Tiger’s Eye Golf Links, one of the more decorated courses in Brunswick County, closed at the conclusion of business Sunday for the renovation of its greens.
The course’s original G2 bentgrass greens are being replaced with TifEagle ultradwarf Bermudagrass, and the 17-year-old 7,014-yard Tim Cate design is expected to reopen on or around Sept. 15.
“These are the original G2 bentgrass greens and they’ve served us well over the years, but it was time to make a change. They’ve been getting stressed in the summer,” said Ocean Ridge Plantation marketing director Bill Long.
Tiger’s Eye is one of the four courses known as “The Big Cats” at Ocean Ridge in Sunset Beach, N.C. It has been ranked among the top 10 public courses in North Carolina by Golf Magazine on several occasions, and in the top 15 among public courses in the state by Golfweek multiple times.
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Tiger’s Eye will be the third Ocean Ridge course to transition to Bermuda from bent greens since 2010. Panther’s Run and Lion’s Paw, which are both older, have MiniVerde Bermuda, while Leopard’s Chase, which opened in 2007, still has its orginal L93 bentgrass. “Leopard’s Chase’s L93 bentgrass greens are holding up well thus far this summer so that’s encouraging,” Long said.
There are now fewer than 10 courses on the Grand Strand with bentgrass, a cool-weather grass that tends to become stressed in the summer heat. Long said installing another bentgrass “really wasn’t a strong consideration. We did talk about it, but there has been a move away from bentgrass greens along the Grand Strand.”
Long said several grasses were considered before TifEagle was settled upon. It is on several Strand courses including True Blue Golf Club, Farmstead Golf Links, Prestwick Country Club and Pawleys Plantation, as well as TPC Sawgrass and Harbour Town Golf Links, which host PGA Tour events.
Long said no other significant changes are planned over the next two months. “There will definitely be some rrefreshing of the entire golf course during the renovation, some work you don’t get to when the course is open to players,” Long said.