The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 9 No. 1 - September 24, 2008


New greens put smiles on golfers

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
SUN PHOTO/TOM VAUGHT John Secor, who installed the new grass at the
Key Royale Golf Club, said it is salt and drought tolerant and requires
very little fertilization.

HOLMES BEACH – The Island’s only golf course got a facelift lately, and the grounds superintendent says it’s a move that will green the Key Royale Golf Club in more ways than one.
John Secor installed new grass on all the putting greens starting in May and ending this month, and he says the type of grass that he used will save money as well as improve the looks and the way the greens play.

"The old greens were 50 years old," he said as he toured the nine-hole private course in a golf cart. "The grass was suffering from drought, salt and nematode stress."

The grass he used was the type that he had already installed in the putting green. It’s called SeaIsle Supreme, also known as a seashore paspalum, and it is very salt and drought tolerant and it requires very little fertilization. That means, Secor can use the well that the course has to water the greens, even though the water from the well has some salt in it.

"It’s a green move for the golf club that is more environmentally friendly and will reduce costs," Secor said. "Being next to the water, fertilizer washes right into the bay when it rains, so I’m glad we won’t be contributing to that anymore."

Secor already has a machine that recycles the wastewater from when he cleans equipment to prevent it from going into the canal. The club also recently took out invasive pepper trees that lined the canal next to the course.

Secor kept the cost of the new greens down by installing them himself. Instead of costing $100,000 to have a contractor install them, it cost $25,000, he said.

The reaction from golfers to the new greens has been positive.

"It’s excellent," joked Ralph Bassett. "I figure in a month, my putts will go in."

Bob Kral, a former president at the golf club, said they’re the best greens the club has ever had.

"Awesome," remarked Nancy King. "The new greens look wonderful and they play extremely well."

The Key Royale Golf Club will participate in Bridging the Gap by holding an All-Island Shotgun Tournament open to non-members on Saturday, Nov. 15. This is the first time the club has opened the course to non-members for a tournament.

For those who don’t want to wait for the tournament, there are still some golf and social memberships available.

To sign up for the tournament or inquire about memberships, call the clubhouse at 778-3055.

Spirit week kicks off soccer season

Anna Maria Island Sun News Story
SUN PHOTO/CHRIS GRUMLEY Anna Maria Glass supporters
show their team spirit at the Community Center’s Soccer
Spirit Week festivities.

The Island Community Center 2008 Soccer Spirit Week kicked of Thursday night at the Center with Beach Bistro donating a true Italian style meal. Many were in attendance at this annual fundraiser as coaches handed out uniforms and schedules for the upcoming season, which begins this week with a full slate of games.

The soccer spirit continued on both fields Friday and Saturday when teams got a chance to play half a game, giving coaches and players alike the opportunity to weigh up the competition before the season begins in earnest.

Friends and family were in support wearing team colors, face paint and colored wigs showing their spirit as they got behind the teams. The introduction of an Instructional Division for 4- to 5 -year-olds has been a real boost to the numbers, depleted slightly because of the upcoming bridge closure, with more parents willing to put their young athletes into a game that uses half a field and smaller goals. It also means that 6- to 7-year-olds are promoted into Div. 3 and will have real league play. Soccer is the Center’s premier program and 22 teams across five divisions will battle it out through November 10.

Family's have a chance to show their soccer spirit throughout the 2008 season by purchasing a family sign that will be displayed around the fields. The cost is $30, with $5 being donated to Teen Scene's planned skiing trip in the fall. Call Andy Jonatzke at 778 1908 for more details.

Center Cafe will be on hand to cater throughout the season from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The menu will feature hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken nuggets and fries with an occasional special.

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