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Issue 172 - April 28

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Thompson teesoff "Alabama's Golf Insider" teesoff Thompson teesoff 4.28.16 In recognition of the milestone of recently reaching my 150th issue, I'm pleased to offer a special "Lifetime" subscription offer of $100 for 10 years of issues! That's right, this special offer is available now and will mean you won't have to pay $30 annually, but rather a one-time payment of $100 for up to 10 years of issues. This option is available when you click the Subscribe Now! button. Click our Icon to Subscribe! Earlier this week I took a quick trip to join some fel- low golf writers in Gulf Shores. We toured Cotton Creek at Craft Farms and Kiva Dunes. More on Cotton Creek in next week's issue of Thompson Tees Off, while this week I will focus on Kiva Dunes, which underwent a renovation last summer, reopening in November. Hence, it was my first visit since the renovation. It's hard for me to believe this gem located off of Fort Morgan Road had already reached its milestone 20th Anniversary last year. I still consider it a new course and remember opening day like it was yesterday. Renovations took place to improve playability of the course for their "bread and butter" golfer, while maintaining the challenges and shot values enjoyed by expe- rienced golfers. They included replacing the Champion Bermuda turf grass on the greens with a more temperate and golfer friendly Tifeagle turf; completely rebuilding the white sand bunkers; leveling tee boxes; and roto-tilling the Bermuda grass fairways, a process which disposes of any organic layering under the fairway, ensuring perfect lies and ap- proach shots into the new greens. Additional enhancements included some re-vegeta- tion of native grasses and sandy dunes found through- out the course; improved natural transitions between grasses and the indigenous beach landscape; and the clearing of many scrub trees and thinning out the lower level of many other more mature trees to make finding, and playing, offline shots easier. To ensure the integrity of the new renovations, the original designer, Jerry Pate, was on hand to supervise Kiva Dunes…it just keeps improving the renovation process. The changes at Kiva Dunes make a major statement in the golf industry by taking action to improve the experience in a proven golf market. "We have celebrated 20 years of award winning golf at Kiva Dunes." Kiva Dunes developer Jim "Scrappy" Edgemon said. "As exciting as that was, and as proud as we are of the current product we provide, we felt the time was ideal to address some of the natural impacts a course on the beach experiences after 20 years of the wind and rain we are accustomed to in southern Alabama, not to mention the impact of numerous hurricanes over the years. We're making a statement that Kiva Dunes is here for the long haul and will continue to be recognized as one of the premier golf and beach resorts in not only the Southeast, but also the United States." Edgemon, who has been involved at Kiva Dunes from inception to present day, truly loves the place. It's not hard to see why. He and Pate worked closely together on the renovation as Edgemon knows every blade of grass on this idyllic property. In my opinion, one of the many joys of a round at Kiva Dunes is the top-notch turf conditions. The fairways are similar to links courses back in my homeland. These tight turf conditions are just begging for a well struck long iron to rise majestically into the azure blue sky backdrop. While you may not be able to see the beach and water which is but a few 100 yards away, it pervades all senses. You can smell it, taste it, feel the sea breeze on your face. It really is a joy to play golf here. Like any course after a renovation that includes the The majestic and challenging closing hole at Kiva Dunes

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