Ladera Golf Course Gets a New Sun Shade 0

Ladera Golf Course patio

West-facing patio at Ladera Previously Was a Sun-baked Hell

A new sun shade at Albuquerque’s Ladera Golf Course provides protection from the sun for outdoor diners.

It’s a wonder it wasn’t erected years ago.

With indoor dining off the table due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the sun shade breathes new life into Ladera’s food and beverage business. The shade, three panels of heavy-duty canvas stretched between anchored metal posts, provides welcome relief from the sun on the west-facing patio at Ladera.

The shade, financed with city capital outlay dollars, cost $60,000, Bill Harvey, Ladera’s director of golf, said. Harvey’s long-term vision is to turn Ladera’s grille into a neighborhood gathering spot.

“When the restrictions lift, we plan food specials and live music from 6 to 10 p.m. on ‘Thirsty Thursdays,’” Harvey said. “It’s been popular with the neighborhood. We’re trying to create a community atmosphere.”

The sun shade contractor was Rader Awning.

Golfweek Ranks Best New Mexico Courses

Paako Ridge Golf Club in Sandia Park retained its “Best in New Mexico” No. 1 ranking from Golfweek in state-by-state rankings just announced.

Rockwind Community Links in Hobbs comes in second.

Pinon Hills Golf Course in Farmington is ranked third.

Black Mesa Golf Club in La Mesilla near Espanola is ranked fourth.

Red Hawk Golf Club in Las Cruces is ranked fifth.

Rounding out the Golfweek top 10 list in New Mexico are: Sandia Golf Club, the University of New Mexico Championship Golf Course, Taos Country Club, Twin Warriors Golf Club on Santa Ana Pueblo and the Inn of the Mountain Gods Golf Course on the Mescalero Apache reservation near Ruidoso.

Personnel Moves

Ben Kirkes, Rockwind Community Golf Links’ former assistant golf professional, recently was promoted to acting golf professional/general manager. Kirkes, an accomplished competitive golfer, joined the Rockwind team in 2017 and quickly became an energetic ambassador for the award-winning facility.

A resident of Hobbs, Kirkes played varsity golf at Highland High School in Phoenix, Arizona, for two years and then finished his junior and senior years at Carlsbad High School, where he made first team All-State.

Following graduation in 2011, Kirkes earned a full scholarship to play for the New Mexico Junior College golf team in Hobbs.  NMJC was the No. 1 Junior College golf team in America at the time.  He played in two NJCAA National Golf Championships at NMJC and subsequently earned a golf scholarship at West Texas A&M University.

By New Mexico Golf News staff




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Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at

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