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Trail Talk

Montgomery Bell State Park Celebrates New Golf Shop
The Tennessee Golf Trail dedicated the new golf shop at the Frank G. Clement Golf Course at Montgomery Bell State Park on Friday, January 7, 2011. The new golf shop features more than 13,000 square feet in an expanded clubhouse with a covered terrace, snack bar, retail shop and cart storage space all in one integrated facility. The new golf shop was funded in Fiscal Year 2006-2007, and is located in a wooded cove just off the first tee. It was designed to complement its natural surroundings and the tradition of Civilian Conservation Corps architecture. It replaces an outdated building, which was demolished to make room for the new facility. The new golf shop builds on other course improvements at Montgomery Bell, including the successful conversion to CHAMPION Bermuda greens and recognition as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site and certification as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary. After the ribbon cutting program, Tennessee State Parks Assistant Commissioner Andy Lyon unveiled a plaque dedicating the new facility as the James H. Fyke Golf Shop in recognition of the Commissioner’s commitment to Tennessee State Parks and his career-long leadership for parks, people and outdoor recreation in Tennessee. The golf course at Montgomery Bell State Park is heavily wooded and is widely know across the region for an abundance of wildlife such as deer, geese and wild turkey.


Warriors’ Path Golf Course Recognized for Environmental Excellence
The golf course at Warriors’ Path State Park has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Mark Houser, golf course manager at Warriors’ Path, and Course Superintendent David Cloud led the effort to obtain sanctuary status at the course and have been recognized for environmental stewardship by Audubon International. The environmental program they helped to initiate already has garnered positive results for both staff and golfers at Warriors’ Path. Warriors’ Path State Park Golf Course is the 11th course in Tennessee and the 795th in the world to receive the honor. “Warriors’ Path joins Fall Creek Falls, the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay and Paris Landing’s golf course in achieving the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary status,” TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke said. “Mark Houser, David Cloud and their entire team have led a commendable effort to provide a sanctuary for wildlife and I am very proud of the staff’s dedication in achieving such a notable designation.” To achieve Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification, a golf course must demonstrate a high degree of environmental quality in a number of areas including environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management. “Achieving ‘Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary’ status has been a very rewarding process for Warriors’ Path Golf Course,” Houser said. “Golfers, guests and staff have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of the golf course and better understand how our actions – both direct and indirect – will positively impact wildlife, waterways and other aspects of the environment.” The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, which is endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia have achieved certification through this program. For more information on golf and the environment, visit www.golfandenvironment.org. View full TDEC press release.


Montgomery Bell Course is Third Trail Member Named Groundwater Guardian Green Site
The Frank G. Clement Golf Course at Montgomery Bell State Park was recently recognized as a Groundwater Guardian Green site. The Montgomery Bell course joins Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park and the Paris Landing course as the only three sites in Tennessee with this designation from The Groundwater Foundation. Groundwater Guardian Green Sites are places with significant green space – such as golf courses, ball fields, educational campuses and office parks – that implement effective groundwater and surface water practices to protect water quality. Montgomery Bell’s Frank G. Clement Golf Course documented an array of groundwater-friendly practices to earn this exclusive designation. The golf course is actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines. In an effort to protect surrounding waterways and groundwater supplies, Montgomery Bell’s golf course has utilized native plants and buffer zones. Unique to this particular effort is the construction of a greenhouse. Partnering with the Friends of Montgomery Bell State Park, the greenhouse also is part of the park’s effort to pursue Audubon certification. Overall, these decisions have reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs into the environment and also decreased the amount of water required to irrigate these areas. “A large amount of the state’s public water supply is provided from groundwater and improving upon its protection is important to the safety and health of all Tennesseans,” TDEC Commissioner Jim Fyke said. “I commend Jeff Kuhns, Darrell Hartsfield and the entire team at the Montgomery Bell State Park’s golf course for their innovative green strategies and conservation leadership. Their hard work serves as an example of how good environmental stewardship can truly make a difference.” Another example of Montgomery Bell’s environmental practices includes the park’s eight environmentally friendly villas, which were unveiled in October 2009. These contemporary accommodations feature energy efficient and environmentally responsible practices such as a geothermal systems, compact fluorescent light bulbs, outdoor furniture made from recycled plastic and indoor / outdoor recycling equipment. To learn more, please visit http://www.groundwater.org/action/community/green-sites.html.


Fall Creek Falls State Park Golf Course Recognized for Environmental Excellence
The golf course at Fall Creek Falls State Park has achieved designation as a "Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary" through the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program for Golf Courses. Course Superintendent Wayne Belew led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and is being recognized for Environmental Stewardship by Audubon International. Fall Creek Falls State Park Golf Course is the 10th course in Tennessee and the 761st in the world to receive the honor. "Fall Creek Falls State Park Golf Course has shown a strong commitment to its environmental program. They are to be commended for their efforts to provide a sanctuary for wildlife on the golf course property," said Jim Sluiter, Staff Ecologist for the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Programs." To achieve Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification, a golf course must demonstrate that it meets specific criteria in the areas of environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management. The course was commended for using biologicals as alternative pest controls, deploying extensive vegetative buffer plantings, protecting wetland water quality and using required chemicals in a way that protects ground and surface water. “People come from all over the country to see the land forms and exceptional water features of Fall Creek Falls,” said Head Golf Professional Billy Maxwell. “It’s great that we can enrich their experience by providing a sanctuary for wildlife on the course and manage these landscapes in ways that protect waters as they flow across park to eventually reach one of the highest falls in the United States.” The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, which is endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia have achieved certification through this program. For more information on golf and the environment, visit www.golfandenvironment.org.


Paris Landing named Groundwater Guardian Green Site
The golf course at Paris Landing State Park recently earned recognition as a Groundwater Guardian Green Site by demonstrating an array of groundwater-friendly practices to earn this exclusive designation. The golf course is actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines.  “A large amount of the state’s public water supply is provided from groundwater and improving upon its protection is important to the safety and health of all Tennesseans,” Fyke said.  “I commend Keith Hickman, Dwayne Hicks and the entire team at the Paris Landing course for their hard work and hope their efforts serve as an example of how good environmental stewardship can truly make a difference.”  In an effort to protect surrounding waterways and groundwater supplies, the Paris Landing State Park Golf Course has utilized native plants in their landscaping and converted more than 40 acres of highly maintained turfgrass to a natural state. These decisions have reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs into the environment and also decreased the amount of water required to irrigate these areas.  Groundwater Guardian Green Sites are places with significant green space – such as golf courses, ball fields, educational campuses and office parks – that implement effective groundwater and surface water practices to protect water quality. The Paris Landing course joins Bear Trace at Harrison Bay as the only two sites in Tennessee with this designation from The Groundwater Foundation.


Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is designated as 2009 Groundwater Guardian Green Site
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay State Park was recently designated as a 2009 Groundwater Guardian Green Site as a result of the groundwater-friendly practices implemented at the golf course. The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay documented an array of groundwater-friendly practices to earn this exclusive designation. The golf course is actively protecting local water supplies by optimizing fertilizer applications, applying natural organic products when possible and creating vegetative buffer areas around wetlands and shorelines. In an effort to protect surrounding waterways and groundwater supplies, The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay has also utilized native plants in their landscaping and converted more than 40 acres of highly maintained turfgrass to a natural state. These decisions have reduced fertilizer and chemical inputs into the environment and also decreased the amount of water required to irrigate these areas. “Since eleven of the eighteen holes on our golf course directly touch the Tennessee River, we have always been conscious of our impact on the environment,” said Paul Carter, Certified Golf Course Superintendent at Harrison Bay. “Our group is serious about providing a first-class golf experience and protecting local water resources, so we are pleased to be the first site in Tennessee to achieve this Green Site designation from The Groundwater Foundation.”


Houser named 2009 Senior PGA Player of the Year in Tennessee
The PGA Tennessee Section has named Warriors’ Path Head Golf Professional Mark Houser 2009 Senior PGA Player of the Year in Tennessee. This honor capped a banner year for Houser as he won the Callaway Golf Senior PGA Section Championship on August 18 at Stones River Country Club and the 34th Annual Templeton Chattanooga Open in Hixon on June 5. Houser edged Randy Helton of Shelbyville for the year-end PGA player title. “Congratulations to Mark on an outstanding year and well deserved honor from the PGA Tennessee Section,” said Jim Webb, State Parks Golf Director. “Mark continually demonstrates a commitment to excellence in his play and through his course operations in Kingsport.”


Montgomery Bell Golf Course Reopens on Sept 12 following Major Course Improvements
The Golf Course at Montgomery Bell State Park will re-open at 12:00 p.m. noon on Saturday, September 12 for public play following total conversion of the course’s greens to new CHAMPION Bermuda Grass.  This investment has paid off with heartier greens that will feature better year round condition, particularly during peak heat of the summer season.  “We made the conversion to CHAMPION Bermuda Grass at other Tennessee Golf Trail locations and have seen a marked improvement in the quality of our greens and the overall golf experience at those sites,” said State Parks Golf Director Jim Webb.  “We welcome golfers back to the Frank G. Clement course at Montgomery Bell for the fall season and hope they enjoy these positive changes.”


Montgomery Bell Golf Course Closed from July 6 thru Sept 14 for Major Course Improvements
The Golf Course at Montgomery Bell State Park will be closed from July 6 to September 14 to allow total conversion of greens to new Championship Bermuda Grass.  Making this significant improvement at Montgomery Bell will create heartier greens that feature better year round condition, particularly during peak heat of the summer season.  “We made the conversion to Championship Bermuda Grass at other Tennessee Golf Trail locations and have seen a marked improvement in the quality of our greens and the overall golf experience at those sites,” said State Parks Golf Director Jim Webb.  “We appreciate the patience of our patrons and the golfing public as we need to execute this conversion during the summer season to get the best results.”  We will welcome golfers back to the course at Montgomery Bell for the fall season in September.


Bear Trace at Harrison Bay receives 2009 Governor’s Award for Excellence
The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay received the 2009 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award for Excellence in Parks and Recreation in Nashville on June 12.  Golf Course Superintendent Paul Carter and Greenskeeper Mitchell Sivley were on hand to accept this award from Deputy Governor John Morgan.

While The Bear Trace at Harrison Bay is regularly honored as a best place to play by Golf, Golf Week and Golf Digest, Paul Carter’s conservation leadership has also enabled Harrison Bay to also stand out as a green course locally, regionally and nationally. Paul’s environmental management strategy for Harrison Bay has produced significant improvements in water conservation, water quality management, wildlife habitat and reduced chemical use. Thirty-five acres of the course have been naturalized to minimize maintenance and improve wetlands management. Renovations to chemical storage and a change in turf grass have reduced the course’s overall chemical use by nearly 80%. With the installation of 45 nesting houses and new native planting beds, Harrison Bay is only one of ten golf courses in Tennessee certified by Audubon International as an Aubudon Cooperative Sanctuary. The game of golf and the natural world are closely linked.  Paul and his team made it possible for Harrison Bay golfers to see the connection between simple actions that are good for the game, good for the course and good for the environment.


Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Places in Top 3 for Green Golfer Challenge
Following up on its recognition as designated “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” in 2008, Harrison Bay took another environmental step forward by actively encouraging area golfers to take the Audubon Green Golfer Challenge. The challenge was simple – build golfers’ environmental awareness by having them pledge to become an Audubon Green Golfer and support environmental stewardship while playing the game.

More than 5,500 Audubon Green Golfer pledges from more than 100 courses were registered in 2008. Local response was so great that the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay produced 521 pledges for the Audubon Green Golfer Challenge; only two courses in Florida generated more Green Golfer pledges in the United States than Harrison Bay. “The game of golf and the natural world are closely linked,” said Paul Carter, Head Superintendent at Harrison Bay.  “Most of our golfers can see the connection between simple actions that are good for the game, good for the course and good for the environment.”

The promotion of the Green Golfer Challenge was a natural extension of conservation practices already in place at Harrison Bay noted Tennessee State Parks Golf Director Jim Webb, “Under the leadership of Paul Carter, Harrison Bay had already achieved recognition in the areas of wildlife and habitat management, chemical use reduction, water conservation and water quality management. This type of direct outreach and education to golfers was a logical move for us to support environmental stewardship on the course.”

Are you a golfer?  You can take the Audubon Green Golfer Challenge at:
Link for Audubon Green Golfer Challenge


Bear Trace at Harrison Bay Recognized for Environmental Excellence
The Bear Trace Golf Course at Harrison Bay has been designated as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by Audubon International. The course is the seventh in Tennessee and the second within the Tennessee State Parks system to receive this honor. The course at Paris Landing State Park has also achieved this certification. Only 674 golf courses worldwide have been designated as Audubon Cooperative Sanctuaries.

Paul L. Carter, course superintendent, led the effort to obtain sanctuary status on this course and has been recognized for environmental stewardship by Audubon International. The environmental program he helped to initiate already has garnered positive results for both staff and golfers at the Bear Trace at Harrison Bay.  Members, guests and staff have a greater appreciation for the natural beauty of the golf course and better understand how our actions – both direct and indirect – impact wildlife, waterways and other aspects of the environment.

To achieve Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary certification, a golf course must demonstrate that it meets specific criteria in the areas of environmental planning; wildlife and habitat management; outreach and education; chemical use reduction and safety; water conservation; and water quality management.  The Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program, which is endorsed by the U.S. Golf Association, provides information and guidance to help golf courses preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and protect natural resources. Golf courses throughout North and Central America, Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia have achieved certification through this program.