ABQ City Greens Fee Increase Looms 0 6

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) June 22, 2012 — The Albuquerque Golf Advisory Board has approved a compromise schedule of city greens fee increases that will likely go into effect in early July.

The cost of 18 holes on weekdays will go from $22.50 to $25. The popular seven-day annual pass will increase from $1,434 to $1,580. The Monday-Friday senior pass will increase from $1,000 to $1,100.

The advisory board negotiated some reductions from an earlier City Hall proposal to raise rates up to 27 percent. The reductions were sought to eliminate an annual $500,000 operating deficit and make the city’s four golf properties self-supporting.

The rate increase will go into effect after a public hearing and signoff by the city’s chief administrative officer. That could take about two weeks.

Below is a detailed look at how all classes of rates and passes will increase, by time of day and day of week.

— Dan Vukelich


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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 30

Sierra del Rio Golf Course

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course, which restricted play in December to Thursday through Sunday only, will close for two months after the New Year.

The temporary closure of the 18-hole Elephant Butte golf course was announced in an email Sunday. The golf course’s food and beverage operation, also will close. Plans are to reopen on March 1, the course said.

“The course is in reasonably good condition but we want it to be in the best shape possible when we reopen,” a golf shop employee said Sunday. Maintenance crews will devote the downtime to earth and drainage work to repair damage to native areas off the playing surfaces caused by heavy rains in September, the employee said.

Sierra Del Rio, a Richard Phelps design, is the centerpiece of a retirement- and second-home community near the Rio Grande in Southern New Mexico. Its director of golf is Guy Wimberly, who retired to Elephant Butte after decades running Arroyo Del Oso Golf Course in Albuquerque. Wimberly had no comment on the closure on Sunday.

Sierra Del Rio reduced playing days earlier this month. Winter is typically playable in Southern New Mexico, where daily highs reach into the 50s and 60s.

Sierra Del Rio is part of the Turtleback Mountain Resort. It opened in 2007 on the footprint of the old Oasis Golf Resort and is the nearest golf course to Spaceport America, where Virgin Galactic plans to fly tourists to the edge of space.

The renovated course and new homes built near it provided a boost to the local economy, but homebuilding and rounds played suffered following the 2008 housing collapse.

Dan Vukelich is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com.