The Norman Transcript

Community Sports

May 5, 2012

New greens installed at The Trails



The Trails was built in 1979 as the cornerstone of a real estate development, which included The Trails Golf Club, Rivermont Retirement Center and River Chase Homes.

Despite the more than 30-year presence just a stone’s throw off Highway 9 at Berry Road, Hess said it isn’t uncommon for people to tell him they had no idea the golf course was there.

The Trails has hosted three Oklahoma Men’s and two Women’s State Amateur Championships, the Oklahoma Senior Men’’ Championship and a number of collegiate events hosted by The University of Oklahoma.

Head professional and PGA member, Alan Hager and LPGA teaching professional and former LPGA tour Stephanie Brecht provide instruction for beginners as well as low-handicap players.

Hess, an OU graduate, studied architecture and planned a career in that field, but he couldn’t stay away from golf. The OU golf coach at the time Hess went to school was Jim Awtrey, the original Trails manager.

Long Hot Summer

The availability of water is constantly on the minds of golf course operators, Hess said. The summer of 2011 delivered record-breaking heat and drought to Oklahoma, and tested the skills of the best greens keepers.

“We had to manage our resources very carefully last summer,” Hess said.

The new greens were seeded with Tyee/007 blend, a current variety of heat tolerant bentgrass. The work to rebuild the front nine greens began in August, 2011 with the removal of old material, and the seeding took place in mid-September. From that point, Hess said Mother Nature took over, and delivered much needed rain.

The Trails has 14 wells, along with a large reservoir lake known as Potts Lake. The soil is sandy, and huge Cottonwood trees provide beauty and shade.

The course is close to the Canadian River, home to many critters such as wild turkeys and deer.

Last year we saw eagles,” Hess said.

And many golfers say the clubhouse is one of the best places in Norman to watch a sunset.

For information on membership or other questions, call 364-3790, or go online

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