BELLA VISTA -- Even though they can't meet face-to-face, the Joint Advisory Committee on Golf is working though the coronavirus shutdown. During a virtual meeting May 13, committee members heard an update on two cart bridge projects, changes to the summer junior golf program, and rounds played in April.
Golf maintenance director Keith Ihms told the committee his department has some issues with staffing and in some cases results in variances in conditions of courses. Two golf maintenance workers are isolating themselves at home because of concerns about the virus, although they haven't tested positive. Other workers were out because of the regular flu. Hiring seasonal workers has also been a challenge.
Both bridge projects were delayed, including the repair around two Scotsdale bridges. The engineering was delayed for the Scotsdale project, so no bids have been received yet. Ihms estimated the work may be done in August. The course is playable without the bridges.
At Berksdale, the work to take out an unsafe bridge has started. When the debris was removed from under that bridge, it revealed bridge pillars are leaning even more than expected. It should be done in early to mid-June, Ihms said.
Darryl Muldoon, director of golf operations, said golf rounds for April were up compared to last year. Most of those rounds were played by residents, some of whom are able to play because they are working from home.
Since tee times are still spaced to allow distance between players, on busy days the courses are very busy. He expects the restrictions to remain in place until mid-June but he's waiting for the governor to lift the restrictions.
Muldoon said the two professional tournaments, both the APT and the Women's All Pro Tour which is coming to Bella Vista for the first time, are expecting to fill their fields -- 78 women and 155 men.
"Everyone is anxious to get out and play," he said. The tournaments take place from June 22 to June 27.
Golf pro Alex Sanford said the first session of the Junior Golf Camp was canceled, but he expects the second session in July will go on. The Junior PGA league should start practice in June and registration is open to golfers under 14. The league schedule hasn't been set yet, but tournaments should take place in July, he said.
NW News on 05/20/2020