GolfWeek Lists Top 10 N.M. Courses 0 25

ABQ-S.F. Spring Aerifying Schedule

Lobo Women Golf Team Holds Clinic

Isleta Gets in-cart GPS

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) March 7, 2012 — GolfWeek magazine has ranked Paa-ko Ridge Golf Club the top course in New Mexico for 2012, according to its March 9 issue.

Here are the magazine’s choices for No. 2 through 10 in the Land of Enchantment: 2. Black Mesa, La Mesilla ; 3. Piñon Hills Golf Course, Farmington, 4. Sandia Golf Club, Albuquerque; 5. Sonoma Ranch, Las Cruces; 6. Twin Warriors Golf Club, Santa Ana Pueblo; 7. Sierra del Rio, Elephant Butte; 8. University of New Mexico (South) Championship, Albuquerque; 9. Taos Country Club, Ranchos de Taos; 10. Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course.

A long-time resident of the top 10 list, the Inn of the Mountain Gods in Mescalero, near Ruidoso, has has been dropped by the magazine’s raters.

Here’s the spring aerification and top-dressing schedule in and around Albuquerque and Santa Fe. New Mexico Tech Golf Course in Socorro just completed their top-dressing and aerifying:

Arroyo del Oso Golf Course: March 27-29.

Black Mesa: April 4-5.

Isleta Golf Club: Mesa, March 26-30; Lakes, April 2-6, Arroyo, April 8-13

Ladera Golf Course: April 2-5.

Los Altos Golf Course: March 20-22.

Marty Sanchez Links de Santa Fe: 18-hole course, April 16-17; Great 28 Course, April 13.

Paa-Ko Ridge Golf Club: April 8-10.

Pueblo de Cochiti Golf Course: April 10-11.

Puerto del Sol, March 13-14.

Sandia Golf Club: March 25

Tierra del Sol Coountry Club: March 26-27.

Santa Ana: April 3, tees and fairways; Greens, April 16.

Towa/Buffalo Thunder: March 26.

Twin Warriors, April 9-10.

University of New Mexico Championship: April 3-4.

UNM North: April 11.

In other news:

The UNM Lobo Women’s Golf Team will hold a free golf clinic for women March 24 at the UNM Championship Golf Course. Clubs will be provided for those who need them. No preregistration is necessary. The clinic will be conducted by the Lobo women’s squad and Assistant Golf Coach Becky Dover and will be tailored to both avid and beginning golfers. The event runs from 9 a.m. to noon.

Isleta Eagle Golf Club now has in-cart GPS. The system is the same as used at Sandia Golf Club, except the monitor is mounted from the roof of the cart, not on the cart dashboard, said Isleta Director of Golf Mike Ciolek. Isleta’s green fee is $50 on weekdays, $65 on weekends, which includes cart.

— Dan Vukelich

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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 126

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 Reach him at