Sitting just west of Dalton in Rocky Face, the private course is scheduled to complete a greens restoration project on Aug. 31.
The bentgrass greens that have been a part of the course since it opened in 1988 are being replaced with Mini Verde Bermuda grass greens.
Deck Cheatham, the club’s director of golf, said the type of Bermuda grass they chose is similar to bentgrass but is not as grainy.
“In terms of playing on it, the Bermuda is a much more consistent surface,” Cheatham said. “While the bentgrass greens play faster, they are unpredictable.”
The front nine greens will reopen on Friday, while the rest are set to be ready on Aug. 31, a week before The Farm hosts some of the top college golf teams in the nation for the annual Carpet Capital Collegiate Classic.
“The big thing they will notice is the greens are considerably firmer,” Cheatham said. “The players will have to take that into consideration, and I think it will be a harder test for them this time around.”
The process of changing over all of the greens began in early June following the club’s annual Clay Dykes Invitational tournament.
After killing off the old bentgrass, sprigs of the new Bermuda grass were planted on the greens and then covered and watered on a regular basis.
The record-setting heat waves that pelted Georgia during the two-month process brought out one of the reasons behind the substitution.
“Bentgrass is not very heat tolerant,” Cheatham said. “It tends to struggle during periods of extreme heat and drought. It is a battle to keep it up in the climate that we’re in.”
So instead of the constant watering during the summer months that still led to brown, thin greens, Bob Shaw, owner of The Farm, decided to switch to the cost-saving Mini Verde Bermuda grass. His choice was also guided by watching last year’s PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club.
“They have the Champion string of Bermuda grass on their greens and had switched over before the tournament,” Cheatham said.
“Everybody was worried how it was going to play, but then after the tournament everyone, from the players to the fans, was raving about it.”
Cheatham said he believes more area courses will switch to Bermuda greens because of the increasingly warm summers.
“The heat has been good for us,” he said. “The Bermuda just loves it, and I think it was done at the right time.”