Greens in central Maine and elsewhere in the Northeast are recovering nicely from one of the most damaging winters in over a decade.

“They’ve come back really well,” said Kyle Evans, managing general partner at Belgrade Lakes Golf Course. “We started seeding while there was snow on the ground.”

Ice cover in December that lasted throughout the winter caused damage to greens at most of the courses around the state. At Belgrade, eight temporary greens were in effect throughout May.

“Keeping them off eight greens made a huge difference,” Evans said.

Augusta Country Club still has two temporary greens on the front nine, which should open by next week.

“We still have our spots,” superintendent Chris Barnicoat said. “We’re on an aggressive plugging program at the moment.”

Augusta will host the Charlie’s Maine Open on July 28-29.

“That gives us another month,” Barnicoat said. “If we stay with it, we’ll have a decent product for that tournament.”

At Natanis, some of the greens have bounced back more quickly than others. The newer 18-hole Tomahawk course has bentgrass greens and better drainage as do most of the holes on the front side of the 18-hole Arrowhead course.

“I would say Tomahawk will be primo by the middle of the month,” general manager Rob Browne said. “The back side of Arrowhead’s going to take quite awhile. Bentgrass bounces back, Poa greens didn’t handle it as well.”

Natanis is hosting 20 tournaments in July, most of them private, along with the Maine State Golf Association’s B & C championships on July 21-22.

• • •

Mark Plummer will play in his 44th Maine Amateur tournament July 8-10 at the Woodlands in Falmouth. The Manchester resident and Augusta Country Club member played in his first one in 1966 at age 14. He missed two because of health reasons and two while regaining his amateur status after turning pro.

Plummer has won the tournament 13 times, the last in 2002 at Falmouth, and he finished runner-up in 2008.

The Woodlands measures 6,848 yards from the back tees and is fairly tight.

“It’s the kind of golf course where you just have to stay away from making a big score on a hole,” Plummer said. “I haven’t been around there too many times without a double bogey or worse. It tests you.”

Plummer watched the recent U.S. Open at Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina, a course he played several times in the 1970s.

“It was 38 years ago,” he said. “To be honest I don’t remember it that well. When I played there, the fairways turned into the woods. They didn’t have all that sand.”

Plummer played in the North-South Amateur at Pinehurst in 1976, losing in the semifinals to Curtis Strange. Along the way, he beat three of Strange’s fellow Wake Forest golfers — Scott Hoch, Vance Hefner and Bob Byman — all of whom went on to win tournaments on the PGA Tour.

He turned pro that fall and attended Q school at Pinehurst, eventually missing the six-round cut. But in one of those rounds he shot 66.

“Unfortunately my other scores weren’t 66s,” he said.

Chip shots . . . Plummer played in the Club Team Championship last Sunday at Belgrade with Augusta Country Club members Jason Gall, Sean Goggin and Jim Quinn, finishing third with a two-round score of 137. A team from Martindale won with a sizzling 130. Plummer has played on teams that have won the championship six times, including last year . . . The Senior Club Team Championships will be held at Belgrade on July 17 . . . Lakewood will host the weekly MSGA tournament July 4-5 . . . Gavin Dugas, who will be a senior at Maine Central Institute this fall, shot 69 at Cape Arundel on Wednesday to finish as low boys qualifier for the Big I tournament. Dugas and low girls qualifier Monica Austin of Yarmouth have qualified for the Big I national tournament Aug. 5-8 at the Pete Dye Club in Bridgeport, West Virginia.

Gary Hawkins — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @GaryHawkinsKJ


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