Last year, Settlers Bay GC turned unused lawn space into “Wasilla’s biggest backyard.”
At the end of last year, the staff at Settlers Bay Golf Course in Wasilla, Alaska took a look around the property and realized they had the space to offer much more than just 18 holes of golf. So, says Event and Sales Coordinator Vicky Urbina-Howe, they set out to create “Wasilla’s biggest backyard.”
The property features a large lawn for weddings and banquets along its 18th hole, but when events are not scheduled, the area largely goes unused. Realizing it was an ideal spot for yard games, the staff cut the grass to the appropriate length to create a regulation croquet course, as well as bocce lanes. Equipment Manager Don Roberts also built two sets of cornhole boards and giant Jenga blocks.
“We cater mostly to golfers, but we do try to venture outside of that as well, because golf is not for everyone,” says Urbina-Howe. “We tell people they can come out and have a beverage, enjoy our deck, and play in our backyard for free.”
Beyond mowing the croquet course, no ongoing maintenance is necessary for the extra amenities. In the future, the property plans to offer Chippo, a game that combines cornhole and golf chipping, and a giant chess game, with a checkerboard made of birch.
“We like to be green and use what we have around us,” says Urbina-Howe. “So we’ll use trees that fall down around winter or need to be taken away.”
When not in use, the staff simply stores the equipment by its clubhouse. “We’re a neighborhood course and there’s daylight in Alaska all the time [during the season]—so the only time we move the equipment is during an event,” says Urbina-Howe.