The Crossings Golf Course to make tough hole play easier

CARLSBAD— In the months ahead, The Crossings golf course will undergo a change to improve the playability factor for golfers.
Last year, a third party review conducted a study on the city-owned golf course and revealed that the course was difficult in some areas, particularly hole 18. City Council voted unanimously to redesign it.
At a recent City Council meeting, Chris Hazeltine, parks and recreation director, and Mark Steyaert, park development manager, gave council members recommendations regarding the 2010 Operational Assessment.
Kemper Sports Management, contracted by the city to manage the golf course, brought on Dave Flemming, a golf course architect to analyze the course. Addressing its playability was a primary goal.
After the Operational Assessment, it was recommended to prioritize improvements for holes 18, 10 and 15, Hazeltine said.
Hole 18 was picked first because the cost to redo it was the lowest, and being it was the last hole, they wanted players to walk away from the game with a good experience and not frustrated.
Hazeltine said after golfers played at The Crossings they had an opportunity to evaluate their experience.
“We reviewed the surveys and hole 18 was the number one issue that came forward about the course — that it was a difficult and challenging hole,” Hazeltine said.
Not only was this recognized by a third party golf architect, but it was also supported by the comments of actual golfers.
Although the redesign is not fully completed, removing bunkers and other so-called “golf course hazards” for a friendlier playing green is the mission.
The cost to reconstruct this hole is estimated at $80,000. Monies to cover this expense will be funded by the Golf Course Capital Reserve.
“Two percent of all green fees go into the Golf Course Capital Reserve for these kinds of improvements,” Hazeltine said.
Although a timeline to get started on changing hole 18 isn’t scheduled yet, Hazeltine said they are eager to get started on it.
More than likely, things will move forward in a few months.
Hazeltine pointed out that golfers would not be affected during the reconstruction phase.
“Typically what you do is build a temporary green, so the course is still playable, and hole 18 will be on a temporary green,” he said.
Also in the Operational Assessment, it was shown that not having a meeting place for golfers before or after a game was a downfall. Hazeltine said there will be future workshops to recommend different ideas to construct a dedicated player’s lounge.
City Council also voted unanimously to the erosion remediation due to the previous heavy rain falls at the golf course. The property, 400 acres large, has 200 acres of open space. Different patches of the open space have been affected by the erosion, Hazeltine said, and not the actual golf course itself.
The erosion remediation is expected to cost $106,000 and monies used will be from the General Capital Construction Fund. The City hopes to have these areas repaired by the next rain season.
The 2010 assessment also disclosed positives such as The Crossings’ “curb appeal” and good service by Kemper Sports Management.
“We will work hard to make the course as playable as we possibly we can, work hard to make the course operate as efficiently as it can, and make it a self-supporting facility that we all think it can be,” Hazeltine said.

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