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On the Green: Greg Norman signature course offers a challenge to avid golfers

Open for just a year, The Grove’s Greg Norman signature golf course is a delightful experience, for the avid golfer and beginner alike. 

Meandering throughout the community, the course is the “heart of The Grove,” said Mark Enderle, a Leiper’s Fork resident and partner in the ownership group behind the community. 

Norman chose Williamson County and The Grove for his only course in the region due to the beauty of the area, calling Middle Tennessee “magnificent country.” 

The internationally known golfer and successful businessman Norman last visited The Grove in June 2012, and he met with home site owners and members of the local media to showcase the course and talk about his design philosophy.

The par-72, 18-hole course with a yardage of 7,350 flows seamlessly into the natural landscape of the area, which is one of Norman’s core principles when designing a course.

“My attitude when I came here was the least disturbance approach and to build a course that would fit into the natural topography of what Tennessee has to offer, and, obviously, the vegetation is beautiful here,” Norman said.

“When we design a course, people always ask what my signature hole is. I don’t believe in having a signature hole; all 18 should be that way.”  

 Presenting a challenging course is important to Norman; but he wants it to be enjoyable, so that “no matter how far you hit the ball through the air, you need to be able to finish your round.”

“You want to make sure everyone enjoys that round of golf, whether you are shooting 100’s or the 60’s.”  

“Greg has given us an incomparable course that will thrill and challenge golfers here for many years to come,” Enderle said. 

Among the many remarkable features of the course are the putting greens, which have MiniVerde Ultradwarf Bermudagrass from Modern Turf, Inc., a South Carolina-based company that specializes in growing and installing a complete variety of turfgrass for the golf and landscape industries.

“Greg Norman’s courses are known the world over for their simplicity of design and exceptional play,” Hank Kerfoot, president of Modern Turf, said. “We have no doubt that the MiniVerde Ultradwarf Bermudagrass fits in beautifully with Mr. Norman’s vision for The Grove’s championship greens.”

The MiniVerde Ultradwarf Bermudagrass produces deep roots and is characterized by fine leaf blades, short internodes and high shoot density.

“As with so many courses in the Southeast, The Grove will contend with heat, humidity, drought and, alternatively, rainfall, frosts and even snow,” Kerfoot said. The Ultradwarf Bermudagrass is as durable as it is beautiful. And, in terms of the environment, it is a superior product to traditional bentgrass greens.”

The Grove’s fairways and rough areas are sodded with Zorro zoysia grass. It will provide a nice contrast to the roughs which are being sodded with 419 Bermudagrass. 419 Bermuda is a very popular grass for roughs and is found on a majority of golf courses in the South.

Norman’s experience playing many of the world’s great golf courses over the span of his 25-year career served as a catalyst to develop his interest in golf course design. 

First established in 1987, Greg Norman Golf Course Design is today recognized as one of the premier signature golf course design firms in the world. 

Headquartered in West Palm Beach, Fla., with a sister facility and personnel in Beijing, China, Greg Norman Golf Course Design has opened 78 courses for play worldwide, with an additional 39 projects in various stages of development.  

During his professional golf career, Norman has collected a total of 91 international victories, including two British Open Championships and 20 U.S. PGA Tour titles. 

The same commitment and determination that made Norman the No. 1 player in the world for 331 weeks and resulted in a World Golf Hall of Fame induction now propel his multinational company, Great White Shark Enterprises, to similar achievements.

 

The success of Norman’s course design gained the interest of the Tennessee Golf Foundation and Middle Tennessee State Golf team, which led to partnerships with The Grove.

The agreement between the Tennessee Golf Foundation, announced in the summer of 2012, will include a variety of events and programs aimed at fostering the skills of Tennessee’s junior golfers. The Grove has held Tennessee Junior Cup matches hosted by PGA Tour member Scott Stallings. 

The Tennessee Golf Foundation operates a variety of junior golf programs across Tennessee and also provides grants to other organizations that conduct junior golf programs.

 “TGF looks forward to working with The Grove in establishing it as a home for the best junior golfers and excellent young players in middle and all of Tennessee,” said Dick Horton, Tennessee Golf Foundation president and CEO. 

The Foundation will develop and administer an individual youth golfer rewards program in which deserving individuals in middle school through college-age golfers, as well as aspiring and young Tour professionals, will be given playing and practice privileges at The Grove. The goal of this program is to have The Grove become the home of future champions. 

The Grove will make its world-class facilities available to the Foundation’s Tennessee PGA Junior Golf Academy Program, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2013, and will serve as a play and practice facility for The First Tee of Nashville’s Ace-level players. 

Two of the bigger events to be hosted by The Grove include a two-day event each summer for the TaylorMade Adidas Golf Championship Series, which, statewide, consists of more than 1,500 young people, and the TGA Boys or Girls Tennessee Junior Championship, the state’s premier annual junior event, which The Grove will host every three years. 

Enderle, an avid golfer, believes that the game provides character building and sportsmanship lessons.

 “Our mission at the Grove is to provide the richest golf experience possible to our members,” said Enderle, “this includes exposing them to the best young players in the area and giving them a sense of giving back to the game that has and is giving us so much.”

Posted on: 9/18/2013

 
 

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