When the renovated Old Course at Broken Sound Club reopens this fall in Boca Raton, FL., among the changes members will easily see is a layout lengthened to approximately 7,250 yards, five to seven sets of tees on each hole, and new bunkers with G Angle sand. Also, world-renowned architect Rees Jones flipped the 10th holes and 18th holes, making the previous 10th tee the 18th green that helps provide a window that opens of views of several holes from the clubhouse porch.
Jones’ renovation no doubt will make what was an outstanding golf course even better. But there’s more to the Old Course than simply Celebration Bermudagrass on the fairways and rough and TifEagle on the greens. Broken Sound Club, understand, prides itself on being one of the top – of the top – sustainability club in the world. The Old Course is a shining example of that commitment to the environment.
“We’ve taken 30 acres of native grasses and made them maintenance free,’’ said Broken Sound Club Director of Golf Maintenance Shannon Easter. “We use minimal chemicals for weeds and pull most by hand.’’
The Old Course also has 13 beehives throughout its 120 acres. The bees, Easter said, annually produce approximately 1,000 pounds on treatment-free honey. In addition, the Old Course has a 13-acre butterfly garden.
“We re-designed all of the irrigation to actually not hit the beds once we’ve maintained and established them – unless there is a drought situation in which the plant has to have it to stay alive,’’ Easter said.
Most impressive, however, is how Easter and his team keep the lakes clean and free of algae by using 30 pounds per thousand square feet of carbon.
“The lakes have no algae in them,’’ Easter said. “They average about 92 or 93 degrees.’’
How do you have warm lakes with no algae?
“It acts no different than a carbon filter that you would put in your refrigerator or water filter or air conditioner,’’ Easter said. “We keep all the nutrients in the top six inches of soil. So, when you go in and test our water (approximately every six months), it’s comparable to the water that comes out of most water treatment plants.’’
Photos Courtesy of Broken Sound Club