The Pompano Beach Municipal Golf Course is slated to close its signature course, The Pines, on April 3 to begin work regrassing the course with platinum paspalum grass. Dependent on the weather, the course will be closed for approximately four months while construction is underway. The other 18-hole course on the property, the Palms, will remain open during this period.
In their March 14 commission meeting, the City of Pompano Beach approved a measure authorizing city staff to fulfill a $1.5 million contract with Country Club Services Inc. for the regrassing services. The bidding process for the contract was waived as part of the resolution to award the contract to the constructor. The City received no proposals to regrass the course by the deadline set late last year.
Tammy Good, a capital improvement plan manager who spoke at the meeting, said, “everyone was really, really busy.”
The contractor has previously worked on the Pines Course and has provided “exemplary” work according to the request to bypass the bidding process. Good said when no bids were received that several informal verbal quotes were attained from other firms in order to ensure a fair price was reached with the contractor.
In 2019, Country Club Services Inc. provided regrassing services for replacing the putting surfaces and collars on the Pines course’s greens. Also, some test plots of paspalum were installed throughout the Pines course, “which have been very successful,” according to Golf Course Manager Brian Campbell.
“There has been a pretty substantial difference” in how much better the paspalum has performed in the conditions, said Robert Farina, owner of Country Club Services, Inc., saying that “the paspalum has thrived; it’s taken over the Bermuda grass.” This is especially encouraging for golfers hoping to enjoy new turf because Bermuda grass is notoriously difficult to kill and can compete with the new turf for dominance and nutrients.
While the word “Bermuda” elicits the image of a pristine beach with perfect white sand in your mind, the paspalum turf thrives in the sandy soil and high-salinity water more than the Bermuda grass. The proximity to the beach and the reclaimed water used for irrigation combine to create ideal conditions for the paspalum.
Good said that this should “reduce the burden on maintenance” due to the test plots of turf thriving in the conditions and its robustness in the face of aggressive wear and tear exhibited by golfers. Although decreased costs and increased revenue might not be relied upon to keep the course operational, “a golf course in better shape tends to get more income,” Farina said.
Scope of work
In the weeks leading to the closure, there were two closures of the Pines course for preparations. The main construction is to begin April 3, which includes ripping up and replacing the fairways, roughs, tee boxes and the area surrounding the greens.
All construction is meant to reflect the Greg Norman design, besides making the tee boxes on par threes larger in order to reduce wear and tear. The fairway and green-side bunkers are also slated to be reconstructed. All fairway bunkers are specifically required by the contract to be in the line of sight of a golfer standing on the tee box.
The main sodding process will begin with a reverse-rotation rototiller and soil renovator. This machine clears the layers of earth right below the surface of all sorts of debris so that the grass can take root easier.
While the ground is being prepared for sodding, reconstruction on all of the bunkers will take place. Then, after months of laboring, more than 1,600 Georgia Bushels of new platinum paspalum grass will be placed and begin to take root.