Papago… Papa-Going… Papa-Gone

It has taken less than one month and the Papago landscape has changed. Revitalization, restoration is in full flow. Weitz Construction hit the ground hard in early April and within three weeks had the lakes re-done and cleaned, and six holes ready for irrigation.
As in any other construction effort, once ground is broken much is unearthed: what you would never imagine had been buried, butWeitz and lead Tom Bush were more than prepared. Over 200 dead trees were removed within two weeks. A Caterpillar RM-350—really an asphalt road grinder—was set to the turfgrass areas that are being restored to churn the soils, roots and whatever else was within 18 inches of the surface into fine sandy loam, a great growing medium for the new grasses that will be growing there in less than two months.
The partner associations, including AWGA, JGAA, First Tee and USGA/LPGA Girls Golf have met and begun planning the programming that will begin at Papago in November:

The Saguaro Evans Seniors, fundraisers for Western Golf ’s Evans Caddie Scholarship Foundation, are working with us to plan a caddie—and scholarship—program to begin with the opening.
Billy Fuller has led the effort to rediscover the original greens and bunker bottoms and reconfigure the long-lost framing once present.New teeing areas for all levels of players have been identified and marked, so that on request any player can get a scorecard for a course yardage to play between 5,300 and 7,400 yards. Not many will want the 7,400 options, as the re-made greens with their 50-year-old contours will be trouble enough without making the targets hard to reach.
Marvin French is putting together management and coordinating the restoration efforts on site.
With our new friends from the City of Phoenix and Compass Bank we have the team and resources to return Papago to a lofty position within the national Public golf mindset.

Much is happening as you can see already from the photos in this issue. But, by the time you see these, so much more will have been done that you wouldn’t recognize the work in these. Look to our website,, for monthly updates on the course. We hope you will be as excited as we are to see the Papago of the Past, in the Future….
Ed Gowan
Executive Director, Arizona Golf Association