Night lights, better bunkers among improvements at Crooked Tree Golf Course
PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Visitors at Crooked Tree Golf Course can now practice their swing after sunset.
Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation has partnered with the course’s operating team to make a series of improvements. First on the list of planned upgrades was adding a state-of-the-art lighting system to the driving range.
“Golfers love it because they can come out and practice in the evening when temperatures have cooled down,” said Rich Mueller, vice president and managing partner of Wildcat Golf Partners, which operates the 18-hole course at Arthur Pack Regional Park. “This is currently the only place around with Musco’s new Flight Tracker lighting system. It’s the first of its kind.”
Pima County recently signed a new 10-year agreement with Wildcat Golf Partners to continue to manage the course, according to NRPR Deputy Director Robert Padilla. The firm has been operating the golf course since 2003, but the course itself has been open since 1976.
Another priority is renovating the course’s tee boxes, which Mueller said have grown out of shape and lumpy over the years. Some of those repairs are already visible, including a new forward tee on the 13th hole and renovated tee boxes on the second and 16th holes. Mueller said that the course plans to renovate more tee boxes annually.
“We’re basically taking care of some deferred maintenance issues that have been long overdue,” he said.
The course is also planning to convert its sand bunkers into grass bunkers, which Mueller said will still provide a worthy challenge for golfers.
“The sand bunkers are hard to maintain, given the irrigation challenges, and they’re cost-prohibitive to repair,” Mueller said.
“I think you’re going to see a lot of other courses go in this direction. We think beginners and higher handicap players will enjoy the conversion, and intermediate to expert players will still be challenged. The overall aesthetic and playability should please everyone, so it’s a win-win.”
Visitors are likely to spot other small changes throughout the course. NRPR has provided the course’s clubhouse and on-course restrooms with new roofs and a fresh coat of paint, and all-new signage around the clubhouse is coming soon.
“People will notice these improvements when they’re out here playing,” Mueller said.
Another change will be noticeable to visitors even before they set foot on the course: The parking lot has been striped and repaved, and small islands have been added.
“The improvements are ongoing,” Mueller said. “As revenues permit, we’ll continue to make them, and there are little things that we can do around the property to enhance the experience for people.”
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