October 9, 2007–Two more Las Vegas golf courses have completed major turf removal projects designed to save millions of gallons of water each year, but the by product of the projects are new, enhanced looks for the courses. You can judge for yourself from the before and after pictures of Angel Park Golf Club, but the effort to go "green" by going brown–basically re-creating desert areas where there was grass–is giving new looks to many top Las Vegas golf courses. The recent projects at Las Vegas golf courses Legacy Golf Club and Angel Park Golf Club are two of more than a dozen that have combined to save more than a billion gallons of water annually.
OB Sports, management group for Angel Park Golf Club and The Legacy Golf Club, recently completed an ambitious turf removal project designed to limit the amount out-of-play turf on two of its Las Vegas golf clubs. The project, conducted in conjunction with the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA), removed approximately 70 acres of turf at Angel Park alone, which translates into nearly a 28 percent reduction of turf overall at the 36-hole facility.
"Despite public perception, golf courses are very efficient users of water,” said Phil Green, President of OB Sports. “We have computerized irrigation systems; well schooled agronomists and superintendents on staff; sophisticated weather monitoring systems that help us efficiently manage water consumption and a number of years ago we converted from potable water to effluent. Although that’s a great start, we are still looking for ways to conserve water and this project is certainly helping us accomplish that goal.”
Green went on to explain that Angel Park and The Legacy were built in the late 1980’s when water was less of a critical issue, but both have always been extremely conscious with efficient irrigation practices. Now with Southern Nevada in a drought, replacing the turf with desert/xeriscape landscaping is the responsible thing to do.
Roughly 33 acres of turf was removed from Angel Park’s 18-hole Mountain Course and nearly as much from the 18-hole golf course at The Legacy Golf Club. Since the turf was being removed from out-of-play areas, all of the golf courses remained open for public play during the process.
"The new Southwest Desert look has received rave reviews by the golfers,” said Bill Rohret, Director of Maintenance at Angel Park Golf Club. “Some of the regulars have literally stopped me out on the golf course to compliment our work. But not only does it look great, we estimate that we will conserve somewhere around 80 million gallons of water per year.”
In the end the project will positively impact several aspects of play. Aesthetically speaking, it delivers a more visually appealing product that basically appears like a modern golf course redesign. And although there is certainly less turf, the removal focuses on out-of-play areas that average golfers don’t typically find anyway. Time spent per round is expected to decrease due to the fact that golf balls will be easier to find in desert landscaping than they are in the long rough. Plus, in some areas the turf was removed and sloping mounds were formed in place of the turf. This may allow errant golf balls to bounce or roll back onto the playing surface.
Angel Park Golf Club is a 36-hole facility located in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas. Its Mountain Course and Palm Course were both designed by Arnold Palmer. The club also has a 12-hole Cloud Nine Short Course, the World’s Original natural grass putting course and an expansive practice tee – all of which are lighted for evening enjoyment. Over the years Angel Park Golf Club as been honored with numerous awards and accolades including being named “Best Golf Course” in Las Vegas in the Best of Las Vegas ® Reader’s Poll, 13 of the past 14 years.
AFTER photo: J. Rick Martin Photography