Located on Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army installation in Sierra Vista, Ariz., the property has spent funds to renovate the course, minimizing the effluent water needed to irrigate it. The property is also implementing a new policy that will be designed to introduce players to how to properly dress on the golf course, “especially young soldiers.”
The public Mountain View Golf Course, located on Fort Huachuca, a U.S. Army installation in Sierra Vista, Ariz., has transitioned from a traditional water-gulping recreational facility to one designed for the desert, the Sierra Vista Herald reported.
Col. Dan McFarland, the post’s garrison commander, said other changes to return the property to a game of civility and to ensure reasonable fees are charged are happening as well, the Herald reported.
But to get to today’s golfing experience sweet spot on the fort meant taking a financial loss in order to spent funds to renovate the course, McFarland told the Herald.
“We are the number one losing course (for the 2013 fiscal year) on paper in the Installation Management Command,” McFarland said. The course is part of the fort’s Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation activities and uses no appropriated funds for its operation, the Herald reported.
But with the changes made, McFarland said the course’s financial recovery is guaranteed, something the colonel expects will occur this fiscal year, which ends on September 30, the Herald reported.
There will be more opportunities for tournaments because golfers and sponsors want a well-cared-for course “and that’s what we now have,” the garrison commander said. When it comes to golf courses in the Army, McFarland said, “we think we are going to set the standard in the Army.”
The course is in fantastic shape and water use is being lowered. When it comes to water savings “we’ll probably lead the Army,” he told the Herald.
Years ago the course used fresh drinkable water at an estimated 1,000 acre-feet a year to keep the course green, McFarland said. An acre-foot consists of nearly 326,000 gallons of water, meaning about 326 million gallons of water were used yearly on the course, the Herald reported.
A little more than a decade ago the course began to be watered with effluent and with some redesign the amount of water used was lowered to around 350 acre-feet, the colonel said. It was Steve O’Hearne, hired as the golf course manager and pro, along with his ground crew who began the changes needed for the course to make it a true desert course, McFarland told the Herald.
Hard decisions were and still are being made, the colonel said. Some include how players need to act and having to make changes to the prices, which in some cases will increase, the Herald reported.
“Golfing isn’t to let yourself go. It’s a family affair, one of courtesy not bad language while playing,” O’Hearne said.
Nearly every golf course has a dress code and while the one on the fort probably will not call for collared shirts it will ban “tank tops and swim suits,” O’Hearne said. The new policy, which is in the formation stage, will be designed to introduce players to how to properly dress, “especially young soldiers,” O’Hearne said.
Being properly dressed does not take the fun out of golfing, he said, adding that golf etiquette includes taking care of the course while playing, the Herald reported.
Fees may be adjusted with higher costs at the most desirable tee times and lower charges when the course is not in as much demand, O’Hearne said. When it comes to green fees, lower ranking enlisted personnel will not pay as much, and civilians will pay higher fees, the Herald reported.
The tee boxes, which in the past were overgrown with weeds, have also been redesigned and restored, the Herald reported.