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Jason’s Blog: A better Brooktree

Posted By: Jason Iacovino

The Brooktree Golf Association held its annual meeting on Tuesday night at the clubhouse and those in attendance heard a lot of encouraging news about the future of the course.

The big item of interest was an update on the City’s allocation of the $1.8 million settlement it received from Dupont for damage to over 700 trees on the course.  The great news for golfers is this money will go directly to course improvements to make Brooktree a better golf experience for everyone.

Course superintendant Rick Smith explained that the biggest priority is adding cartpaths to the holes on the top nine, something that will greatly improve the grounds surrounding the greens, tee boxes, and rough.  Other projects include replacing the bridge on No. 10 and expanding the patio on the west side of the clubhouse.

Let me be frank about these improvements–they are going to take an already impressive municipal golf course to the next level. Brooktree has always enjoyed nice fairways and greens since Smith has been in charge of the grounds, but the downside has been the areas around the greens and tees, particularly on the front nine, which are often laced with dead grass and mud from golf cart traffic.

Cart paths are an absolute must if players want legitimately well-groomed areas to chip from and tee boxes that look nice. They should also help cut down on the amount of dead grass that develops in the rough areas on the upper nine.  I have full confidence that Smith and his staff are going to make this place look and play spectacular very soon.

Also included in the allocation is the purchase of some new mowers.  I do not profess to be a turf expert of any kind, but I know you don’t purchase new mowers just to spend money.  As Smith said during the meeting, these investments are not for expensive equipment like pickup trucks and storage sheds that would have little impact on how the course plays–these guys are serious about making the golf experience better.  New mowers will absolutely improve the grounds.

Smith said that just over $400,000 of the settlement money will be put in a rainy day fund for future unforseen expenses.

Brooktree will open for play at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, just in time for warmer temperatures to arrive.  There are a number of great membership options for 2014, including the ability to have a membership paid in 6 monthly installments using a credit card or checking account.  As a member since 2009, I can attest it is one of the best golfing values around.

And while the golf course isn’t perfect, it is one of the prettiest places in town on a nice summer day.  I wouldn’t play there if it wasn’t in very good condition and one thing Smith said that was music to my ears on Tuesday was the horrendous winter kill experienced by many courses after the 2012-13 winter is not in play this year.  He said things look much better, so even as we’re getting a late start on things (League play has been pushed back a week to begin April 28), the course is going to be in much better shape overall in 2014.

So even as it was 32 degrees outside during this meeting, I left smiling. It’s time to play golf.

Jason Iacovino can be heard Tuesdays and Fridays on KRFO-AM 1390 at 3:50 p.m. Email him at jjiacovino@stthomas.edu. Follow him on Twitter @JasonIacovino.

 

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