One of the unique aspects of Tramark Golf Course is its triangle, three holes across a road that cut through a Bayou View neighborhood. Before Katrina, the triangle's biggest obstacle was a ditch in front of its final green, that usually required a short iron to clear. Now, you need a rake to clear it. A rake, and contractors such as Brian Pokladowski.
"I think it looks pretty nice right now. A lot better than it was before," he said.
Pokladowski doesn't play golf. But the Michigan contractor is in Gulfport making sure others can play as soon as possible.
"It's my job. Gotta do it," he laughed.
Right after the storm, Tramark's torn up fairways became a collection area for out of town clean up crews. An occasional buried golf ball was the only sign the muddy terrain had links to golf. In November, the tents were cleared out. And now, Tramark's hurricane debris is being hauled off.
Edmund Salloum is the city's new leisure services director.
"The plan is to get it up and going as quickly as possible, yet not compromise quality," said Salloum.
Gulfport won't be accepting Tramark tee times until it decides if it should lease the land to a new golf course manager, or if it should run the public course itself.
"As I said, and I have to reiterate, we don't want to compromise the quality of it," Salloum said. "We'd rather take a little bit longer and get it right."
Getting it right starts with Brian Pokladowski raking hurricane debris off Tramark's triangle.
"It has to get done," he said.
And then he looked past the triangle and toward a hole along Washington Avenue that was cleared a few days ago.
"I think it looks good over there. So, we're kind of taking pride in it now."
Before the hurricane, the Applewhite family had a lease with Gulfport to run Tramark. Billy Applewhite told WLOX News his family is giving up that lease. He said Katrina damaged most of his golf equipment. It made him realize it was time to get out of the golf business.