PPR #1: Papago Progress Report

We’re now one month into the Papago Restoration and one-seventh of the way to reopening in November. 

Over 200 dead trees and palms have been removed, restoring the original sight lines on most holes. Many mature eucalyptuses remain, although several are near the end of their term. We’ll leave them for now, replacing them as they die with native varieties.
About thirty desert areas will be re-vegetated between and behind holes with help from the Desert Botanical Gardens. Irrigation plans are finished with a net reduction in water use that should approach 25% through better definition of turf areas and the selection of more drought-tolerant grasses. 

We are able to completely restore twelve holes. Numbers 6, 15 and 17 were tweaked a little – 6 with an expanded fairway bunker, and 15 and 17 with new tee angles. Hole 1 green has been moved, intact, back and right to protect #2 tees and to use the expanded lake as a feature, number 12 was shortened with added bunkers to make it the shortest par 4 and number 9 fairway was reconfigured completely for both safety and to make it a legitimate par 5 finishing hole. 
About one half of the heavy work is complete. Green complexes 2,3,4,5,6,7,9,12,13,14 and 15 are ready for irrigation and then grassing in late June. All but three of the fairway and tee complexes are ready for final shaping. Half of the bunkers are complete, and the irrigation lake has been expanded in depth and size to make up for the 9th hole lake reductions. It has now been lined and will begin taking on water in a few weeks.

Our next update will talk about clubhouse plans and the timing of the grassing of fairways and greens. 

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Listen for regular updates from Uncle Buck on Golf AZ Radio, AM KNFX 1100 on Saturdays from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. Dave Barnes and Dan Pohl will give weekly impressions of the progress!
Ed Gowan
Executive Director, Arizona Golf Association