Be “fore”-warned, Jaycee’s Golf Course is not the same track you played a few months ago.
After a couple of months of hard work by course superintendent Mike Wilson and a generous host of community support, Jaycee’s has become more of a thinker’s course than ever before.
I rode the course with Wilson Friday afternoon, the first day the facility was reopened to the public after a seven-week layoff for upgrades and maintenance. And what Wilson was able to do with a budget of less than $100,000 is nothing short of impressive.
Wilson first focused on the tee boxes, which had been, much like the greens, turtle-back in shape. Wilson, with a little help from his friends, utilized some heavy equipment to strip the top layer of grass from the tee boxes and level them off considerably, transplanting tif-dwarf grass from the greens to re-sod.
Wilson then focused on some portions of the course that had limited or no grass, taking sod from other areas of the course to strip and sod those areas. He has been generous with the water since then, allowing the sod to take root and thrive before the cruel summer heat truly sets in.
Wilson and his cohorts then attacked the greens, which were limited in usage due to the nature of the severe sloping from the middle out in most cases. Again, with a little help from friends with big toys, Wilson redesigned several greens completely, from gentle undulations to severe multi-tier greens that now top out at around 6,000 square feet.
Wilson also added a couple of well-placed bunkers and created drainage so the course doesn’t wash out in heavy rains, or during his watering cycles, now that all the sprinkler heads are operative, something else he tackled during the renovations.
What Wilson has accomplished is creating a golf course where a grip it and rip it attitude will get you in more trouble more often. It didn’t make the course more difficult to play, only makes the way you play a little different. Instead of hitting it hard and hunting, one will need to think their way around the course a little more than before.
Wilson’s top project is on No. 8, a par 5 that previously led to a green that was, in his own word, a joke. It sloped so severely from back to front that anything above the hole was trouble. Wilson flattened the green out, extended the front-guarding bunker, dug out a pond front left of the apron and built a retaining wall around the water.
Between the bunker and green, Wilson had clumps of Bermuda laid in to frame the green. It is now, in my opinion and Wilson’s, the signature hole on the course.
For $22.50 for all-day play with a cart, Jaycee’s has always been a bargain. With the improvements Wilson has made it’s an absolute steal.
It’s worth that much just to see No. 8.
Chan Davis is a sports writer for The Commercial. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.