Ladera Progresses, Hires Sandia Asst. Supt.
Ladera Offers Reduced Rate During Construction
(ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.) Feb. 23, 2012 — New Mexico Open winner Tim Madigan, who is plying the highways of South Carolina while charting his own route to the PGA Tour, is not certain he'll defend his 2011 New Mexico Open title.
The 23-year-old former Rio Rancho and New Mexico State standout is living in Bluffton, S.C., with former New Mexico State teammate Rob Rochar. He's using it as a base for entry into eGolf mini tour events. Madigan said he plans to try to Monday-qualify for select Nationwide events along the mid-Atlantic Coast.
He hopes to play in a PGA Tour event by next year. “It's definitely a process,” he said. “If I get in enough events and make some money to qualify for the top125 money list, I can bypass Q School.”
Starting in 2013, the PGA Tour plans to radically change the method by which players reach, and stay on, the PGA Tour. Unless you're already a top PGA Tour player or top Nationwide performer, odds are the only Q School you'll attend will be for a spot on the Nationwide Tour (or its name successor when Nationwide's sponsorship ends).
Madigan finished at 3 under for a T19 in the eGolf Tour's Palmetto Hall Championship at Hilton Head last week, and was T14 after Wednesday's 2-under first round of the Oldfield Open at Okatie, S.C. going into today's play.
Madigan said he chose the EGolf Tour because, with a minimum purse of $150,000, it has more money than other mini tours, including the Gateway or Adams tours.
Watching expenses is a priority. While his father, Rio Rancho golfer Steve Madigan, tries to assemble a syndicate of backers back home, the younger Madigan is driving a 2004 Chevy Cavalier and living in Rochar's spare room and. For a caddie? “It's me, myself and I,” he said.
Step two in his financial plan for the eGolf Tour is to take delivery of a used RV from a friend later in the season, “live out of that” and drive that to more distant events, most of which are in North Carolina.
With him are clothes, golf clothes, golf shoes and sneakers and not much else. If the RV happens, he'll stock it with the basics of his old apartment in Las Cruces, “and have a kitchen, like in college,” he said.
Madigan said a possible defense of his 2011 New Mexico Open title is still undecided, depending on how he's doing on the eGolf Tour.
In between East Coast events, he's practicing most of every day, getting used to putting on Bermuda hybrid grass and dealing with the loss of distance that comes with playing at sea level.
“The air is so thick here,” he said. “A drive would go 300 yards in New Mexico if I hit a pure shot, but it's going only 275-280 here, and that translates across all clubs.”
— Dan Vukelich
In other news …
Former Sandia Golf Club Assistant Superintendent Scott Lewis has been hired as the superintendent at Ladera Golf Course, said Albuquerque Golf Division head David Salas. Lewis is coordinating with contractor Mountain West Golfscapes on installation of Ladera's new irrigation system.
Installation of main pipes on the back nine is done and heads are going in. Installation of the front nine is expected to take 90 days. Net irrigated acreage will be about the same, but irrigated turf will be shifted to reflect the realities of play, Salas said.
For instance, turf will be extended in the median between Nos. 1 and 10, which is now hardpan. Same with the left side of No. 11 and the right side of No. 14. Conversely, turfed area not normally in play on the far left side of No. 7 will go unirrigated, he said.
“Jeff Good, the irrigation designer, is doing a good job of identifying where we can push-pull irrigated turf,” Salas said.
During construction, Ladera has been offering discounted rates: $15 for nine holes and cart; $24 for 18 holes and cart; $10 to walk 18 holes for a senior; and $16.30 to walk 18 holes for a senior. As the weather has warmed and the dirt mounds from the irrigation work have disappeared, golfers appear to be returning to Ladera.