I would like to respond to a recent letter to the editor in regard to the condition of the putting greens at the Municipal Golf Course.

As the manager of the Municipal Golf Course and PGA of America member, I am very proud of this public golf course and its hard-working staff. As a public golf course that averages over 60,000 rounds per year, it is the busiest golf course in South Carolina. This course is owned and managed by the city of Charleston.

We strive to keep the price affordable for juniors, seniors, weekend players and those who are new to the wonderful game of golf. Our aim is to provide a safe, friendly and challenging course that serves all of the residents of the city of Charleston.

It is no secret to Charleston golfers that the Muni's greens roll at a much slower pace than those of other courses in the area. To call them "impossible to putt on" is an unfortunate exaggeration. In the summer months, which encompass the main growing season, the issue of grain and mowing heights is a hot topic.

We have addressed the issue of grain (the undesirable lateral growth of the grass blades which may cause the golf ball to veer from its intended course), and we are aggressively experimenting with different options to provide the best surface possible, within reason, throughout the summer months.

While most of our current maintenance practices are consistent with other facilities, our greens are cut and maintained at a higher mowing height due to the variety of Bermuda grass.

Over the last 10 months, over $800,000 has been invested at the Municipal Golf Course to install a state-of-the-art irrigation system, which we believe is the primary component of a well-maintained course.

Being able to bring water to all areas of the golf course was a huge investment and now that this is in place, we look forward to future opportunities to improve the golf course as such opportunities become available. The driveway entrance from Maybank Highway was also widened to improve visibility for motorists and our golfers.

The successful implementation of these components is apparent. We have received countless compliments from tourists and residents who continue to visit our facility.

The Muni hosts the highest volume of golfers in the area. It is a very diverse crowd of all races, genders and ages that creates the wonderful, fun-loving atmosphere that we have all learned to love and appreciate.

As a PGA professional, I have learned to appreciate each golf course for what it is and the purpose it serves. And as a city of Charleston employee, I always go back to one of our values within the city that reads, "We value offering a high quality municipal service at the lowest possible cost to our residents."

Everyone at the Muni welcomes the opportunity to serve the residents of the city of Charleston and to host golfers of all walks of life at our facility.

Charleston is a city rich in golf history and the Charleston Municipal Golf Course will continue to serve the community.

Marshall Ormand

General Manager

City of Charleston Municipal Golf Course

Maybank Highway