Construction on new greens at The Club at Hidden Creek golf course will start in April.
“I think it’s fantastic,” said general manager Dave Taylor. “By having the best greens in the area, we’re bringing in people from all around town.”
Holley-Navarre Water System Inc. bought the golf course in November and allotted $500,000 in 2013 for capital improvements. The cost to refurbish all 18 holes is $300,000. This is the first time the golf course has been locally owned and operated, Taylor said.
“It goes to show Holley-Navarre Water System is in it for the long haul and is willing to put money back in the golf course,” Taylor said.
The current greens are 25 years old and have never been replaced, Taylor said. The new greens will “make a big difference” in attracting bigger events to the course. Taylor said his hope would be to host a U.S. Open qualifier and other professional tournaments.
“The goal was to reestablish the golf course as the top course in the Florida Panhandle,” Taylor said.
The facelift includes cutting out the existing greens and resizing the slope. Construction workers will replace six inches of subsurface, made up of sand and profile, and a fumigate company will spray for roots and weeds.
Taylor said the new sprigs of grass would be planted the first week of May. Coverage will increase from 90,000 square-feet of green to 115,000 square-feet. The particular grass is called Mini Verde, Taylor said, and has a nine to 11 green speed, which is fast according to The United States Golf Association and the U.S. Open recommendations. The fastest greens in the world are at Oakmont Country Club in California are some of the fastest in the world, with readings of 13–15 feet.
The course will not be remodeled. During construction, temporary greens will be set up near the existing greens starting April 13. Taylor said there will be discounted rates and it is an excellent opportunity to inexpensively drive golf balls instead of putting. The tentative reopening is set for July 4.
Those who have questions about golfing during construction can call the golf shop for updates at (850) 939-4604.
More updates planned for the golf club include an $180,000 lease for new mowers and maintenance equipment, increased staff and $80,000 for additional equipment.
A new website, www.theclubathiddencreek.com, will be online in a few weeks.
The Panhandle Pass has also been revamped and is available for purchase. Those who buy the flat-fee pass receive discounted rates for other golf courses in the nearby area including Tiger Point Golf & Country Club, Scenic Hills Country Club, Stonebrook Golf Club and Marcus Pointe Golf Club. Pass holders receive a free round of golf and a pack of 15 golf balls from the club at which they buy the pass