The Embassy Suites Greenville Golf Resort and Conference Center has invested $3 million in creating an updated, eco-friendly golf course from the Willard Byrd-designed, 18-hole, par 72 championship Verdae Greens Golf Course. The Course has been renamed to celebrate the facility’s 20-year anniversary as The Preserve at Verdae.
We chose to re-name the course The Preserve at Verdae to reflect our commitment to preserving the balance between nature and golf,” said Joe Morrissey, John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts’ Senior Vice President – Operations. “With this renovation, we are reducing our carbon footprint by planting more natural grasses and landscaping, and preserving and expanding the existing habitats for local wildlife and birds.”
The Preserve is now the only course within 60 miles of Greenville that features drought-resistant Mini Verde Bermuda grass, a strain which requires fewer pesticides and fertilizer to stay green throughout hot summers and cool winters. These greens putt beautifully allowing for a truer consistent roll of the golf ball. The Preserve’s tour quality practice facility features a multi-level tee box, separate chipping and practice bunker area, and a large practice putting green.
In addition, the renovation reduced intensely maintained acreage by approximately 12%, and The Preserve plans to achieve a total reduction of 20-25% over the next three years. This reduction of maintained acreage allows a reduction in pesticide, fertilizer, fuel and water use. Over the course of the past year the golf course reduced fuel consumption by approximately 500 gallons and water usage by approximately six million gallons.
The renovation also added the Terrace, a unique and beautiful new pavilion. Overlooking the tennis courts, the pool and golf facilities, The Terrace measures 3,000 square feet and can accommodate up to 1,100 guests at any type of outdoor event from weddings to corporate retreats.
The project also added restructured retaining walls of natural stone along creek beds and an enhanced golf shop. The Preserve at Verdae will continue to be open to the public, allowing all golfers to enjoy the course that hosted the Nike Tour for nine years. The Preserve involved the course membership in re-naming the holes through a naming contest and all the new names are based on surrounding architectural and environmental features.
“The Preserve is a unique and challenging course to play,” said The Preserve at Verdae’s Director of Golf, Paul Albert. “We have a number of elevation changes and difficult dog-legs that require precision play to small targets. This course is a challenge for golfers of all skill levels.”
According to the Golf and Environment initiative, golfers report playing quality is maintained or even improved as a result of course management in harmony with the natural environment.