New Greens Close Old Chatham To Golfers For Summer

By Dale Gibson, read full article here.

Durham, NC, July 13, 2012 –(– Golf courses increasingly are switching their greens from traditional bent grass, which is prone to succumb to searing summer heat without nearly constant watering, to a more heat-tolerant seed called Champion Bermuda. Among them is the exclusive Old Chatham Golf Club, which is closed until Sept. 1 so the work can be done.

“We have had no complaints” about the closing, says John Marino, Old Chatham Golf Club’s head golf professional.

From now until early fall, ground crews will replace the grass on all 18 greens.

“It’s a better playing surface for more weeks a year,” says Greg Muirhead, senior vice president at Rees Jones Inc., a golf course design company in Montclair, N.J.

The cost for digging out the old grass and reseeding likely won’t top $100,000, says Marino. However, because the course will be closed anyway, the club decided to do some other work, including cart path renovations and the addition of some sand bunkers. Combined, the cost will reach about $500,000, Marino says.

Old Chatham was founded by some Triangle high-rollers who wanted a great golf experience and one that’s not crowded. Founders include former IBM board chairman Paul Rizzo, Franklin Street Trust Co. President Rex Teaney and Tar Heel basketball legend Dean Smith.

“We’re trying to make golf fun,” says Jim Hyler, former president of the U.S. Golf Association and an Old Chatham founder. “We’re really excited about (the change).”

About Old Chatham Golf Club:

Established in 2001 by area business leaders, the Old Chatham Golf Club is a Triangle-based club with the charm and character of the classics. Old Chatham Golf Club is nestled just minutes from the I-40 corridor with 400 acres of rolling hills rich in native pines and oaks. In this secluded yet convenient location, members and their guests can escape to the tranquility of an uncrowded retreat, characterized by gracious hospitality with an emphasis on quality and comfort. For more information, visit






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