A special thanks to the Angel Fire Golf Course Advisory Committee for providing this update on golf course improvements.
Clubhouse and Pro Shop Location
Since the existing Country Club will not be in use this season, the resort purchased two temporary structures. One structure will house the pro shop and food & beverage operations. That structure will be located just to the south of the current chipping green, which will eliminate the use of the chipping green during the existence of the temporary pro shop. The other structure will be located in the existing parking lot above the putting green to house the golf carts. These structures will be erected as soon as possible. Until these structures are complete, the pro shop will be operating out of the existing country club building. Below are sample photographs of the Sprung® buildings that are being erected.
New Green on Number 10
The Green on number 10 will be replaced this season. A new design has been approved and the work to shape, build and seed the new green will begin as soon as weather permits. The work is being done by a golf course construction company. We will be using a temporary green until the new green is able to accept play. John would like to have the construction complete by the first week of June so the grass will have at least 5 weeks to grow. A decision about playability will be made around July 4 if this schedule remains.
One of the major problems with a number of our sand bunkers is that the elk walk through the bunkers and destroy the drainage systems and also contaminate the sand (mix clay with the pure sand). The Resort is experimenting with a new liner that will hopefully eliminate this problem. The new liner material will be placed in 2-3 sand bunkers as a test. If the liner experiment is successful, the liner will be added to bunkers as it becomes necessary over the next 2-3 seasons. The remaining bunkers will be reworked to repair the drainage, remove any contaminated sand, include possibly a traditional fabric liner and add new sand. This should give us consistent and good looking sand bunkers for this next year. A schedule of sand bunker repair and completion will be placed on John Greene’s bulletin board when the season opens.
Drinking Water on the Course
The Resort decided that is was in the best interest of golfers to use bottled water on the course. Each golfer will be given two 20oz. bottles per 18-hole round. Additional water may be purchased at a very reasonable price from the beverage cart during the round if desired.
Practice Putting Green
The existing putting green will be repaired and used this year as the putting green and short shot chipping green. Several shorter flags will be added to the range this year to allow practice on longer range chip shots.
Range balls will be included with your round this year and will be available at the driving range. Members may hit as many as necessary to warm up or work on your swing even when you are not playing that day. Only non-members, including guests, who are not playing and therefore not paying a green fee on that day, will be charged for the use of the range. There is no charge for the putting-chipping green.
We will have the same blue, white, gold and green tee markers as last year. However, red tees will be added this year to give us 5 tee box options.
If you haven’t been in the valley, the golf course if greening up and most of the greens are looking great. The winter was good to us this year and the greens are a good example. However, there are a few areas that need attention. Number 13 green: bad areas will be sodded the first week of May. Number 7 green: bad areas around the edge will be sodded the first week of May. Maintaining greens in our higher elevation has its challenges and, as we learned from John, relates mostly to ground temperature, which is hard to maintain at our elevation. John will keep us aware of the maintenance schedule via his bulletin board. Below is a schedule of activities that will happen before and as the season begins so you can see the various steps necessary to get our greens ready for play.
There was concern that the native grass areas were too prevalent, which slowed play. We identified the area to the left of number 17 cart path as being the principal area of concern regarding slow play because of the native grass. The Resort has decided to move the fairway more to the right by changing the mowing pattern to allow aiming tee shots more to the right and hopefully take the left side somewhat out of play. Many other options were discussed, but we decided this would be the best option at this time and we will monitor the success during the season.
Regarding the Canada Thistle that is growing in the native grass areas, John Greene acknowledged that this was an issue, for example to the right of number 9 fairway. John believes that the best way to combat the Canada Thistle is to plant more native grasses that will out-compete the thistle for growing space. John indicated that it is critically important to take into consideration the ability for noxious weed plants like the Canada Thistle to overtake course areas when the ground is disturbed. This would make removal methods like mowing and pulling the thistle less effective. Spraying techniques to reduce broadleaf weeds in many areas occupied by thistle and others cannot be used due to wetland consideration and the possibility of water contamination.
Food and Beverage
The Resort is still working on the menu. The good news is that we have a menu. There will be food and beverage served in the pro shop/food & beverage building. There will also be food and beverage on a predictable schedule food & beverage cart. So this season you will be able to have food and drink at the golf course while figuring your bets after a round of golf.