Tour Championship - East Lake course preview


THE TOUR Championship by Coke 2007 LogoThis week the PGA Tour returns to East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta for The Tour Championship, the fourth and final event of the FedEx Cup Playoffs. GCSAA Certified Golf Course Superintendent Ralph Kepple has the MiniVerde bermudagrass greens firm and rolling smooth, despite receiving 10 inches of rain in the last week. He insists that even with all the rain, the greens will still be firmer than what the players have seen on the bentgrass greens at the last three playoff locations this year.

Kepple, a 27-year GCSAA member who holds an agronomy degree from Ohio State, explains that it is difficult to maintain a good, dense root system in September, because there is a limited root system this time of year. He knows that well because he managed bentgrass greens the first 16 of his 18 years at East Lake before switching to bermuda after the 2007 Tour Championship.

There have been no changes to the golf course since the 2007-08 renovation, but Kepple says the rainy summer has helped the 2 ¼-inch bermudagrass rough become much thicker than in the past. The recent flooding has forced his staff to repair the washed-out bunkers four times since last Tuesday. Reinforcements arrive this week though, as a group of 72 volunteers made up of nearby turfgrass students, area superintendents and assistant superintendents, as well as various vendors from around the region join Kepple's staff of 27, illuminating the camaraderie of the profession.

grass type

Grass type:
Tees - Bermudagrass; Meyer and Cavalier zoysiagrass; Poa annua - .30'
Fairways - Zoysiagrass - .37'
Greens - Bermudagrass - .13'
Rough - Bermudagrass - 2.25'


Weather: Isolated thunderstorms are forecast all week.


Yardage: 7,374 yards, par 72

signature hole

Not-so-fun fact: Record rain has engulfed the Atlanta area over the past several days, which has forced East Lake's maintenance staff to repair the washed-out bunkers four times since last Tuesday.


Golf Course Superintendents Association of America