At Old Chatham we own 403 acres and of that, 127 acres are maintainable turf (tees, fairways, rough and greens) and another 70 acres are pine straw which gives us almost 200 acres of maintainable area. In 2012 we started to reduce the acres that we maintain with the native grasses such as Pink and White Muhly, Red Switch Grass, and Broom Sedge. These grasses have added character and a visual beauty to the golf course. The Green Committee is committed to continue these types of plantings to continually enhance the look of the golf course as well as reduce many areas that we are currently maintaining.
We also have started converting pine straw areas to a fine fescue grass. These fine fescues are a cool season native grass as opposed to the more ornamental grasses such at the Pink Muhly that is more in season when it is warmer. We have begun implementing a plan from the golf course architect to convert some intensively managed areas of bermudagrass, which are seldom in play, to the cool season native grasses.
These areas are being converted to fine fescues which are not mown and require less water and management inputs than the more intensively maintained bermudagrass rough. These areas account for roughly 2.5 acres combined and, ultimately, the plan will allow us to convert a total of 11 acres from high maintenance bermudagrass to lower maintenance native fescue. While the native grasses will provide a more aesthetic and rustic look when mature, it will take a full 24 months for them to grow together and reach the intended look the architect has in mind.