CONYERS -- Play is picking up at Cherokee Golf Club, but it will soon come to a temporary halt as the city begins work to replace the turf on the greens at the city-owned course.
City Manager Tony Lucas told the City Council at its regular meeting last Wednesday that the course has seen three solid months of play in the past three months, with approximately 2,000 rounds of golf per month. Lucas said the lease-holder who operated the course before the city took over operations never logged a 2,000-round month.
Nevertheless, the city will use the summer months to replace the turf on the golf course greens. Lucas said the greens will be sprayed on June 21 and the course will close to play around July 1.
In a previous interview, Lucas said the course will be closed for about eight weeks while crews replace the bentgrass that is currently on the greens with a Bermuda grass hybrid that better withstands Georgia's hot, muggy summers.
Though the course will be closed, the clubhouse, restaurant and driving range will remain open for business.
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, will be about $107,000, Lucas said earlier. 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 will save considerable expense, Lucas said.
In addition, the new Bermuda grass costs significantly less to maintain than Bentgrass.
Funding for the turf replacement will be recouped by cutting and selling timber on property owned by the city along the south side of Centennial Olympic Parkway, according to the city.
Cherokee Run is expected to reopen in early September, and already several tournaments are scheduled to be held soon thereafter.
"It truly will be the finest course east of Atlanta, no question about it," Lucas told the council.