Volunteers plant grass to hasten Winter Park golf course renovation
By Jessica Inman
WINTER PARK, Fla. – As they shake out fistfuls of faded green-brown Bermuda-grass sprigs over the sand, a small group of volunteers and city employees ready the 101-year-old Winter Park Country Club & Golf Course in preparation for its reopening this fall.
The city dedicated $1.2 million to revitalize the nine-hole layout, which has been closed since the beginning of March, on about 40 acres just north of downtown Winter Park. Officials plan to reveal the final product in September.
On Wednesday, city employees worked alongside a few volunteers and the architect/designer team behind the project to hand-sprig holes No. 5 through 7. That effort was expected to be finished Thursday.
"Everybody knows you can either throw out grass seed and wait for it to grow, or you can put down sod and already have the turf down," said City Manager Randy Knight. "Sprigging's kind of in the middle of those two."
To hand-sprig is to evenly spread pieces of grass stems a few inches long, before they are sealed into the earth by a tractor.
Ted Parsons, an Orlando volunteer with sweat on his brow, said he planned to return to the course Thursday to continue sprigging.
"I've been playing here for about three years," said Parsons. "So I just enjoy coming out, helping out. ... It's not hard work, but it's fun. It'll be good to see the progress."
Parsons was one of three volunteers to lend a hand Wednesday, according to Keith Rhebb, who owns Longwood-based KCR Contracting, which is spearheading the refurbishment.
"This doesn't happen very often where you get a project like this where the community gets involved," he said.
Officials plan to provide refreshments to volunteers at another sprigging event May 28.
And commissioners recently approved the addition of a nine-hole putting area to the Winter Park golf course. Rhebb said there is enough room for 18 holes.
This article was written by Jessica Inman from The Orlando Sentinel and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.