Environmental Stewardship – Belle Meade Country Club, Nashville, TN
- This year’s Environmental Stewardship award is presented to Belle Meade Country Club located in Nashville TN. Over the past few years, the club has worked to reduce their environmental impact during course and maintenance facility renovations. During construction of the new maintenance facility, bioretention areas were constructed to catch and filter all surface water on the site. These bioretention areas are landscaping features adapted to treat stormwater runoff and remove contaminants and sediment. The filtered runoff water is collected in a perforated underdrain system that flows into nearby Richland Creek. A wash water recycling system was also installed so the crew could efficiently clean and maintain the course equipment. The stand-alone system is on a closed loop that allows them to wash equipment and recycle the water back through the system after biological water treatment. The station also includes a clipping separator that effectively removes grass clippings, sand and other small debris from the wash water prior to the recycling process. The free-standing Chemical Storage and Handling Building also facilitates the proper storage and safe handling of all chemicals used in maintaining the golf course and club property. This facility also provides for the proper disposal of pesticide rinsate by catching all rinse water and holding it in storage tanks for later use. Out on the course, the club is also working on wildflower areas and pollinators projects while also promoting birds and other wildlife. Congratulations to this year’s Environmental Stewardship award winner, Belle Meade Country Club.
Private Course of the Year – The Links at Kahite, Vonore, TN
- This year’s Private Course of the year is The Links at Kahite, located in Vonore, TN. The Links at Kahite was the third golf course built in the Tellico Village Communities, opening for play in August 2002. The 200-acre property was originally designed with no bunkers in mind, yet when opened featured 93 bunkers spread all over the property. Over time the bunkers became dysfunctional, and it was time for a major improvement. Renowned Golf Architect Bill Bergin was selected for the bunker redesign. The strategy was to use in-house labor in conjunction with Bergin Design and local contractors. The front nine bunkers were reconstructed in 2021 and the back nine in the summer of 2022. Bergin’s plans were to completely erase the old-style bunkers and transform Kahite with a new look that fit the theme and natural landscape of the golf course. The new look at Kahite now provides a challenge for the low handicap golfers while creating a better experience for the high handicap golfers. Bergin’s vision, combined with the artistic work from the shapers and the execution from the maintenance staff has provided Tellico Village with a timeless piece of craftsmanship. This project concluded just in time for The Links at Kahite to host the TGA Women’s Mid, Senior and Super Senior Championships this past September. The Links of Kahite is no longer a hidden gem. It is becoming regarded as one of the state’s absolute best. Congratulations to this year’s Private Course of the Year award recipient, The Links at Kahite.
Public Course of the Year – The Barn Short Course at Beverly Park, Knoxville, TN
- This year’s Public Course of the year is The Barn Short Course at Beverly Park in Knoxville, TN. This unique course is maintained by the Knox County Department of Parks and Recreation and is operated in conjunction with the Tennessee Golf Foundation. The Barn is a 9-hole short course geared towards junior golfers and those wanting to take up the game of golf. Chris Hurley, the Superintendent at Three Ridges Golf Course, another Knox County property, led an effort to transform The Barn in 2022. The property received a comprehensive fertilizer and weed control program, fairway and tee surfaces were maintained at modern heights of cut and expanded, and plant growth regulators were applied to increase quality and reduce mowing requirements. The signature piece of this transformation was a complete putting surface renovation. All nine putting surfaces were reshaped and planted with ultradwarf bermudagrass with mowing and rolling practices implemented daily. In the process of this transformation, Chris has motivated other Knox County Parks Department employees to become more involved in golf course operations. The transformation of The Barn in 2022 was made possible by Josh Conaway, who served as the main greenskeeper during the renovation process and is now aspiring to become more involved in golf course maintenance as a career. The transformation of The Barn in 2022 is a success story and excellent example of what makes our industry great! Thanks to the efforts of Chris Hurley and teammates from the Knox County Department of Parks & Recreation and Tennessee Golf Foundation, The Barn is now a marquee location in Knoxville as part of the Kids Play Free Program. Congratulations to this year’s Public Course of the Year, The Barn Short Course.
High School Field of the Year – Joe Paterson Field, Donelson, TN
- This year’s High school field of the year is Joe Paterson Field in Donelson TN. Founded in 1971 and located in Nashville, Tennessee, Donelson Christian Academy is a Christian private school that serves students from preschool through twelfth grade. In March of 2020 the entire area was devastated as tornadoes destroyed the majority of the school and the surrounding community. Over the past few years, it has been amazing to see the school and community rebuild and the school welcome back students once more. Kirk Gates, golf course Superintendent at nearby Hillwood Country Club, has volunteered his time to maintain the field on a yearly basis. Kirk was also heavily involved to help rebuild Joe Paterson Field. Being tasked with all the agronomic tasks and getting the field ready for play again was no small task. To see where the field and community were a few years ago to today is amazing and would not have been possible without the help of numerous volunteers and Industry partners. Congratulations to this year’s High School field of the year, Joe Paterson field.
Collegiate Field of the Year – Lipscomb University Soccer Field, Nashville, TN
- This year’s Collegiate Field of the year is Lipscomb University Soccer Field in Nashville, TN. The field site was originally a married housing complex before being demolished in the early to mid 1990’s and used as the university intramural field. When Lipscomb transitioned to Division I in 2000, the field was completely rebuilt. During this building process, large amounts of rocks were removed, followed by the installation of drain tile and irrigation, then being constructed as a sand-capped field and planted with Tifway 419 bermudagrass. The field is still managed today with Tifway 419 and overseeded with Perennial Ryegrass each September. The field is managed on a day-to-day basis by a crew of three Lipscomb University Athletics Operations workers, with the assistance of “Golf Management Group”. The field plays host to all of Lipscomb University’s Men’s and Women’s soccer matches along with various soccer camps throughout the summer months. The Bisons’ teams have enjoyed success on their field as the mens and womens programs have combined to go a remarkable 40-9-6 on their home field the last three years. Additionally, the men’s team hosted a second round NCAA Tournament match this past fall for the first time in school history. Congratulations to this year’s Collegiate Field of the Year, Lipscomb University.
Municipal Sports Field of the Year – Jim Warren Park, Franklin, TN
- This year’s Municipal Sports Field of the year is Jim Warren Park in Franklin, TN. Jim Warren Park is an 80-acre park that is home to four football fields, 12 baseball fields, two multipurpose fields, eight tennis courts, and one basketball court. The baseball fields play host to the Franklin Baseball Club, which runs recreation and travel baseball leagues and five tournaments throughout the year. The football fields play home to the Franklin Cowboys Football youth league. The multipurpose fields host the Franklin Cowboys Football youth league in the fall, as well as four local lacrosse teams in the spring. All the City of Franklin athletic fields are maintained by six full time turf specialists alongside the City of Franklin Parks Department Athletic and Turf Field Supervisor, John Wagnon (CSFM). Congratulations to this year’s Municipal Sports Field of the year, Jim Warren Park
Professional Field of the Year – Geodis Park, Nashville, TN
- This year’s Professional Field of the Year is Geodis Park in Nashville, TN. The field is the home of the Nashville Soccer Club and opened for play on May 1st of this past year. The 30,000-seat stadium is the largest soccer-specific stadium in the United States and Canada and features a 360-degree canopy design. This year they hosted 30 soccer events on the field from opening day on May 1st to October. These events include The Nashville Soccer Club, Open Cup and International friendly games. The field is a base of Latitude 36 bermudagrass which is overseeded. One of the biggest challenges they faced this year was implementing a plan to grow grass within this 360-degree canopy design. Adam and his crew did an amazing job getting the field built and ready for the inaugural season in Geodis Park. Congratulations to this year’s Professional Field of the Year, Geodis Park.
Legacy Scholarship – Anna Huber
- The Legacy Scholarship offers financial aid to children or grandchildren of active TTA members in good standing. Scholarship applicants are not required to be pursuing education in a Turfgrass related field to be eligible for the Scholarship.
This year’s Legacy scholarship is awarded to Anna Huber, daughter of Jeff Huber, Director of Course and Grounds at The Golf Club of Tennessee. Anna is currently a freshman at The University of Notre Dame, enrolled in the Mendoza College of Business. Anna graduated High School as an Honors Diploma Recipient and as a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Honors Society and a National Merit Finalist. While in high school she was also involved in several activities and held many leadership roles such as class treasurer all four years while in high school, Girls State representative, Tennessee Governor’s School for International Studies and the Junior Economic Club of Nashville to name just a few. Outside the classroom, Anna played on both the Varsity Golf and Tennis teams while also remaining active in her community, volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank and teaching English lessons at the Nashville International Center for Empowerment. Congratulations to this year’s Legacy Scholarship awarded recipient, Anna Huber.
Ernest Hardison Memorial Scholarship – Landon Prentice
- The Ernest Hardison Memorial Scholarship offers financial aid to students pursuing a career in turfgrass management.
This year’s Ernest Hardison Memorial Scholarship is awarded to Landon Prentice. Landon is currently a student at The University of Tennessee in Construction Science and Management. While in high school at the Columbia Academy in Columbia, Tennessee, Landon enjoyed playing baseball and was part of a State Championship team. This passion for sports and desire to remain on the field is what drove Landon to sports turf. Landon was part of the grounds crew for the 2021 TSSAA State Baseball Championships and is currently working on the University of Tennessee grounds crew. He has found his passion for sports turf and just being able to maintain fields he loves to play on. Landon also currently serves as Intramural Chair of his Fraternity Beta Upsilon Chi, and continues to be a student worker for the SEC Baseball Tournament. Congratulations to this year’s Ernest Hardison Scholarship awarded receipt, Landon Prentice.READ THE ISSUE