Updated on October 2, 2023,

One year in, and going strong!

Here are the latest updates on the progress at Asheville Municipal Golf Course.  This coming Sunday marks the one year mark since the transition from our previous operator to Commonwealth Golf Partners II – Asheville (CGPA.)  I thought this would be a good time to recap the last year as well as give an update on the next couple of months.

Related to capital improvements, over the past year we have:

  • Secured in total, over $2.9 Million in funding from both public and private entities towards upgrades & repairs at the course
  • Completed a Master Plan to help guide us towards restoring the course to the Donald Ross original design. 
  • Introduced a new cart fleet with GPS tech to keep carts off greens and track pace of play
    • Average 18 hole round is currently 4 hours and 6 minutes
  • Completed interior upgrades to the Clubhouse 
  • Abandoned (4) bunkers
  • Restored original mounding on two holes
  • Rebuilt (10) bunkers
  • Installed a localized course weather station and water sensors inside all 18 greens
  • Focused work on all 18 greens including resodding where necessary and implementing ongoing cultural practices to continue improving the health and playability of the greens. 
  • Removed 111 trees and pruned over 80 trees
  • Resodded fairway areas on (4) holes
  • Repaired or replaced cart paths throughout the course
  • Tee complex renovations have been completed on every hole, skipping only the tee areas that could be saved with well defined maintenance practices. 
  • Repaired countless non-functioning irrigation heads
  • Implemented a new rate structure with significant discounts for City residents
  • Completed the design phase of the stormwater replacement project for holes 1, 2, 10 & 11.  

To ensure that our day to day practices are adequate to maintain our recent capital investment and provide the best experience possible to our guests, over the past year we have:

  • Funded and developed a comprehensive agronomy plan that will promote quality playing conditions, including;
    • Drill & fill aeration for the greens.  Following many years of neglecting cultural practices for the greens, the soil profile lacked proper infiltration of moisture and limited air porosity.  The drill and rill process will help open the greens to encourage strong root growth. 
    • Coring of the greens will become a spring & fall practice, keeping the greens from ‘closing up’ to moisture and air porosity. 
    • Aggressive weed control program has been initiated that will combat both winter and summer annuals as well as perennial weeds.  
    • Verticut process will be used on all warm season turn areas to encourage cover in areas where weeds once thrived. 
  • Secured an equipment package that allows our golf course maintenance department to provide quality course conditions and efficient operation, allowing us to have the golf course prepared on a timely basis for our guests with quality conditions
  • Invested in human capital, hiring department managers with extensive experience and providing the managers with adequate staff and training to provide the level of customer service and course conditions necessary to keep our guests satisfied. 

I hope you all will join me in thanking the team at CGPA for their work next time you see them.   Don’t forget to thank your Course Superintendent! Matt & his team are doing a great job keeping up with the day to day out there.

Looking forward, There are crews currently out on the course wrapping up some bunker work and sodding on some of the recent tee box work.  Some highlights of what to expect on course and in the neighborhood over the next few months;

  • Neighborhood tree replanting program
    • For those of you who signed up for the free trees to be brought to your home for planting you have hopefully communicated with Asheville Greenworks by now.  The area non-profit has agreed to take on this portion of the project for us and is delivering the trees to your property and offering assistance with planting the trees as well.  Delivery target is the week of October 16th.  If you signed up for this program and have not been in communication with Asheville Greenworks, please let me know ASAP and I’ll make sure to get you in touch with them.  
  • Tree nursery program
    • Another project with Asheville Greenworks is our new nursery program.  We have identified three sites throughout the course where the non-profit will be able to cultivate trees on property.  Instead of planting permanent trees on the property, which in time will grow large and cause similar problems which caused for the removal of trees over the winter, the nursery program will result in trees being removed from the course when they reach proper planting size for their permanent homes.  In total Asheville Greenworks anticipates that the identified sites will house well over 200 trees.  The trees will be made available to area nonprofits and government agencies for low or no cost to help work towards the community’s long term tree canopy goals. 
  • Mountain Goatscapes
    • Invasive species and underbrush is a big problem in some areas of the course.  The grounds crew worked throughout last fall and winter to clear out areas around the course.  Many of which have filled back in quite quickly.  That said, we’re going to be trying a new method.  Beginning this week, Mountain Goatscapes will bring their herd of goats to the course on the Kensington side of holes number 10 and 11.  They’ll be fenced in while they do their work, and once cleared, our crews will come behind and try to pull out the root systems for a more effective clearing.  If you see a random goat walking through the neighborhood, call the clubhouse!
  • Stormwater
    • The stormwater project to replace the piping on holes 1, 2, 10 & 11 will be bid out in the next month, with construction beginning soon after.  We anticipate the stormwater construction lasting 4 – 6 weeks over the winter.  

It’s been a great year, and we hope the next 12 months will come with similar success.   I should also mention that a group of both golfers and residents of Beverly Hills has formed the Friends of Asheville Municipal Golf Course , a formal non-profit organization and is assisting with fundraising for the current and future projects at the course.  Additionally project plans are presented to this group for feedback prior to implementation.   This group helped raise the money to fund the purchase of thousands of dollars worth of youth club sets that are utilized by the first tee programs which we have brought back to the course.  All age groups this fall filled up and we’re hoping to find a way to continue expansion into the spring.  

With the new investment in the course renovations and infrastructure, we would like to ask that our neighbors and players both treat the course with the level of respect that it deserves. We ask for your assistance to respect the following requests: 

  • Stay out of active construction areas.
  • Avoid areas with fresh asphalt or new areas of turf.
  • Fix divots and/or rake bunkers behind yourself. 
  • Keep golf carts on the path as much as possible, especially after rain and frost.
  • Remember the golf course is a golf course – not a greenway.
  • Course hours of operation are dawn to dusk, seven days a week.
  • Walking on the course can affect play, and can result in injury if stuck by a ball.
  • Bikes, one-wheels, skateboards etc. are prohibited on the course and cart paths.
  • All dogs should be leashed all times while on the property per the current City of Asheville ordinance.
  • For neighbors living directly adjacent to the course, please remember that golfers and the Club are not responsible for damage incurred if your vehicle is struck by a ball when parked on the course side of the road. 
  • We ask you to take ownership of the golf course and educate your friends and neighbors to help us keep the golf course in great shape for everyone.

Last year we committed to the following;  

  • Consistently communicate with you in advance anytime that a portion of the revitalization project may affect neighboring households due to traffic, street closures, or similar considerations. 
  • Continue to build and enhance our tournament and youth golf programming at the course. 
  • Always honor the historic past of the Asheville Municipal Golf Course as a featured listing on the National Register of Historic Places, the first public course in the Carolinas, the first integrated course in the southeast, and the home of the annual Skyview Open Tournament.

We feel that so far CGPA & the City has honored these commitments and will continue to do so over the next year. 

We want to offer an open and transparent relationship between the golf course, players, and our neighbors. Please feel free to reach out at any time to discuss concerns, suggestions, or compliments by contacting myself or the on site Course Manager and Golf Professional, Pat Warren, at pwarren@ashevillegc.com

Updated on August 9, 2023

The City of Asheville is underwriting a significant capital improvement project here at the Asheville Municipal Golf Course. The project will be managed and executed by Commonwealth Golf Partners II – Asheville (CGPA) on behalf of the City. The City is responsible for raising the funds to execute the project and is paying CGPA a 4% management fee on all capital projects exceeding $25,000.

In total a target Phase 1 budget is $3.5 Million, through a mix of City of Asheville Capital Improvement funds, user based fees, and grants. To date over $2.7 Million has been committed to the project, with additional grants and funding sources pending.

Secured/Committed Revenues:

SourceAmount
City of Asheville – Various Funding Accounts$1,150,000
COA Previous Design / Discovery$33,300
Private Donations$3,856
Donald Ross Society Foundation Grant$30,000
BC TDA – TPDF Grant$1,641,425
Total Goal Project Budget$2,858,581

The City & CGPA have agreed on the initial scope of the capital project budget, as noted on the table below.  

Expenses Phase 1
Stormwater & water retention design$96,180
tree study$3,500
Stormwater assessment –$26,300
Stormwater Remediation & Irrigation Water Retention$1,897,392
Greens Updates$50,000
Bunker Updates$75,000
Select Fairway regrass$50,000
Tree removal, thinning & replacement$200,000
cart path repairs$50,000
Fabrication & installation of historical marker signage$26,000
Tee Addition / Renovations$80,000
Clubhouse refreshing$80,000
Master Plan – Kris Spence$25,000
Contingencies$260,457
Total$2,919,829

The current timeline is as detailed below however weather, supply chain challenges etc may dictate some adjustments over the next few months.  

  • Winter ‘23
    • Treework – Complete
    • Undergrowth Clearing – Phase 1 complete
  • Spring & Summer ‘23
    • Greens
    • Bunkers
    • Agronomy practices
    • Tee Boxes
    • Cart Paths
    • Stormwater
  • Fall ‘23
    • Stormwater
    • Greens
    • Agronomy practices
    • Fairway work

May 2023 update

Stormwater

  • Stormwater design work is nearing completion.
  • Construction documents and bids will open within 30 days of completion with a target to begin stormwater work in November. 
  • Stormwater repairs will be completed on hole numbers 1, 2, 10 & 11 at minimum.  Budget pending additional stormwater work will be completed in and around the parking lot area, #9 green and near #4 tee box.  

Tee Boxes

  • Beginning this week additional work will begin on the remaining tee box complexes which have yet to be addressed. When complete the tee box complexes at all 18 holes will have been rebuilt in accordance with the Donald Ross Revitalization Master plan.
  • We anticipate completion by mid-September.

Tree Replanting Program

  • Asheville Greenworks has agreed to manage the neighborhood tree replanting program and will be reaching out shortly to all who signed up for the program.
  • Additionally we are working through the details with Asheville Greenworks to stand up small tree nursery sites on the course. These nursery sites will allow for the non-profit to grow trees, in mass, for use by local governments and nonprofits in Buncombe county at low or no cost to the planting entity.
  • This partnership will allow the Muni to help with local goals of increasing the urban tree canopy in a cost effective manner.
  • For golfers, a bonus of this program is the fact that the trees will be removed from the nursery spaces to be planted in their permanent homes when they reach a height between 6 and 12 ft therefore not affecting play long term.
  • In total, when complete it is estimated that the Golf Course can help nursery around 300 trees at any given time.

May 2023 update

Stormwater

  • Stormwater design work has begun.
  • We anticipate to be at 60% design by June 15, 90% design by July 15 and design finalized by August 15, 2023 at the latest.
  • Construction documents and bids will open in August with a target to begin stormwater work in late October or early November.
  • Stormwater repairs will be completed on hold numbers 1, 2, 10 & 11 at minimum.  Budget pending additional stormwater work will be competed in and around the parking lot area, #9 green and near #4 tee box.  

Cart Paths

  • Cart path repairs continue into May, but are nearing completion, which is anticipated in early June.  
  • Cart paths on hole numbers 10 and 11 will have minimal work completed as these paths will likely be dug up during the stormwater phase of the project and we would like to avoid doing work twice wherever possible.

Greens

  • Major work has been completed on all 18 greens and the putting green at the clubhouse
  • Moving forward Matt the Superintendent and his team will continue with regular management of the greens and their moisture levels
  • In April CGP installed a weather station on course and soil sensors at a 4” depth in each green.  These sensors and the weather station communicate directly with the course irrigation control software to help Matt manage the amount of water necessary to properly care for the greens.
  • Currently moisture levels in most greens are above 25%.  Our goal is to get this figure down to below 25% to allow for more soil pore space for gas exchange which will create a healthy soil and to firm up the greens, decrease ball marks and provide a smoother ball roll.  

Fairways

  • Matt and team have been working hard on the fairways to bring them back with more grass than dirt.  
  • Sod has been laid over a significant portion of the worst fairways on hole numbers 12, 13 & 16.  
  • Additionally areas have been seeded on 12, 13 & 16 as well as areas throughout the course.  

Tee Boxes

  • Work is complete for the current phase of tee box rebuilds.  
  • In total all tees (forward to pro) have been rebuilt and resodded in accordance with the Donald Ross Revitalization Master Plan on hole numbers 1, 3, 6, 13, 14, 15 & 16.
  • Additionally the forward tee on hole number 9 has been rebuilt

Bunkers

  • Work is complete for the current phase of bunker restoration.  In total 10 bunkers have been restored, 3 have been rebuilt and on hole number 16 the bunkers on either side of the green have been split to restore to the original design.  Hole number 16 now has 4 greenside bunkers compared to the previous 2..
  • Each bunker was rebuilt with proper drainage for long term water management.
  • Each bunker was also fully sodded in the immediate area to ensure new shapes were maintained.  
  • Mounding has been added, with native broomsedge grasses on holes 1 and 6 to bring both holes back towards their original design.  

Clubhouse

  • The current phase of interior clubhouse renovations has been completed.
  • The ladies restroom has been renovated, new flooring throughout the common areas of the clubhouse and pro shop area.
  • New fixtures and furniture throughout as well.  

Master Plan

  • The Kris Spence Revitalization Master Plan has been completed.  A copy of which can be found HERE.
  • Additionally this layout has been posted in the clubhouse.  
  • Once received the master plan will be posted on this site, and a large scale overview will be hung in the clubhouse.

March 2023 update

Course Closure

  • Due to Greens updates (noted below) the Front 9 will be closed on March 28 & 29.  The Back 9 will be closed March 29 & 30

Rates

  • Rate increases previously scheduled to begin on April 1, 2023 have been delayed to April 13, 2023 due to work to be conducted on the Greens this upcoming week.  With the Greens needing time to recover and regrow, we determined that the right thing to do was to delay rate adjustments. 
  • For the most up to date rate information please call the clubhouse or visit the Tee Times tab on the website. 

Tree Removal, Thinning & Replacement

  • Tree removal and pruning is complete as of March 22, 2023.  Some timber remains to be picked up as well as some stumps that will be ground down which will occur in the next week or two.  
  • Replacement is scheduled for fall of 2023.  Variety types and locations should be selected and posted in May of 2023. 

Cart Paths

  • Cart path repairs will begin the week of March 27th.  
  • Pot holes will be cut out and patched.  Additionally turn offs will be added in on select locations where appropriate on the course.  
  • Cart paths on hole numbers 10 and 11 will have minimal work completed as these paths will likely be dug up during the stormwater phase of the project and we would like to avoid doing work twice wherever possible. 
  • Work will start on the fairway side of the road on hole number 12 near the intersection of Edgewood Road and Fairway drive and follow the course hole by hole.  

Greens

  • Work on the greens will begin on Tuesday March 28, 2023
  • In the fall soil testing was conducted on the greens to determine needs to help eliminate weed grasses, promote drainage and help bent grass growth. The results informed us to determine the necessary inputs and organic matter removal needs.
  • An aggressive practice, known as drill & fill aeration will be conducted on the greens. This will be an 8” deep hole drilled approximately every 6” on the surface with a 1” drill bit, with the holes refilled with sand and inputs.  
  • This means the greens will be ROUGH for a week or two please be advised in advance..

Tee Boxes

  • Tee work began this month and will continue over the next two to three months depending on weather conditions.  
  • Currently work is being completed on Tees at hole numbers 1, 3 & 6.  Additionally tees will be rebuilt, in accordance with the Donald Ross Restoration Master Plan on hole numbers 12, 13, 16 & 18.  

Bunkers

  • Bunker work will begin in the next 30 – 60 days, after final receipt of the Donald Ross Restoration Master Plan.  
  • Initially we will be eliminating bunkers that do not belong per the original Donald Ross Design.  Some of this work is beginning on hole number one, as the bunkers near the greens are actually supposed to be mounds with native grasses.  Extra dirt leftover from tee box work is being placed in the future location of said mounds.  
  • In the initial phase of bunker work, some or all bunkers will be eliminated on hole numbers 1, 2, 7 & 9.  
  • In total between 12 and 16 bunkers will be reshaped or added, the specific bunkers are yet to be determined. 

Clubhouse

  • Interior clubhouse renovations have been underway throughout March and will continue into April, please excuse the mess.  
  • The ladies restroom has been renovated, new flooring throughout the snackbar area of the clubhouse.  Paint, baseboards etc. 
  • Still to come new furniture and with it the remainder of the flooring to be completed in the rest of the clubhouse. 

Master Plan

  • A draft master plan has been received from architect Kris Spence.  Comments and suggestions were received from City and Commonwealth Golf Partners staff, as well as input from the Friends of Asheville Muni.  These were compiled and provided to Kris for incorporation into the final master plan which we expect to receive very soon.  
  • Once received the master plan will be posted on this site, and a large scale overview will be hung in the clubhouse. 

February 2023 update

Tree Removal, Thinning & Replacement

  • After a competitive bid process, the lowest responsive, responsible bidder was selected to conduct the tree removal and pruning.  This work will begin the week of February 6, 2023.  
  • Work within the Clubhouse will begin the week of February 13th, with painting, new flooring throughout and new fixtures in the restrooms. Updated furniture has been ordered and will be installed upon delivery with anticipated completion in March or April 2023.  

January 2023 update

Tree Removal, Thinning & Replacement

  • After presenting the tree removal, thinning and replacement plan to the City of Asheville’s Urban Forestry Commission, recommendations were heard, reviewed and acted on.  A third TRAQ certified arborist was hired to review the trees originally proposed for removal and provide input and recommendations on their removal, pruning or if no action is necessary.  The third party arborist agreed prior to conducting the review that their company would not, and is not interested in bidding on the actual project, therefore maintaining an independent view. 
  • As a result, the total number of proposed trees for removal on the course was reduced from 157 to 111.  Additionally the total number of trees to be pruned was increased from 38 to 83 trees.  During the third party review, many trees were adjusted from a plan to remove to a plan to prune, some trees were completely removed from the project and some trees were added to the project for either removal or pruning schedules.  
  • Additional clarification for the need for a removal or pruning of a tree was also provided and can be viewed on THIS DOCUMENT.  
  • As of January 2, 2023 all trees on the course have been re-marked with pink or green ribbons.  Pink ribbons with a number as displayed in the photo above are trees slated for removal.  Green ribbons with a number as displayed in the photo above are trees slated for a pruning schedule.  The number on the ribbons corresponds with the document referenced in the previous paragraph.  
  • The tree removal and thinning project will be bid in January 2023 with the intent to begin the project on or around March 1, 2023.  
  • Tree planting will be conducted in the fall of 2023, with a final plan of tree quantities and variety presented to the Urban Forestry Commission in the summer of 2023.  Consultation for planting location and varieties will be provided by Kris Spence, golf course architect, the City of Asheville’s Arborist and the Urban Forestry Commission.
  • 100% or greater of the removed canopy will be replaced. 

Course Design & Planning  

  • In November 2022, the City of Asheville applied for a grant from the Donald Ross Society Foundation in the amount of $30,000.  This grant was awarded in December 2022 in full.  

“In the years that I have been involved with the Donald Ross Society Foundation I can’t recall another occasion when we granted the full requested amount by the first time beneficiary of the grant. The mission of the Donald Ross Society is to promote the recognition of Donald Ross, the excellence of his golf architecture, and the preservation and/or restoration of his course and to that end, we applaud the City of Asheville’s efforts to restore this historically significant course. I also hope that we will be in a position to offer additional grants to Asheville Muni in the future.”

  • Brad Becken

President

Donald Ross Society

  • Funds generated from this grant will be used for the development of Master Plan documents seeking to restore the relevant Donald Ross features in consultation with the City of Asheville and Commonwealth Golf Partners II – Asheville.  The restoration master plan drawing will focus and make recommendations on, but is not limited to, restoration of the green complex size, shape, orientation, contours and any other putting surface recommendation the golf course architect deems necessary, bunker restoration including locations, size, shape, orientation, depth and character, hole corridor mowing widths, additional tees and/or teeing ground improvements, cart path recommendations and practice area improvements.  The plan will include written narrative captions to describe the architect’s recommendations for the individual features of the course.  Additionally the architect will provide a limited number of perspective sketches and drawings of bunkers and green sections as needed to depict the restoration work.  A suggested timeline/ordering of improvements will be provided to ensure cost effectiveness and to reduce overall impact of access to play throughout the process.  
  • It is anticipated that the master plan will be completed by March 1, 2023.  

 November 2022 update

  • Treework is often one of the first projects within a golf course renovation or revitalization such as the project that is about to begin at the Muni.  Shading, water access and drainage, all directly affected by trees (roots, drip edges, leaves etc) are three of the most important aspects to a successful update.  A course superintendent needs to understand the environmental conditions that will affect the ability to manage the turf conditions while planning for future season practices.  CGPA & the United States Golf Association reviewed the course and have recently hung ribbons on Trees throughout the course that may be removed or thinned.  Thinning, for the purposes of this project is ‘limbing up’ the tree a bit to raise the canopy further off of the ground.
    • The application of the ribbons was completed November 6th  
    • Additionally, stakes with a ribbon have been placed throughout the course in areas where trees will be replanted.  The placement of these stakes was completed on November 6th.  
    • The goal related to trees on this project is to ensure there is no net loss of total long term tree canopy and if possible increase the overall long term canopy.  
  • Trees identified for removal are mostly dead & dying trees, invasives or trees in direct competition to a playing surface. 
  • On November 7th and 8th, a TRAQ certified Arborist reviewed all trees that had been tagged with ribbons throughout the course providing suggestions and recommendations for each tree.  
  • As of November 22nd, Trees have been re-tagged with ribbons throughout the course.  Trees tagged with green ribbon are slated to be pruned.  Trees tagged with pink/orange ribbon are slated for removal.  Additionally, each tree’s ribbon has a specific number written on it.  This number corresponds to THIS DOCUMENT detailing the information about the tree including type, tree diameter and the reason for its removal/pruning.  

Example of a pink/orange ribbon #60

Example of a green ribbon #57

  • The final plan for tree removal, thinning and replacement will be presented to the City of Asheville’s Urban Forestry Commission on Tuesday December 6th at 1:00 pm.  

September 2022 update

  • As announced at the public meeting held on September 1, 2022 at the Dr. Wesley Grant Community Center. The City of Asheville invites neighbors and property owners in the East Asheville area to request a tree to be delivered to your property.  

Looking forward, long term, if each tree that is removed is replaced with another tree on the golf course, eventually in time the course will be in a similar situation as the present with too many trees crowding into the fairways and affecting the ability to grow  and maintain the various grasses.  

In order to help meet our goal no net canopy loss we would like to purchase a tree or trees for interested property owners to plant if they so desire.  Provided trees will be natives only, property owners will have a choice of type of tree, and the tree will be delivered to the property.  Trees will be 6 to 8 feet in height and in the 10 to 15 gallon pot size.  

Sign up to request a tree HERE

An informational email list has been established with periodic updates sent by the City, which will also be posted here on this website.  To be added to this email list or for other questions etc, please contact Chris Corl, Director of Community & Regional Entertainment Facilities for the City of Asheville at ccorl@ashevillenc.gov

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