The practice green at any facility makes a big first impression. It's where you decide how green the grass looks, how fast the greens are and make a judgment call about the value of the course.
Sometimes, the practice green is deceptive. It isn't truly indicative of the course you're about to play. Such was the case as St. Johns Golf & Country Club in Florida.
St. Johns is an outstanding, renowned facility. It has hosted major professional tournaments and big amateur events. It's not slouch. But, despite the best efforts of the grounds staff, they couldn't get the practice green to look as great as the rest of the course. After a handful of years and more than a handful of attempts to solve the problem, St. Johns decided it was best to rebuild the green. On May 5, the rebuilding project began on the 10,000 sq. ft. surface.
It began by removing 3-4 inches of material -- the top and intermediate layer on the putting surface -- which was then reverse tilled into the original mix. On top of that, 3 inches of sand was laid on top to bring green back to grade, which was also reverse tilled to mix the soil. The putting surface was sprigged with a TifEagle blend of Bermudagrass; the surrounding area sodded with 419 Bermudagrass.
In just about a month, the new practice green will open, providing a better first impression and practice experience for guests.