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A Short Putt Away

By: Asimoula Alissandratos

On November 8, 2019, the new BG croquet court and pavilion were dedicated, officially kicking it off although the two facilities had actually been used since spring of that year. Whether immediate or gradual, its true success led to another vision - for a golf putting green. And, as with most of BG’s other facilities, a few residents were strong advocates. The concept of a putting green at Bishop Gadsden had been discussed off and on for a few years, but this concept took a surprising turn following world events. In March of 2020, a strange disease appeared, baffling the experts. Covid covered the world and caused all of us to retreat for some time. As guidelines were updated, outside activities and programming took reign, and the discussion of golfers wanting an outlet of their own resurfaced. The number of golfers surged in 2020 alone to 11% more than in 2019 since the sport allowed social distancing, suddenly a highly prized feature. After the Gadsden Glen project was completed, BG strategic planners could focus on this smaller one. Many residents contributed to determining how to proceed with the project. RLPS, Bishop Gadsden’s current master planning and architectural design company, advised how the project might fit in, as it had for the Quay, Meade, and Glebe. Strategic planning by CEO, Sarah Tipton, and Vice President of Facility Operations, Daniel Larrabee, considered several possible locations. The goal was to offer nearby parking and shade, as well as access to drinking water and restroom facilities. Eventually, a spot was chosen across the street from the croquet pavilion, which offered some of these amenities and eliminated the need for their duplication. A generous, enthusiastic resident offered a sizeable contribution in 2021, and other funds were supplied by the capital budget. The head of EVS coordinated the work of Pro Green, a local company that installs attractive putting greens for homes or institutions. More resident input helped with the final touches on the design. And recently, the putting green appeared with a special touch - the handle of the ball container in each hole is in the shape of the American flag. Now, instead of having to drive to nearby Charleston Municipal or another course, you can step outside and practice your putting. And you might even set up your own match!