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Golf Like the Pros

Article by Brianna Melanson

Photography by James Williams

Originally published in Franklin Lifestyle

Ricky Sessum grew up in Augusta, Georgia, home of the Master’s Tournament. At age six, he witnessed Tiger Woods’ debut on the Augusta National Golf Course and years later watched Arnold Palmer walk to the tee box on this same course with Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player for the last time as an honorary starter for the tournament. Naturally, this influenced his love for the game and beautiful golf courses. So, after 15 years in the landscaping business, he and his business partner decided to launch Music City Turf which has the goal of creating some of the most extraordinary private synthetic golf greens across the state of Tennessee.

Music City Turf is middle and east Tennessee’s authorized dealer, designer, and installer for Celebrity Greens. Their first assignment with CG took place in Indiana and ended up being the largest privately owned artificial golf complex in North America. Ricky boasts, “It’s over 50,000 square feet and has 3 PGA-Caliber size golf greens with lighting and stacked-sod bunkers like you see in Scotland.” CG’s signature sand filled greens can hold shots from over 300 yards out.  The quality of Celebrity Greens is nearly identical to the most famous golf courses and many pros decide to replicate certain holes in their own yard to practice on. The Founders of Celebrity Greens have over 24 years of industry experience and have built greens for over 70 PGA Professionals. Last year, Ricky’s team joined the CG professionals in Kansas to create a 13,000 square foot golf complex with 3 target greens for PGA Champion Gary Woodland.

The professional golfers are understandably extremely specific. Ricky says, “They’re concerned with having 4 to 8 foot putts that roll very true because these are ones that they may have missed and essentially lost them tournaments. They worry about speed. They want it to measure on the stimpmeter like the courses they play on tour.” CEO and Founder of Celebrity Greens, Weston Weber, says, “The attention to detail is critical. A lot of customers think we’re selling putt-putt golf instead of the sophisticated blend of technology and construction we put into our projects.” The Nashville team consists of 5 installers. Ricky says, “These guys are out playing golf on their days off, so they know how real golf courses act. It’s a huge plus when you’re trying to build the most realistic, authentic product.”

Out of all the incredible projects they’ve worked on, the one in Leiper’s Fork last July is his favorite. Ricky wondered why his client wanted 2 regulation size Par 3 golf greens on his property when he didn’t play golf. It turned out that the client’s 22 year old daughter with down syndrome took up the sport a year ago and was taking lessons. The golf complex  was so that she could practice in the peace and comfort of her own home without feeling like strangers were watching or judging her. With her own golf greens, she has the opportunity to enhance her game and gain her confidence. Ricky says, “To see her face when she opened the car door to see the course made it all worth it. She was grinning ear to ear and thought it was the coolest thing she’d ever seen in her life.”

That 16,000 square foot project, which required 1,600,000 pounds of base material that had to be moved almost a mile off of any main road with very limited access to dump trucks and semi trucks, only took them 11 days when it could have taken up to 3 months because of the access to Celebrity Green’s national installers. Ricky brought in crews from Florida, Arizona, Colorado, Nevada and Arkansas. They worked 14 hour days in the summer heat, determined to get the project done for the family to enjoy. Ricky says, “These guys are literally the most experienced installers in North America because all they’ve ever done is artificial turf. These are the original pioneers of the industry. We all have the same goal of creating the best golf greens.” They treat each golf green like they’re making it for a pro.

Music City Turf isn’t limited to golf greens. If you want to transform your concrete apartment balcony or have a backyard that doesn’t get enough sunlight to grow grass, turf is an excellent low-maintenance alternative. If your dog gets it dirty, all you have to do is hose it down. A daycare in Dickson is getting a new turf playground from Music City Turf. Ricky says, “We make sure the safety of the kids is not overlooked, so if they fall, they have the best padding underneath them.” Whatever the situation, they’re able to build it and make your space aesthetically beautiful.

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