Road Hole Shorts

Golf Design, golf, golf, GOLF

LCCC President Jerry Smith shares his thoughts

My Border Golf Team Shirt arrived the oth­er day.

When I got it home and tried it on, the garment fit ok, but I noticed that the logo on the breast was Sonoma Ranch, while the sleeve dis­played the three crosses and Las Cruces Country Club.

“Hmmm,” I thought, “I’m not sure if I’m coming or go­ing.” With that, I lined up a talk with LCCC President Jerry Smith. We chatted after my round with the women’s golf association play day this past Wednesday.

Mary: It’s been a few months now. I imagine peo­ple are settling in. What is your impression of your membership’s satisfaction with the move?

 Jerry: “Nearly all those that have transferred are enjoying the course and clubhouse very much. We have even added some new members.

The ownership and staff, es­pecially the pro shop staff, has gone to great lengths to make the transition as easy as possible.” Mary: How many members do you have?

Jerry: “We have nearly 200 members now.”

Mary: I understand that some people decided not to make the move to Sonoma — one person in particular I know is playing at White Sands. Do you know how many didn’t transfer to Sono­ma and where they went?

 Jerry: “I can’t tell you exact­ly, but I do know that about eight or nine went to Red Hawk, and several are now playing over at White Sands.

We did have a couple of peo­ple that decided to withdraw after the move and they are playing at NMSU. Two peo­ple decided to give up golf entirely. Mary, as you well know, everybody has their own subjective opinions about golf courses and it’s pretty much impossible to satisfy everyone.” Mary: It’s my understand­ing that the Club property on Main Street is for sale. Has there been any activity with potential buyers? If so, when might we see a transfer of the property?

 Jerry: “Yes, the property is for sale, but that’s all that I can say about that right now.”

Mary: Has the City ex­pressed further interest in buying the property?

Jerry: “The City would like to buy the property, but I don’t think they have the available funds to make the deal.” Mary: The closing of LCCC leaves the Las Cruces area with only one easily walkable golf course. Is there any chance that could change?

 Jerry: “I’m sorry, I can’t comment on that right now.”

Mary: What are LCCC’s as­pirations for the future?

 Jerry: “We are interested in growth. For now we are con­tent with this situation, but for the future we hope to grow.”

Mary: The old LCCC and Sonoma are about as different as two courses can be. Are handicaps going up?

Jerry: “Well, they did to start, but I think that the membership is getting accus­tomed to the course, particu­larly the greens and handi­caps are moving back down again. I think most people are enjoying the complexity of the golf course and how it makes you think about every shot.” Mary: Is there anything about the course that you would like to see changed/improved?

 Jerry: “At this point, I’d have to say ‘no comment’.”

Mary: Is there anything fur­ther you would like to say?

 Jerry: “Yes, thank you for asking. We can’t be happier with the transition for the Women’s and Men’s Associa­tions. As you know, there was no women’s association at Sonoma before we moved over. From what I’m hearing, a few of the Sonoma women have joined our ladies and we are very happy to have them.

The men’s group was a little different. The Sonoma men had an active association and when we came in we were eventually able to meld the two groups together. I think it’s working great, and we now have about 103 men in the association.”

Mary: What’s coming up next for the LCCC/Sonoma Club?

Jerry: “Our Master’s tour­nament will be, oddly enough, during Master’s week April 5th through 8th.

Basically, you play your first round before Friday night and then attend the pairing party that evening. During the pairing party, the names of the PGA professionals playing after the cut are put into a hat. A name is drawn (and) paired with each of our competitors. You then play Sunday and after our round of golf watch the pros com­pete for the green jacket. The combined score of your two rounds and the last two rounds of “your” pro deter­mines the winner.”

 

BTW…

Good friend Liz Chang is trying to start up a women’s golf association at Red Hawk.  The association will play Monday mornings at 9 am.

It’s a good chance to be there “from the beginning.” The staff at RHGC are encourag­ing the new organization with a deal of thirty bucks for 18 holes and cart.

Eventually, Liz hopes to build her association to the point that they can partici­pate in City Exchange and the Border Association. Contact the Red Hawk Proshop for more information.

 

A golf architect in New Hampshire for over 20 years, Armstrong brought her craft to Las Cruces in January 2010. She is the founder of Armstrong Golf Architects, which provides planning, designing, permitting and construction monitoring services for golf course projects. Mary is also the Executive Director for the Rio Grande Golf Course Superintendents Association. You can comment on her writing and view past articles at her blog: http://roadholeshorts17.wordp ress.com/.

 

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