Tuesday, May 24, 2022 |
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The Wailua Golf Course is ready to host a major United States Golf Association event, such as the USGA Amateur Public Links Championships, states a report from the USGA Green Section.
It has been more than two years since a representative of the USGA Green Section visited the Wailua Golf Course to rate the condition of its turf, states a county release. The results of this visit were more positive than the County of Kaua‘i could have imagined.
“Since the time of the last visit in the summer of 2009, the overall change on the golf course is one of the best seen in the 28 years by the USGA Green Section,” said Larry Gilhuly, USGA Northwest Director.
Gilhuly noted while putting surfaces at the Wailua Golf Course are certainly not “perfect,” they are easily the best municipal greens viewed in Hawai‘i and are superior to many of the well-known resort courses in the state, the turf advisory states.
“Your players now have the finest combination of turf health and playing conditions at any municipal course in the state of Hawai‘i,” he said.
The report concludes the Wailua Golf Course is now ready to host a major USGA event. The last time an event of this magnitude was played at Wailua was more than a decade ago and the course was not yet deemed ready to host an event of this caliber.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and in particular, the employees of the Wailua Golf Course for this achievement,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr. “The employees and staff have worked extremely hard and take such pride in the golf course. It is truly a jewel for residents and visitors alike.”
The Wailua Golf Course is scheduled to be the site of the 2012 David S. Ishii Foundation Hawai‘i High School Athletic Association girls and boys state championships in May of 2012, the girls being on the course, May 1 and 2 followed by the boys teeing off, May 8 and 9, 2012.
Lenny Rapozo, the county’s Department of Parks and Receation Director, said the successful transition from Bermuda grass to Seashore Paspalum was a major factor in the improved rating from the USGA.
“To make such a quick transition in the past two years is a credit to our golf course crew and was especially appreciated and acknowledged by the USGA,” Rapozo said. “We’ll be working with them to schedule a future event here which will provide national exposure and economic benefit to the course and the island as a whole.”
In its report, the USGA suggested improvements including the continuation to “plug” Seashore Paspalum in areas where Bermuda grass is still present, expand the Seashore Paspalum conversion to tee boxes, “brush” greens by utilizing specialized brushes on mowers, utilizing organic fertilizers to rid fairways of worms and worm castings, and the recycling of sand during the aeration process.
The USGA’s turf advisory service is intended to provide an unbiased evaluation of golf course conditions and assist golf course managers in improving conditions while keeping the facility’s budget in mind.
• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@ thegardenisland.com.
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