It’s a work in progress that should be good for golfers that enjoy playing Goose Pond Plantation Golf Course.
The greens at the 18-hole Par 72 layout are getting new grass. The Miniverde Bermuda grass will make play better for years to come. It replaces 21-year old bentgrass that struggles to grow in the heat of summer and doesn’t hold up well under high traffic conditions.
The municipally-owned course is closed during the process. It shut down on June 21 and is scheduled to host a grand reopening on Sept. 1 as a Tee It Forward course.
The new greens will be firmer and smoother. The grass is designed to hold up better under heavy traffic, require less water and to withstand extreme heat and cold conditions. In the long run there is no question that golfers will enjoy a better experience because of the decision made by the Goose Pond Colony Board of Directors.
Tee It Forward will also be a boon for the course. If promoted correctly, the program that evolved as a partnership between the USGA and PGA, will bring more people out to play.
Tee It Forward allows golfers the opportunity to play a course more suited to their abilities. The result is better scores, faster play and more enjoyment for the golfer who doesn’t play regularly.
Goose Pond Colony general manager Lyle Sosebee said the goal is to make Goose Pond Plantation “more family friendly.”
He believes Tee It Forward will accomplish that objective and that the program will entice more people to take up the game and come to the course more often.
In two visits to the course this week, I was impressed. First the preparations for the installation of the new greens had been completed perfectly by Chris Settles and his grounds crew at the facility. The new tees that have been installed and others that will be added in the interim will allow golfers at all levels of ability to shoot more often for pars and birdies.
Any game should be fun. Golf can be long and laborious if one is struggling through a five-hour round and scrambling to just make bogeys.
Tee It Forward should help shorten the time it takes to play, let average golfers experience what it is like to score better and increase participation in what is a good sport.
Our hats are off to Settles, who serves as course superintendent, Sosebee, PGA professional David Sikes and the GPC board of directors. The decision to replace the greens was a good one in and of itself. Throw in the Tee If Forward program and you’ve got a win-win situation for the course and everyone who gives the layout a try.
I haven’t hit a golf ball in at least five to six years. Soon after GPP reopens, I plan to pull out the sticks and give the game a try again. I figure if I practice a bit, tee it forward to compensate for age and a loss of flexibility I might find out I can enjoy the game again like I once did.
I suggest you give the game a try yourself whether you’ve played before or are brand new to the game.
At the least you’ll enjoy the scenery on a course that will be like new.
As Settles said, “not many people around here realize how good they’ve got it. We’ve got two good golf courses to play.”
Take advantage of what Scottsboro has to offer and get a little exercise to boot. You’ll be glad you did.