Two years ago an already besieged FedEx Cup took a closing haymaker when a summer heat wave turned East Lake’s greens into browns, or in some cases dirt. In 2007 the layout’s bent grass greens were baked so badly before the finale the Tour took the unprecedented step of canceling the Wednesday pro-am and not allowing players to hit shots to or practice on the greens.
After the ’07 faux pas, officials installed more heat-tolerant Bermuda grass on East Lake’s greens which has assured smooth putting surfaces for the Tour Championship and set a standard for area courses.
“I was so happy when they changed,” said Jason Bohn, a resident of nearby Acworth, Ga. “I wish more courses in Atlanta would switch (to Bermuda grass greens). In the summer you can get some nasty greens and new grasses really help.”
Stewart Cink, who rallied at the BMW Championship to qualify for the Tour Championship, is a member at East Lake and said he visited the course about two months ago. “They will be the same as they were last year,” Cink said. “The new grasses have really helped, but it will be hard to shoot under par there.”
Some may still be questioning the Tour’s playoff payoff, but at least no one is questioning East Lake’s greens this year.