VIDEO - PGA Tour Network's Brian Katrek Discusses Legacy's New Greens at Legacy Media Day 4 Oct 2011

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VIDEO - Legacy's General Manager Chad Derusseau Discusses the New Greens With Golfers 22 Sep 2011

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"Your greens were the absolute best we'd ever played!!!  The Legacy will be on our trip planner every year for as long as we come to the sandhills."  

Eric

3/9/12

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The Fayetteville Observer

Published: Wed Oct 05, 2011


Out of the Rough: Legacy's new greens roll to perfection

If you want to get a feel for the greens the pros putted on in the Tour Championship two weeks ago, play a round at Legacy Golf Links in Aberdeen.

 

Legacy reopened recently with greens resurfaced in the same grass as East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta where the Tour Championship was played.

Legacy invited the media out Tuesday to have a look and it was impressive.

The grass is called MiniVerde, a new strain of Bermuda. Legacy is the first course in the Sandhills to use it.

"This is the future of golf maintenance in the Southeast," said Craig Current, president of an Atlanta company that manages Legacy. "These greens have turned out wonderful."

Bermuda grass had a bad reputation in years past of producing slower putting surfaces. But not this strain. There is no grain to slow down putts or bump them off line.

Legacy's greens are flawless and plenty fast. It is doubtful any greens in the area roll as smooth as Legacy's.

"Our company has a lot of experience with this form of grass," Current said. "We've been highly successful with it."

The course closed in June for three months to install the grass. The move was made because MiniVerde is much more heat tolerant and can handle the scorching summers in North Carolina.

But the work on the course actually began about four years ago.

"This project started with tree removal, green surround work and lots of research and advice," said Legacy general manager Chad Derusseau. "The installation of the grass is actually the final step in a long process."

The greens also react the way they are supposed to - they hold long shots but chip shots land, release and roll to the hole.

The renovation also enlarged the greens because the collars had encroached on the surfaces over the years. Now, more pin positions are available.

The greens are on a fine Jack Nicklaus II layout that is celebrating its 20th anniversary.

My favorite hole is the 391-yard, par-4 10th. The tee shot is across a body of water but it is angled so the golfer can decide how much of the hazard he wants to take on. If you play it safe, you have a longer second shot.

Water hazards also come into play on the par-3 holes but there are no forced carries. Nicklaus leaves room for bailouts.

The signature hole is also the most difficult - the 459-yard, par-4 18th. It is nicknamed "The Bear" for good reason with a water hazard guarding most of the front of the green.

Players are also advised to stay out of the rough. You can spend time just trying to find your ball, much less hit it out.

"We worked all summer on growing grass," Current said. "We have a lot of healthy grass out there."

Green fees at Legacy range from $49 to $109 depending on the season. To make a tee time, call 800-344-8825.

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The Pilot

As of Saturday, October 8, 2011

by Howard Ward

Verdict Is In: Legacy Greens Are Superb

The verdict is in: The Jack Nicklaus II-designed layout has come up with a winning combination of a great design now featuring one of the best putting surfaces in the area.

The new grass is a strain of Ultra-Dwarf Bermuda, the same putting surface used at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, where the recent PGA Tour Championship was held.

“These greens are perfect,” said Steve Williams, secretary of the Carolinas Golf Reporters Association. “You know I like them … I had two birdies.”

Craig Current is president of the Atlanta-based company that manages Legacy. He was excited about the way the greens accepted approach shots and the true roll of putts.

“The greens have turned out wonderful,” he said. “We have two courses in Atlanta that have this grass so we knew what we were getting.”

Legacy general manager Chad Derusseau was enjoying the outing following three months of working at a club with a course closed for the renovations.

“I shot 77 here a couple of days ago,” Derusseau said, “so I’m claiming the record on the renovated course.”

Derusseau had the opportunity to set a new “record” on Tuesday but ran afoul of the tough signature 18th hole, a 459-yard par-4 with an approach shot over water, and made double bogey.

The demanding hole, nicknamed “The Bear,” lived up to its reputation.

The MiniVerde grass has a smaller blade than the old Bermuda, allowing for a smooth roll with little of the grain previously associated with Bermuda.

The grass also accepts approach shots as well as the more familiar bentgrass, and ball marks are not nearly as damaging. Also, green speed can be as fast as wanted.

One warning when playing Legacy over the next few days, however: Stay out of the rough.

“We just kind of let the grass grow while we were renovating the greens,” Derusseau said, “so the rough is a little higher than we like, especially for a resort course. It’s about the same length Pinehurst No. 2 was for the 2005 U.S. Open.”

That is being taken care of, though, and the rough is being gradually mowed back to a playable length.

“We worked all summer on growing grass,” Current joked. “As you saw, we have a lot of healthy grass out there.”

Brian Katrek, of the PGA Tour Network Radio, did his two-hour show from Legacy earlier in the week and predicted that MiniVerde is the grass of the future for courses that experience severe temperatures in the summer.

“The PGA Tour is very fortunate that it doesn’t have to come to courses when they’re battling the elements,” he said. “Except for the majors — such as the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship — they pretty much follow the seasons where conditions are most favorable. Weather issues that face courses don’t normally face the Tour.

“This is not your father’s Bermuda grass. The greens were so perfect in Atlanta that they looked like they had been air-brushed.”

Legacy is the second course in the Sandhills to convert to Bermuda greens. Hyland Golf Course did it a couple of years ago and the results have been astounding.

The greens at Hyland, although of a slightly different strain than those at Legacy, held up so well during the recent brutal heat of summer that several Carolinas Golf Association qualifying events were moved there from other courses that were suffering damaged putting surfaces.

The changeover at Legacy was handled in-house, with course superintendent Mike Norton and assistant Shaun Kerr overseeing the work.

The popular Legacy course, which has only around 60 members, caters to package play and is open to the public year round. Rates range from $49 to $109, depending on the season. For information or tee times, call (910) 944-8825.

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