Played in TheGrint Tour’s season opening event yesterday at Sapona and the greens were immaculate! I mean, they played like artificial turf. Every green, Nos. 1-18, would not make a mark even with a wedge shot. Yet, the greens would hold shots. They were firm and fast but did not produce hard bounces.
These Zoysia greens are the toughest, fastest I’ve played all year. They were legit 13+ on the stimpmeter. And with the slopes and undulations, several pins were 10/10 difficulty. I saw a 4-putt and a 5-putt in my group. I had several 3-putts. They roll true, but if you struggle with putting, I wouldn’t recommend playing Sapona.
Outside of the greens, fairways and bunkers were in good shape (though I was in several with bad rake jobs). The sand is that heavy stuff that takes one swipe with a rake to smooth out, too. The tee boxes were just okay and hard to get a long tee into.
The course is very challenging with tree-lined, hilly terrain throughout. This time of year you will have some trouble finding balls in the leaves off the fairway. Knowing the course or having a good GPS app like TheGrint will help tremendously. You need to know where fairways run out or what yardage you need to carry certain hazards.
To give you some context on the difficulty of the course, my flight of players with handicaps ranging from 4.0-7.9 played from a mix of the Blue and Green tees (~6400yds). The winning score in my flight was 81 (+10) and I tied for 3rd with an 86 (+15).
Sapona is a semi-private course. So it’s open for public play at very reasonable rates. Only about 45-60 minutes up I-85 from Charlotte, too. It’s worth the drive and money if you are up for a challenge!