Golf Course Management

SEP 2013

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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gcm ex t ra Lake Merced GC's new practice facility was built entirely with in-house labor and on a shoestring budget. Photos courtesy of Zachary Ohsann On the level A California club digs deep to create a unique new practice area that serves not only its members, but also its maintenance department. Zachary Ohsann 62 GCM September 2013 The key to any practice facility is utility. Can the members use it? Will they use it? What does it cost to build? And how easy is it to maintain? While these are simple questions, they sometimes require intricate and creative solutions to solve an existing problem. At Lake Merced Golf Club in Daly City, Calif., we are challenged to accommodate our active membership within a relatively compact footprint. Our golf course sits on approximately 135 acres, so needless to say, space is at a premium. Although we have a practice range just outside the pro shop door, as well as an adjacent practice bunker and pitching green, and an ample practice putting green, we faced a problem. Due to the slope of our driving range, it was impossible for players to practice a 75- to 100-yard wedge shot while seeing the ball land. There just wasn't enough fat ground to do that. This left us without a place where members could work on golf's true "money shot" and be able to gauge distance on this key short-game component. Moreover, our one practice bunker was so deep in most parts that our members couldn't watch a sand shot land and roll out. People would hit practice shot after practice shot, but never knew precisely how far they were hitting the ball or how it was rolling once it landed. To compound the problem, our practice bunker and the surrounding pitching area were getting beaten up due to excessive use. An opportunity emerges But we had an opportunity to change things after we moved our maintenance facility from the middle of the course to a location in the southwest corner. The construction of that facility, (as well as our new clubhouse and recycled water storage tank) was the subject of a previous article in the Green Section Record (see "Getting It Right," November-December 2005, Page 12). As a result of that move, we

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