Five years after Tradition Golf Club shed its old greens for Sunday Bermudagrass, the effects are being felt more than ever.
“Every year since the install we have continued to grow our number of rounds played,” said Kurtis Kuhn the head golf professional and general manager at Tradition. “I always like to say the best customer is a repeat customer and our greens keep them coming back to Tradition.
“The feedback we get from players is how smooth the new surface is. The new Sunday Bermuda produces a smooth and true roll and that is great for the players. The Sunday Bermuda is a great fit for the M.O of the course; the design of our layout is focused around our putting surfaces and the new grass really shows off the course in a great way.”
The 2018 project to ditch the old Tifdwarf in favor of the Sunday did wonders for the putting surfaces, of course. The re-shaped greens were rolling truer than they had in the previous decade and players were rewarded even more for solid approach shots.
Naturally, golfers have loved it, hence the renewed attention that comes across in the form of the tee sheets.
The “Why?” Isn’t hard to figure out.
As Kuhn alluded to, Tradition was always all about playability. It’s fairways are relatively forgiving, forced carries are kept to a minimum and even errant shots left or right of the fairway are typically findable. All of those aspects of the course were true back in 1996, when Ron Garl’s lone Grand Strand project was unveiled as part of what would become the Waccamaw Golf Trail.
By installing the Sunday, then, there is a fantastic bow atop the 6,300-yard track (from the whites).
“Tradition stacks up well against all other courses in the Pawleys Island area,” Kuhn said. “We are an excellent course that provides playability for all levels of skill set. We offer the old school feel of mature tree lined fairways but also provide the new school feel with the two island greens and risk-reward shots on the Par 5’s.”
THE EARLY CHALLENGE
One of those in particular has always caught our eye.
On No. 4, the 510-yard Par 5 (pictured right) is a beauty of a hole where Garl did some of his best work here. The tee shot is framed by a right-side bunker and a tree up the left. But get past there and prepare for the rest of it to come into picture.
The final 80 or so yards break hard to the left, leaving most players with a third shot over the cove of a pond into the green. Those who choose to shave off that danger can do so easily, but that’s not the approach most will utilize.
“It is a perfect fit for Tradition,” Kuhn said. “It gives you the ability to play the hole in many ways. It is a perfect risk reward hole with the water protecting the green. If you are going to give it a shot in two you need to hit two perfect shots, but it also allows you plenty of room to play safely off the tee and with your lay-up to rely on your wedge play to make birdie. With the water surrounding the left side of the green I believe it is one of the best views on the golf course.”