Wimberly Voted into PGA Hall of Fame 0 3

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (March 3, 2011) — Long-time New Mexico golf professional Guy Wimberly has been inducted into the PGA of America’s Hall of Fame.

Wimberly, head of Sierra del Rio Golf Course in Elephant Butte, and long-time pro at Albuquerque’s Arroyo del Oso, was voted in by his peers, according to an announcement by the Sun Country Section PGA.

He is only the second Sun Country Section pro voted in. El Paso’s Bill Eschenbrenner was inducted in 2005.

Wimberly, an Albuquerque native, known by many as “Mr. New Mexico Golf,” was a University of New Mexico Lobo golfer before turning pro.

He worked at the San Mateo Golf Center driving range before operating the City of Albuquerque’s newly opened Arroyo del Oso in the late 1960s with long-time business partner Bob Miering.

Wimberly once gave Bill Gates golf lessons when Gates was trying to start a new software company in Albuquerque called Mi

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Sierra Del Rio to Shutter for Two Months 0 35

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.