The Creeks, The Hills, and The Valley
A championship quality golf course starts with a quality design that is enjoyable to play and challenging for the best golfers as well as the novice.
I have never heard anyone say that they did not want to play the course at Comanche Trace again, and to me that is the best compliment anyone could give. A well designed course is not enough. The construction process and drainage plan is what really seals the deal to ensure integrity of the course for future enjoyment. In 2000, the first year the course was open, we hosted a Ryder Cup format tournament of the best club professionals in the State of Texas, and they were astonished that the course was so mature.
I was fortunate to be involved with the construction and grow-in of the course from the beginning. I was able to relate concerns about future maintenance to the design team of Kite, Bechtol, Russell, and they made the necessary changes that would ensure proper course conditions for the long term.
I have been Course Superintendent at three quality courses during my 30 plus years since graduating from Mississippi State University - six years as an assistant at Brookhaven and Dallas Country Club, both in Dallas, Texas. My first position as Superintendent was Southern Trace in Shreveport, Louisiana. I was there during the construction and after opening the course returned to Dallas Country Club for 10 years as their Superintendent.
I have often thought about where the best place would be to maintain a golf course as it relates to climate. There is nowhere on the planet that does not have its challenges at one time of the year or another. Comanche Trace is located in a very unique area of the state that has very favorable temperatures and humidity to grow bent grass (most of the time). I have been the Superintendent for almost 15 years and we are experiencing our second drought. I would have to say that has been our greatest challenge to date. The other challenge is keeping the bent grass greens pure and free of the “weed”, Poa Annua.
Comanche Trace has bent grass greens that are a blend of two bent grass varieties, Crenshaw and L-93, and it has performed very well over the years. The rest of the course, fairways, tees and roughs are Tifsport Bermuda grass. The golf course has two separate irrigation sources. The greens are irrigated by water from the Guadalupe River and the rest of the course is irrigated with treated effluent water obtained from the City of Kerrville. During the construction process two separate lines were installed to allow for the delivery of the two water sources.