HOLE #1 – THE POND
On the right side of the fairway is a pond with shrubs and high grass surrounding it to preserve the natural environment and provide a buffer zone between the wetland and the golf course. The number and variety of aquatic and shoreline plants make this pond attractive to wildlife. Birds and mammals rely on ponds to drink, bathe and cool off, while numerous species of salamanders, frogs and aquatic insects live in or near the water. Note the bird nesting boxes in the pond area which provide additional habitat.
HOLE #2 – THE GULLY
This gully has been left in its natural state to provide habitat for wildlife. This has been enhanced by the use of Jamestown fescue on the slope for the cart path. This fescue is an excellent naturalizing grass which provides habitat for chipmunks and mice, which are the prey of Great Horned Owls who inhabit the very large beech and walnut trees.
HOLE #3 – RYE GRASS FAIRWAY
Rye grass, in this case Palmer Prelude Perennial rye, has been used on these fairways not only because it is a fine quality turf. This particular grass is hardy and drought-resistant, requiring less water than conventional grasses. This grass is much more economical to use and it saves a considerable amount of water.
HOLE #4 – WOODLANDS
Notice the natural woodlands to the left of the fairway. They provide a 400-foot-wide buffer strip with the adjoining farmland, making excellent cover for wildlife. It is not unusual to see turkey, deer and especially gray squirrels in this area. Look overhead in the tree branches for leafy squirrel nests.
HOLE #5 – BUFFER ZONE
The natural grass to the left of this fairway serves as a buffer zone and provides further wildlife habitat. In the hollow on this hole, Jamestown fescue is the grass used to prevent erosion. This tightly woven ground cover also handles foot traffic well. It is much better to use this grass, because it is so durable, and it is low on maintenance.
HOLE #6 – WOODLAND HABITAT
In the hollow to the left of the tree is an area that has been left in its natural state. The dead trees here provide habitat for woodpeckers and songbirds in the form of nest sites and insects, a valuable food resource. In addition, leaf litter, twigs and downed limbs remain on the woodland floor to return nutrients to and build the soil. This is a natural way to provide homes for the wildlife.
HOLE #7 – RESTORED POND, WILDFLOWERS
The restored pond to the right of the tee has been returned to its natural state. High in the trees in this area are wood duck boxes to encourage nesting. You may also see Canadian geese, mallards or a Great Blue Heron in the pond. To the left of the tee is a wildflower area which appeals to birds and butterflies, as well as golfers. Watch for a succession of blooms which occur throughout the spring, summer and fall.
HOLE #8 – IRRIGATION
The fairways at Tam O’Shanter are irrigated by a fully automated system. The 680 Toto Irrigation Heads help conserve water by giving maximum coverage with a minimal volume of water. This system uses less water than conventional methods when syringing (light watering) is employed during hot summer days. This preserves the turf and this benefits golfers. It also benefits the land in that fewer chemicals are used. This is an asset to neighbors who live near the golf course rather than in a neighborhood where many subscribe to a chemical lawn service. Watch for a succession of blooms which occur throughout the spring, summer and fall on the golf course.
HOLE #9 – NATURAL RAVINE/HISTORY
This natural ravine contains oak trees that are 150 to 200 years old. The majority of the land in this county (Mercer) was a Revolutionary Land Grant to soldiers, most of whom sold off their shares, and the land was logged and then used for farming. This golf course was originally built in 1929-30 by T. Wade Walker, who sold it to Dan Sawhill in 1944. Jack and Mary Lou Kerins bought the course in 1947, and the Kerins family has operated it since then.