project for completion,” Arendt said. “We have to do everything when it makes sense.”
The cost of the capital improvements is about $2.1 million, which came to the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission through financing improvements and paying off previously held debt.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved refinancing of the 1999 revenue bonds so the park commission could save money by getting a favorable interest rate.
The original 18-hole course was built in 1990, and nine more holes were built in 2000, said RK Whitehead, chairman of the Chicopee Woods Area Park Commission.
The park commission was established by the Georgia General Assembly in 1980 and modified in 1988 to oversee a gift of 1,800 acres from Johnson & Johnson off Atlanta Highway.
The commission was created as a political division of the state and a public corporation and is self-supporting.
The 600-acre golf course is a part of the Chicopee commission and accounts for all its revenue, Whitehead said.
Part of the revenue goes toward park maintenance and helps Elachee Nature Science Center pay a park manager.
Even though new grass just recently became usable, Arendt said he’s already received positive feedback about the greens.
“It has been overwhelmingly positive,” he said. “The people that have played (the new grass) just can’t believe how good (it is).”
The School golf course received new greens earlier this year, and The Mill golf course will get Bermuda grass next summer.
“You only have so much time to get it done in the warm months,” Arendt said. “We just opened the Village (golf course, on Friday). There’s no time to do another nine (holes of a course) this year.”
Whitehead said he recently played on the new grass and had one of his best putting rounds ever.