ONEIDA — Brown County Golf Course emerged from the winter of 2012 with severe damage to several of its greens, enough so that a project to renovate all 18 greens was put in motion. The course opened those new greens to play for the first time on Thursday.
Like a great player, a great golf course needs to have game from tee to green, so Brown County used temporary greens for the bulk of the 2013 season to begin an overdue renovation.
“There’s reports, 20-year-old reports, saying something needed to be done because of this and it was just time,” superintendent Scott Anthes said.
A lot has changed in the world of golf since Brown County Golf Course was built in 1957. But the recently completed greens project is the first facelift the putting surfaces have gotten since the course opened.
Head golf professional Jim Ostrowski agreed that the time had come to make the upgrade. “It’s been a long time. Greens are supposed to necessarily hold up that long especially given how they were built using the older methods of course,” Ostrowski said.
To rectify the issues the greens were having the greens were converted from poa annua to bent grass. Several greens were reshaped to allow for better drainage and prevent pooling of water on the surface. The grounds crew also installed tiling to help aid in drainage. Anthes explained how the renovations work. “Now any moisture will actually flow out underneath of the green and it works. We’ve had a lot of rain this spring and those greens are pretty firm now and it’s a nice thing to see.”
Ostrowski thinks the players will enjoy the new greens at Brown County. “They’re going to have a different experience and it’s just going to be a nice experience with some different grass for them and consistent speeds on the greens for them. So overall it’s just going to be a great experience.”
Jim Mohr has been playing golf at Brown County since 1966. After his first nine holes he was impressed by the renovations. “I’m real happy. I’ve never seen them like this. They’re perfect.” “These are fast and golfers like fast greens,” Mohr said.
For avid players who endured temporary greens for the better part of a year, the opening of the greens was almost like unwrapping Christmas presents and the early reviews like that of Jeff Mulloy are glowing. “Here I am out here it’s 40 degrees, 8 o’clock in the morning. I think that says a lot you know. It’s been a long time coming and they did a nice job,” Mulloy said.
Fran Milligan added, “I just think it’s a great improvement for this golf course. Scott should be patted on the back many times. All I can say is they’re perfect and they’re only going to get better.”
It’s hard to beat perfect but the folks at Brown County golf course will try. While the greens are already open, a grand opening for the course is planned for June 2.