Renovations under way at Coral Oaks Golf Course
Renovations taking place at Coral Oaks Golf Course are running ahead of schedule and expected to be completed by Oct. 1 in time for the return of winter seasonal residents.
The improvements on the city’s only municipal course were previously approved by City Council at $307,000. During the renovations, a reduced rate of $20 per round starting before 3 p.m. and just $15 after 3 p.m. is being offered to any and all players. Those rates include a golf cart and tax.
Every green on the Arthur Hills designed championship course has been reshaped to its 1987 original size, cored and sprigged with new TifEagle Bermuda grass. This construction portion of the project is now complete and the new grass will take 14 to 16 weeks to grow in.
“The greens were finished two weeks ago,” said greens superintendent Eric Oster. “The grass is growing in now. In fact, we just started walk mowing them. We will do normal maintenance on them during the grow-in period. Each of the greens was enlarged by about 1,000 square feet once we found the original edges.”
New grass also was sprigged on the chipping and putting practice greens plus one nursery green for a total of 21 greens. Temporary greens were cut into the fairways 30 feet from the regular greens during the reconstruction.
Tee boxes on three holes and the fairways on two holes were improved by sprigging two different types of Bermuda grass before the end of May.
“The city is removing the cattails from some of the lakes, but there are no renovations on them,” said Oster. “Only one chipping bunker had some reshaping done to it and the putting green now has two tiers.”
Oster said the main reason the renovations were necessary is because over time grass other than Bermuda creeps in. The putting surface becomes contaminated and is inconsistent. Greens at the course were last done in 2000, he said.
“We’ve had 20 inches of rain on the course since May 1,” said Oster. “That generally helps with the grow-in, but we also had some washouts that we had to go back in and fix. The course is starting to dry out some and we are finally catching up. We just have to be patient with it.”
One of the main summer attractions at the course is the highly successful Cape Coral Junior Golf Association program that serves a maximum 250 kids each year.
“We’re able to work around the renovations though some of the holes are a bit shorter,” said association president Mark Selby. “With some of the lessons we can’t use the chipping and putting greens, so that makes it tougher. The kids are still having fun and enjoying it. Kids just like getting out there and playing.”
Temporary tee and green areas are being use by the kids’ program as well.
“The best thing is the weather has been cooperating,” said Selby. “We lucked out the first week (June 5) when rain was around us and another time it came about 1 o’clock after everyone had gone home.”
The popular ladies night program held every Tuesday continues throughout the duration of the project. It starts with a free clinic at 4 p.m. followed by a 9-hole scramble at 5 p.m. with help from the golf pros. Players must register ($20) one week in advance. Other group outings, private parties and professional instructions continue uninterrupted as well.
“Many people like to come out to use the driving range just to practice,” said Oster. “The range is open daily.”