I went to the “open house” with the power company to see what was up with the impending power line additions. The power company officials had all their ducks in a row, and had well scripted and polished replies for all the questions me and my associates from River Oaks Golf Course had.
In 2009 construction WILL begin on a 2nd line of 120 foot power poles. Those poles will be live by 2010. They’ll all be 70 feet West of the current ones, without fail. The only variable is the North-South positioning of them, and that’s only a few feet. The power company has owned this land since the 70’s and this has been planned ever since.
Hole #1 is Toast
Hole #1 is a great, risk-reward par five. There’s water on the right, OB left and all sorts of hazards and places to lose an errant shot. If you can keep your ball in the fairway, it’s reachable and you’re looking at eagle or an easy birdie. If you are errant, you’re looking at a 7 or even…. a snowman.
The new 120 foot tall pole will be right in the throat of the fairway, dead center. The power lines will be directly over your head from the black and blue tees and they’ll run parallel with your tee shot. Aesthetically the hole will be ruined and from a playability standpoint it will be a complete joke. There’d be balls bouncing off the overhead wires constantly and any drive which hits the center of the fairway will strike the pole.
#15 Is Toast
#15 is a great uphill par four. From the black tees it measures out at a strong 438 yards. That shot is not only uphill, it’s almost always into a strong wind. This is one tough hole. It will be even tougher now, with a 120 foot power pole DEAD CENTER in front of three sets of tees.
The only thing that could be done to #15 would be to shorten it about 80 yards.
New Targets On The Range
The driving range will also have poles running down the East side. Not a big deal. More targets I suppose.
So the course will be completely screwed when the poles are finally installed. But before then, during construction, the course will be even worse off. Imagine the heavy machinery necessary to clear this line, bring in these big poles, and especially dig and pour the huge foundations.
The course will be full of heavy machinery and dug up all over the place. Nobody is going to want to play. Not only will the course lose a fortune in revenue if they can’t manage to redesign it after the installation, they’re going to practically be only a nine hole course for a year or two before completion.
All of the people who play here and all my friends who work and make a living here will be drastically effected. What’s even more of a shame is that the city who bought the course, must have known about this. A huge fear many have now, is that the city will do what another local town did: Shut the course down and sell the property to real estate developers.
This is not good.