NMSU Course Handling High Heat Well 0

(LAS CRUCES, N.M.) Aug. 25, 2011 –With Aggie-Lobo football on the horizon, we thought it appropriate to revisit the New Mexico State University Golf Course, just a driver and a mid-iron from Aggie football stadium across Interstate 25.

Conclusion: Despite a rough summer with day-time highs reaching 100 to 103 degrees and a persistent lack of moisture, NMSU Golf Course is in terrific shape, uniformly emerald in hue, with greens that run fast and true.

It’s clear NMSU’s ag-schooled staff knows how to keep their Bermuda turf healthy under the most stressful conditions, despite ancient tractor-towed grass-cutting equipment not often seen anymore.

Best of all, NMSU maintains a well-honed, healthy, high-end daily-fee feel with muni friendliness.

Signs of health were immediately apparent upon arrival during a recent weekday mid-morning:

A starter stationed at a prominently located podium and umbrella in the cart staging area; a quick offer of help with your clubs, an accurate assessment on the likelihood of getting you out as a walk-on single; radio communication with the pro shop; and an efficient assistant at the counter.

The mid-1960s layout by Floyd Farley, which started as a largely treeless desert design, long ago matured into a tree-studded challenge not unlike the mini-arboretum known as New Mexico Tech up the road in Socorro. Accuracy, not length is key at NMSU.

NMSU’s generous push-up greens are baffling until you crack the code — everything races away from A (for Aggie) Mountain looming to the east.

NMSU’s spacious air-conditioned Spanish villa-style clubhouse is a welcome respite from the heat and sun, with a well-appointed full-service restaurant, full bar clearly frequented by non-golfing locals for lunch.

Even the snack cart surprises: Beer choices include an eclectic mix of Boddington’s, Landshark and Rolling Rock in addition to the usual¬† domestic lights.

At the round’s end, the starter offered to drive my cart to the car rather than force me hoof it up the 50-foot-high slope to the parking lot — a customer-service detail you remember when you’ve just finished a round in 103-degree heat.

So much about NMSU’s operation shouts that this course is about making the most of what you have, providing real value and service, and fostering a loyal customer base to fend off hard economic times — something managers of other New Mexico properties should borrow from long-time NMSU Director of Golf Dan Koesters.

Our assessment: If you’re visiting Las Cruces this fall, NMSU Golf Course should be on your itinerary. Weekday greens fee is $25, plus $12 for a cart. On weekends, that goes to $31.50, plus $12 for the cart. Walking is allowed. Price- and condition-wise: NMSU is a steal in the world of New Mexico golf.

— Dan Vukelich

(This review is part of a continuing series of updates on golf in New Mexico and West Texas).

In other news:

— NMSU Aggie alum and Rio Rancho native Tim Madigan made it through 36-hole stroke-play qualifying to reach the match play portion of the U.S. Amateur in Erin Wills, Wisc. He won his first match 3 &2 to make it to the round of 32.

— A Dick’s Sporting Goods golf shop is reportedly going in at the Cottonwoods Corners property on Albuquerque’s West Side, off Coors Bypass near Bed Bath & Beyond, in a former American Home furniture store.

Previous ArticleNext Article
Dan Vukelich, former editor of ABQ Free Press and Sun Country Golf magazine, is editor of NewMexicoGolfNews.com. He's a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at dan@newmexicogolfnews.com

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.