Ladera Sprucing Up Nicely 0

(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) July 10, 2011 — To give credit where due, the round robin of shifting city superintendents has been a good thing for Ladera Golf Course.

The arrival of David Salas at Ladera from Los Altos coincided with a blast of warmth that got grass growing and started filling in winter kill, but Salas’ handiwork is becoming visible.

Dead spots in fairways that had nothing to do with winter kill are filling in and troublesome green segments are green again. The first sign of a turnaround was the putting green and chipping green, which healed from chronic neglect under the previous superintendent, who was moved to Puerto del Sol.

Word is that the concessionaries, Sam and Wright Simmerly in the golf shop, and Billy Moya in the restaurant, are tickled with the progress. Rounds are up and it appears they may finally reap the fruits of their labor in building a loyal clientele while Ladera reached its nadir in conditioning over the last several years.

If you see Salas, give him a kind word. It must have taken a lot of swallowing hard before he agreed to leave the comfort of Los Altos for Ladera.

— Dan Vukelich


A fundraiser to help Rio Rancho’s Tim Madigan compete as an amateur nationally will be held at 7 p.m. July 16 in the lounge at Chamisa Hills Club Club. Chamisa Hills Professional Erik Harp is the organizer. Funds will be administered through the Sun Country Amateur Golf Association, under USGA rules governing protection of a competitor’s amateur standing while seeking financial support.

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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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