Members at The Clubs of Kingwood are counting the days until Aug. 30 and the long Labor Day weekend, when the Forest Course will reopen for play following extensive reconstruction. Darrell Fuston, club director of golf, is excited about the renovation. Were already getting requests for tee times and tournament events. The Forest will be the most popular course at the club, which will change the way the club operates, he said. On May 27, crews moved in with heavy equipment to strip and dig out the existing turf on the greens. The sod was harvested for repairs on other Kingwood courses, and excavated soil was used to fill in low areas and recontour the fairway mounds, making them more playable and easier to maintain with new hydro-seeded turf. New sprinklers for the greens and controllers for the entire course will provide better irrigation on every fairway, as well as on and around the greens. Walking paths from tee boxes to the fairways will be cut, as well as a second cut of the rough. In addition, dead trees are being removed, cart paths repaired, and hazard maintenance and drainage improved. The wooden bridge to the 18th tee is also being rebuilt. Fuston explained that the improvements, as a whole, will create a great new appearance to the green. Were very excited. Once the renovations are complete, the Forest Course should be the championship-caliber course it was always meant to be, said Fuston. The newly constructed greens were leveled and fumigated to kill all remaining grass and create a clean, sterile environment for the new TifEagle turf, which was recently sprigged, according to Fuston. The sprigging procedure will create a much better putting surface than other methods. Rainy weather during June caused minor delays, but all is now set for debuting the renovated course on schedule, Fuston said. During construction, the club staff is juggling all activities to schedule the increased play on the Marsh, Lake and Island Courses, and still use the Forest Course when appropriate. For example, junior golf campers have used the Forest Course for target practice and drills using temporary improvised greens cut in the fairways. Fuston said that everyone is cooperating to meet the challenges along the way, keeping the big picture in mind. This will be the rebirth of the Forest Course, said Fuston, adding that he expects the same excitement in anticipation of a similar Marsh Course renovation next year. The club is planning a grand re-opening weekend for play beginning the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. In addition, golfers will enjoy the fleet of brand new golf carts, according to Patrick Pettit, general manager. (Photo:) The reconstruction of the Clubs of Kingwood Forest Course is underway with the reopening set for Aug. 30. Photo by Frances Alexander

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