New Changes for the Upcoming Season
by Chris Condon
Every golf course must evolve to accommodate and challenge an extremely diverse player demographic. Tetherow is no exception. As both a membership and resort facility, we need to make various changes to improve overall playability for a variety of golfers. The changes that have been done in the past have greatly improved the playability and more importantly, the enjoyment of the golf course.
The Tetherow team works hard to make the golf course experience a phenomenal experience for all those who play here. We have a vast amount of experience to draw from in order to create a golf course that is enjoyable, yet challenging. Who makes the decisions on what changes should be made? Those decision makers would be the following; Chris van der Velde – Managing Partner and former PGA Tour player, David Kidd – Golf Course Architect and Tetherow Member, Jake Edwards – PGA Head Golf Professional, Chris Condon – Director of Agronomy and silent assassin on the golf course, and our many members and guests. We all take a part in making the changes to the golf course.
“From my point of view the goal isn’t to make it easier to shoot low numbers at Tetherow. Our goal is to make it less penalizing when a player hits a mediocre shot. We want everyone to have fun playing a “links style” course in the high desert,” said Chris van der Velde. “ The main idea behind the changes is to allow for shots to be played on the ground rather than forcing a shot to be played in the air.”
The mild winter has provided us with a great opportunity to make some changes to the golf course. The following pictures and explanations will give you a glimpse at what the golf course maintenance staff have been able to accomplish. Along with these changes, you will notice a few other improvements once the golf season begins.
#1 Greenside Bunker
The bunker on the right side of #1 green has been altered to allow for an additional pin location. A portion of the bunker has been filled in and will be sodded. Along with filling in a portion of the bunker, a part of the collar and green will be lifted to allow for a proper slope for a legitimate pin location. A putt that goes long will not end up in the bunker but rather fairway height grass.
#1 Fairway Bunker
The left fairway bunker has been removed. The area will be sodded and once the sod has established, it will be mowed at fairway height. Any shot that used to end up in the bunker will now be in the fairway or just in the rough.
#5 Fairway Bunker
The fairway bunker on the left side of the hole has been filled and will be re‑grassed and mowed to fairway height. This will provide more fairway on the left side and a better angle to some of the new pin locations on the green.
#8 Spill‑off and Fairway
One of the mounds on the left side of the fairway was removed and will be re-grassed and mowed at fairway height. The purpose of this change is to remove the chance of losing a golf ball in the side of the mound or in a rodent hole.
#11 Spill‑off in front of the Green
The mounding in front of the green has been re‑worked to allow a player to play a shot on the ground. Exactly what a links style golf course should provide. Does the change make the hole easier? Probably not. It gives a player the option to select a type of shot that best suits the circumstance. It does not guarantee a par or better. It also provides a better perspective of the pin location while preparing for your second shot. Once the area is sodded and established, it will be mowed at fairway height. This will allow us to maintain the area at a shorter height than it was previously. Chris and I are very excited to play #11 when it is finished.
#13 Fairway Bunker
The bunker has been reconfigured in several ways to allow for better maintenance, provide a visual target from the tee and to challenge those longer hitters. The bunker will be separated into three distinct sections instead of one. The most important aspect of the change is the visual aspect of the new bunker complex. This season, you will be able to show those who have not played Tetherow, a target, the bunker, for the best line for their tee shot, and for those big hitters – the possibility of getting home in two has just made #13 a possible turning point in your match.
Any pin location on this green is very difficult to access without the ball rolling off the back of the green especially the middle pin location. The green complexes on #8 and #16 are probably the most difficult on the golf course but that is what we love about Tetherow. In an effort to reduce the shock of rolling off the back of #16 green, we raised the back center of the green so that a ball will have a very good chance of stopping. Ultimately, this will depend on the trajectory of your golf shot, but we hope to keep a mediocre shot on the putting surface.
We encourage your constructive ideas and comments that pertain to anything on the golf course. Our intention is to provide the highest quality golf course experience within our means. Any questions, comments, concerns would be appreciated so that we can address the issue in a timely manner. Please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support and see you in a couple months for a new golf season!
Director of Agronomy