Cotton Dike Course “Turned Out Great” and Is Open for Play
With its renovated, Tom Fazio-designed Cotton Dike golf course garnering rave reviews, officials at Dataw Island Club have moved construction activities to the Morgan River course, as they complete a $5.4 million renovation of the island’s 36 holes of world-class golf.
Work endorsed by Fazio began last spring on the Cotton Dike course. With 18 greens cored out and re-contoured, new grass and a host of other improvements, the course reopened in mid-October.
“Our members are happy with the improved playability. And I think it turned out great,” agrees Brian Hollingsworth, director of golf maintenance at Dataw. He added that the work on the Arthur Hills-designed Morgan River course is a bit less involved than the Cotton Dike project was, and the second course should reopen in September.
The renovations include: replacing irrigation on both courses; straightening and repairing cart paths; coring out and re-contouring the greens on the Morgan River course and tilling the surfaces of remaining greens; re-grassing of all greens, including the putting green and chipping areas near the Clubhouse with Miniverde ultradwarf Bermuda grass; improving the bunkering on both courses, with new drainage, sand and contouring; lake bank restoration; tree pruning to allow more sunlight on fairways and greens; and golf cart parking improvements at the driving range.
“Our members did their homework before committing to a project this large,” recalls Ted Bartlett, general manager and chief operating officer of the Dataw Island Club. “they believe in our community, love the incredible designs of both courses and want to restore them to reflect the designers’ intentions.
“Clearly, we accomplished this and more with the Cotton Dike course. And I’m confident we’ll be just as happy with Morgan River.”
Hollingsworth adds that golfers familiar with the courses will feel right at home. Indeed, Tom Fazio sent the club a letter stating the upgrades would maintain the integrity of his Cotton Dike design. As work proceeds on Morgan River, Hollingsworth explains, Billy Fuller Golf Design of Atlanta is overseeing every detail. The biggest changes will involve three greens that will be adjusted to reflect growth in the trees surrounding them.
“Redoing those greens will make a big difference,” Hollingsworth says, adding that pin placement changes and careful tree pruning will help the new grass grow into lush, fast carpets. “Those changes have prompted us to adjust the nearby bunkers to improve playability.”
Working with Billy Fuller, A.S. Altum and Associates has overseen the irrigation design. TDI Golf is building the green features and bunkers. All green irrigation is renovating the irrigation system and installing new components.