Kip Hunter, left, who works for Brian Cagle Grading, helps E.J. King, who works for the city, make a french drain on No. 6. Other french drains have been installed on Nos. 1 and 14.
CONYERS -- Cherokee Run Golf Club is on schedule to reopen to players on Aug. 31 or Sept. 1 following replacement of the turf on the greens and some other upgrades to the course.
Conyers Chief Operating Officer David Spann said work on the greens is actually ahead of schedule, but additional work on some drainage control and other projects is also under way.
"We're very comfortable with the 31st or the 1st," Spann said. "We are ahead of schedule on the greens, but with all of this work ... we want everything to be pristine when people come back out."
The city-owned course closed in early July in order for crews to replace the bentgrass that was on the greens with a Bermuda grass hybrid that better withstands Georgia's hot, muggy summers.
Once the course reopens, Spann said the city anticipates word about the new greens to spread among the golfing community, which should be a draw for players.
In addition, Spann said general improvements to the course are expected to increase play at Cherokee Run. Some of the changes have been designed to make the course, known as one of the most challenging in the Atlanta area, more accessible to the everyday golfer.
"We've been doing that since we took it back over really over a year ago," said Spann. "We took out a bunch of trees to open it back up. We did a lot more to control the undergrowth that's outside the fairways."
In addition, growth along creeks and wet areas has been mowed so that it will be easier for golfers to locate errant balls.
"A lot of what was wetland areas, that were areas that were meant to be overgrown because they were along creeks ... we mowed those down so if you hit your golf ball in there you could find your golf ball and you could actually hit out of there," Spann said.
The cost to replace the bentgrass on the 18-hole course, which was designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay of the Arnold Palmer Design Group, was estimated at $107,000, City Manager Tony Lucas said earlier this year. Lucas said the Bermuda hybrid can be installed through a "no-till" method that does not require the greens to be dug out and rebuilt. That saved considerable expense, Lucas said.
In addition, the new Bermuda grass costs significantly less to maintain than bentgrass.
Funding for the turf replacement was obtained by cutting and selling timber on property owned by the city along the south side of Centennial Olympic Parkway, according to the city.
Although the course has been closed, the clubhouse, restaurant and driving range have been open for business throughout the summer.