Ground breaking for construction of the golf course officially took place in November of 1994, yet much critical work and planning took place long before. That preliminary work established the foundation for the quality golf experience we all enjoy today. Engineers tested the soil and underlying water table to determine the water features that would supply irrigation water and affect the routing of the golf holes. An archeological survey ensured that no surprises would hold up construction or affect the planned layout. A storm water management plan would guarantee rainwater is captured for storage while also protecting the Lynnhaven River from detrimental runoff and sedimentation.
A ground water strata was found at elevation 0' to elevation 6' that would result in what is now our current lake system. Being above mean sea level meant that "head" pressure would prevent saltwater intrusion into the irrigation source. The lakes are all interconnected so that they rise together with rainfall and drop together as irrigation is used. The material taken from digging the lakes would be used to shape the mounds, bunkers, tees and greens. The 400,000 cubic yards of sand and soil excavated represents a modest effort by modern golf course construction standards. The quality of the shaping of this material is the real key to creating an exciting golf experience. Wadsworth Golf Construction was selected to build the golf course and Tom Marzolf from Fazio Golf Course Designers would be the lead architect on the project. Wadsworth had an outstanding resume of quality work, and we were fortunate that some of their most talented shapers worked on our golf course.
In March of 1995, the first holes were starting to take shape and installation of the irrigation system began. The irrigation system was originally designed to irrigate just 110 of our 268 acre property. But we now have irrigation coverage of 180 acres of the golf course. Over 2,000 sprinkler heads are connected to 40 miles of piping and controlled with a central computer. The pumping station has two 75 hp motors and is capable of pumping 1,500 gallons of water per minute. The size of our property is nearly twice that of many local golf courses and requires a more extensive infrastructure than most 18 hole golf courses. The scale of the property also significantly contributes to the mystique and beauty that make our course so special.
The construction of the golf greens was in strict accordance with USGA recommendations for golf green construction. The Club's management team worked diligently to ensure all construction methods were inspected, tested and certified to be of accepted construction quality. That commitment pays dividends to this day.
Originally, it was planned to seed the greens with Crenshaw bentgrass per recommendations of Fazio Golf Course Designers. This variety had been well tested and although it had susceptibility to several turf diseases, it was in use at many fine clubs. Serendipitously, at a turfgrass symposium in early 1995, Cutler Robinson, the Club's Director of Golf Course Operations, was giving a talk on bentgrass management and met another speaker, Dr. Melodee Fraser. Dr. Fraser is a turfgrass breeder and had been working with some very new varieties developed at Penn State using germplasm from the greens at Augusta National. That chance meeting resulted in Bayville Golf Club getting some of the very first A-4 bentgrass seed available. With much cajoling of the Fazio team and the Club's Development Committee (headed by Bob Stanton), we selected the A-4 variety for use on our greens. Bayville was the first golf course to have A-4 bentgrass on all 18 of its greens. A-4 is now the number one seed sold for golf putting greens throughout the world.
In May of 1995, the "grow-in" of the golf course began. As the construction of a golf hole was completed, then the grassing started. Greens were seeded, bunker faces were sodded and the fairways and roughs were sprigged. The staff worked seven days a week with many 12 hour plus days, and by November, we had a beautiful golf course. It was a team effort of very dedicated people, putting a lot of pride into what was being created. Many of the staff remain with your Club and others have gone on to fruitful lives and careers. The Founding Members shaped the formation for what has become a truly great golf club.