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Monday, March 22, 2010

River Oaks Face Lift 2/3rd Done

River Oaks holes reopen

The Fox nine at River Oaks Golf Plantation reopened Friday after undergoing renovations that included new cart paths and reworked bunkers.

Cart paths were replaced on the entire nine holes at the 27-hole facility, irrigation work was done, and about 1,800 trees were removed to open up fairway corridors and help grass grow by exposing it to more sunlight. Some bunkers were removed and others were made smaller or less severe to soften the course for higher handicap players.

"For the good player the bunkers are still in the right places and are deep enough to give you some challenge if you're in them," said Dave Downing, president of Signature Golf Group, which manages River Oaks.

Some sodding and seeding is continuing this upcoming week, particularly around the new cart paths. The course has been closed since Oct. 5 and was scheduled to reopen on March 1, but the renovations were slowed by an exceptionally cold and wet winter. "I didn't think there was any way we wouldn't reopen by March 1," Downing said.

Similar work on the Otter nine preceded the Fox renovations last summer and improvements to the Bear nine are planned, though there are no dates set. Designer Craig Schreiner designed the changes and superintendent Patrick Donelan, who has previously worked at Wild Wing Plantation and Barefoot Resort, helped implement them.

The undulating greens on all 27 holes were redone a few years ago, and they now feature Champions ultradwarf Bermudagrass.

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