North Palm Beach C.C. Earns the 2020 Latitude 36 Florida Course of the Year
When Cory Adams took the role as superintendent of the North Palm Beach Country Club golf course, it wasn’t in great shape. In a lot of ways, it seemed like the environmental conditions of the course would prevent almost any turf variety from flourishing. The course sits on a sand ridge—not the best foundation for growing healthy, green grass. Nematodes, notorious for attacking root structures, were an ever-present issue. Pile on top of that the extreme Florida heat and humidity, and the conditions of the North Palm Beach Country Club course seemed to be the perfect storm of set-backs.
With so much work to be done, management felt that Adams might decline the position. Undeterred, he took the job and found that by trouble-shooting issues one at a time, the course began to improve. The turfgrass on the golf course was Latitude 36® Bermudagrass. The grass was struggling so much that there was talk of needing to replace it altogether. Latitude 36 was developed to push the upper limits of the transition zone and some questioned whether it could perform in the hot, humid climates of South Florida. The other issue was the sandy soil, which can be difficult for many varieties.
Adams thought it over and ultimately came to the conclusion that with the right maintenance and care, he believed Latitude 36 would not only do well, but would thrive and offer players an outstanding golf experience. Features like its color and playability make Latitude 36 perfect for a golf course application; it was just a matter of figuring out how to make it work in an environment with so many setbacks.
The first thing he had to handle was implementing an organic nutrition regimen. From there, he put a plan together to deal with the nematodes, and ramped up the irrigation system to address the sandy soil. Coming up with a program for moisture retention made all the difference, according to Adams. Within a few months, the dry, dead-looking patches that had been plaguing the course upon Adams’s arrival disappeared, and a green, healthy looking golf course began to take shape.
Today, one of the main draws of the North Palm Beach Country Club course is the playability (the grass). Unlike other bermudagrasses, Latitude 36 has an upright growth pattern which creates the perfect foundation for golf play. From a maintenance point of view, Adams loves this feature because it requires less cultural practices and the upright growth pattern maintains itself. The ball sits up high on Latitude 36, which golfers love. The green color and beautiful texture of the grass provide fine aesthetic appeal which is highly sought after in the golf industry. Adams is proud to offer what he believes is truly the best course surface to club members and loves to hear the positive feedback from players.
After the initial project of getting the Latitude 36 back to health, Adams says that the day-to-day maintenance is actually much less than that of other varieties. Basic agronomic practices like correct feeding and grooming have been the magic formula that keeps the grass healthy and thriving. It all comes down to the proper nutrition and consistent care.
Latitude 36 has become a success story in more ways than one at the North Palm Beach Country Club course, but there are still some skeptics. Adams invites anyone who doubts the choice of Latitude 36 for a South Florida application to talk to him; he is an open book when it comes to the care and maintenance practices that he has found to be successful. Cory Adams is a superintendent that not only manages with excellence, he is also willing to step out of the box when it comes to management style and is more than willing to share information and interact meaningfully with his peers. These characteristics have allowed Adams to defy the status quo and make the North Palm Beach Country Club golf course a notable success. Congratulations to Cory and his staff, the recipients of the 2020 Latitude 36 Florida Course of the Year award.