Wintergreen Resort Set to Unveil Remodeled Tuckahoe Nine

The renovation of the Tuckahoe nine on Wintergreen Resort's Stoney Creek Golf Course involves a conversion of the turfgrass to Cavalier Zoysia, a grass type that props the ball for nice lies.

Stoney Creek, the 27-hole Rees Jones design, is the first course in this region of Virginia to implement Cavalier Zoysiagrass, which replaced the bent grass fairways, and fescue green surrounds since the Tuckahoe was added to the original 18 holes in 1998. The official opening of the Tuckahoe nine will be in late May.

"There is no guessing game on the new surface," says Sean Taylor, Wintergreen's director of golf, about the new turf. "It's just a joy to play on it."

The Tuckahoe project also involved new tees on six holes that added more than 300 yards to the length of the course, which can now be stretched to about 3,800 yards. The renovation also involved the creation of Virginia's first 500-yard par-4, the fifth.

"The overall renovation is a significant upgrade from a playability and conditioning standpoint," Taylor said. "It was important that we not comprised any of the integrity of the Rees Jones' design."

While more yards will come through new back tees, also added were a completely new set of juniors-only tees on each hole. Youngsters can now play a course that is about 2,000 yards, with par-3s, -4s and -5s that are fun and have shot value, Taylor said.

Another major part of the Tuckahoe renovation was the complete restoration of all nine greens to the original Jones' specifications and size. New soil was implemented throughout and a tighter bentgrass seeded on each green to maximize retention of a smooth putting surface.

The new tee areas were extended on the original line that Jones started on each hole, maintaining his intended layout. With the extra yardage on the Tuckahoe, Taylor noted, "We have put some more teeth into it."

Most of the bite is noticeable in the stretch of holes 3-5:

* No. 3, par-5: The hole was stretched from 535 yards to 570 yards. A dogleg-left, it's now even tougher to carry a tee shot over the long bunker at the corner. Reaching the green in two still requires carry over Stoney Creek, which cuts completely in front of the green.

* No. 4, par-3: The hole changed from a challenging 188 yards to a monstrous 249-yarder. The tee shot must be placed between a protected wasteland on the left and Stoney Creek on the right, all with enough carry to reach the slightly elevated green.

* No. 5, par-4: The hole jumped from 441 yards to a 501. Starting out of a tree-lined chute, the dogleg-right is affected by Stoney Creek, particularly where the water crosses in front of the tee, and then on the right corner of the fairway. The elevated green retained the ridge that divides it in three sections.

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