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Grass getting attention at Harriman golf course

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New variety replaced old after intense summer drought burned up the greens

By Cindy Simpson

as a warm-weather sport, but most people were bundled up recently at the Emory Golf Course in Harriman at the tournament celebrating the opening of the new golf greens.
Lloyd Edwards was among many whose ties with the course extend way back.
“I started caddying back in 1942,” Edwards said. “That was when I started playing.”
“This is just about the only place I’ve ever played except tournaments in other places. I wouldn’t give this place up for any of them,” he added. “Everyone that plays out here whenever it is in good shape they love this golf course.”
The course recently changed to a more drought-resistant turf.
The new greens were the focus of the day, with people praising its playability.
The new sod is a mini-verde Bermuda hybrid.
“Not many courses have it,” said Chuck Flora, a golf board member. Flora said it was developed at University of South Carolina.
The course was also given a different hybrid to put in some tee boxes and started a nursery for tee boxes and for the greens.
Edwards remembers the course having to change grasses many times before. This last time, the long, dry, intense heat of summer killed the greens.
He likes the change.
“It has a real fine grass, good to play on,” Edwards said.
Andre Savoie is fairly recent to the sport, but got a hole-in-one at the course recently.
Hwever, Savoie and his fiancée, Becka McLain, have a more special reason for their love of the course.
McLain’s 15-year-old son Dustin played his first game at the course after being told he was in remission from his lifelong illness of myelogenous leukemia.
The first person he called was Andre to ask when he would take him to play golf.
McLain said her son’s love of the game is now obvious.
“He plays every Sunday when he’s not grounded,” she quipped.
Savoie and McLain have even decided to wed at the course on Feb. 16.
They were told it will be the first wedding at the course.
Now Dustin tells his doctors he’s going to go pro in golf.
McLain said she moved to the area to be close to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital after she was told Dustin was terminally ill while living in Wisconsin.
“I never thought when we moved down here that I’d see him do this,” she said. “It couldn’t have happened without St. Jude’s.”
She met Andre through a dating service her three sons, Dustin, Lakota and Austen, set her up on as a joke.
Now the couple are expecting a daughter due next month.