Wedgewood Golf Course will be getting a new look this spring. More specifically, the fairways at the course just outside of Halstead will undergo a transformation as the old grass is killed off and new Bermuda grass is sprigged in starting in May.
Additionally, Wedgewood Golf Course superintendent Sam Eberly noted the tee boxes will be cleaned up as well and converted to Rye grass, but the changes to the fairway in particular could benefit any golfers who come out for a round.
"Right now, we have a variety of different grasses in the fairways, so it's going to put uniformity on the golf course with the fairways. Ball roll will be extended off the tee and a cleaner shot can happen with hitting the ball off the Bermuda instead of off the four or five different types of grass we have out there," Eberly said. "There's a chance it also speeds up play."
These improvements to the fairway are changes Eberly said he has been wanting to make since he took the position with Wedgewood Golf Course. While not as significant as the work that went into converting the course from sand greens in the mid-80s, he said these improvements will address some issues that have cropped up since that initial work — and, hopefully, make the course like new again.
"Over the years ... different grasses can get mixed in with the fairway, different types of weeds, so we're trying to take it back to the original course, just with a different type of Bermuda," Eberly said. "We've done so many changes in a positive way at the golf course; this is just the biggest thing that I saw that I really wanted to get accomplished."
After talking with other golf courses and getting ideas for potential improvements, Eberly brought the current renovation plans before the Halstead City Council in February and ultimately got approval for work not to exceed $30,000, with funding coming from the city and course revenue.
Between Eberly and his assistant superintendent, he noted the work on the fairways and tee boxes will be handled in-house, while purchase of the sprigs and equipment rentals to complete the work will go through an outside company. Work on the first half of the fairways will begin on May 21 and 22, while the second round of work will be done on June 4 and 5.
Feedback from other courses suggests a high success rate with sprigging (about 90 to 95 percent coverage in the first year), according to Eberly, and it's something that both avid golfers and the community should be able to take advantage of. For the golfers, the uniformity will enhance the playing experience while it gives the community a course to be proud of and one it could be excited to have events at, like the numerous tournaments held annually.
Eventually, though, Eberly said he is hoping that excitement following the renovations also spreads beyond the Halstead community.
"I'm just really excited to do it. I want not only the Halstead community to come out, but the communities of Newton, Hesston, all the communities in Harvey County to come out and enjoy this course," Eberly said. "It's gonna be a different playing experience from what we've had before in a very positive way, and I'm just excited to see everybody come out."
More information on the course can be found at the city website, www.halsteadks.com.