February 25, 2022
For years, the City has been working to tackle a variety of problems related to the golf course driving range, including how to reduce the number of, or eliminate golf balls being hit over the nets and into the public areas. From the inception of the golf course, the City has raised the nets, replaced the nets, shifted the tee boxes, added targets, and switched to limited flight golf balls, all in an effort to reduce the amount of balls being hit over the net. Ultimately, it was determined through a professional trajectory study that the only way to prevent this from happening, was to raise the nets to over 130’ in height (they are currently 50’), and even then, with advances in golf technology, balls are continually being hit harder and farther.
While searching for solutions, the idea of converting the driving range into an executive “short course” was proposed. John Fought, an Arizona golf course architect was asked to design a course that could be accessible to all levels of golfers, from beginner to advanced, and create something that could be played in a short amount of time. The final design included six, par three holes, ranging in length from 60-115 yards. The idea was presented to the City Council and residents who all agreed that this would be a viable solution. The cost to convert the range was approximately one million dollars. The money to pay for this project came from the Capital Projects Fund and Golf Fund reserves. There are no debt financing mechanisms or tax increases being used to pay for this project.
The City Council approved the project in the summer of 2021 and construction began in November. It is anticipated that the short course will open in August 2022. We are excited for the opportunity that the new course will give to people who want to golf but may not have the time or desire to do an 18-hole course or for beginners who are looking to get a better feel for the game.