Improvements to The Highlands will have golfers taking notice

The grass IS greener 

Hank Minckiewicz
Riverview Register Sports Writer

The grass always seems greener on the other side of the fence, but when looking at the Riverview Highlands golf course this season – especially the Red and Gold nines – the grass won’t just seem greener, it will be greener.

Thanks to a new pump station the Red and the Gold courses, as well as the practice tee and the putting green, will be better watered than ever this year, making for greener, prettier and more playable conditions.

For a number of years the pump station on the south side of Pennsylvania Road has needed to be replaced, but to save money the city has opted to patch, repair and rebuild things. But it got to the point that is was getting harder and harder to keep the station working and the condition of the course was suffering.

Last July the city finally tore out the old pumps and replaced them. According to City Manager Doug Drysdale and Riverview Director of Golf Mike Kettler the change in the look of the course was quick and dramatic.

“The last half of the season, the course was as green as it has been in a long time,” said Drysdale. But greener grass won’t be the only thing you’ll notice at The Highlands this season. Kettler and his staff went out and reshaped and trimmed all of the bunkers, some of which had grown wild and unruly. In addition to the trimming, workers added 500 tons of new sand to the bunkers.

“The last half of the season, the course was as green as it has been in a long time,” said Drysdale. But greener grass won’t be the only thing you’ll notice at The Highlands this season. Kettler and his staff went out and reshaped and trimmed all of the bunkers, some of which had grown wild and unruly.
In addition to the trimming, workers added 500 tons of new sand to the bunkers.

To help cover the cost of the improvements, rates have been bumped up a little, but it is the first rate increase seen at The Highlands in 15 years, according to the Director.

But the course itself is not the only part of the facility getting some love as the Kettler is in the process of making improvements to the loft area of the clubhouse.

For the past number of years there have been some nets hanging in the loft that have allowed golfers to hit balls during the winter. The nets have become ragged over the years and will be replaced this year. In addition, a new 16- by 48-foot indoor putting green will be installed. According to Kettler, the company installing the green is the same one that has put in indoor greens for professional players Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.

Also joining the team is golf instructor Ken Moore.

In addition to offering lessons, Moore, who spent a good portion of his career with Ping, is also an expert golf clubfitter.

“Ken is very familiar with the technology used in club fitting and he is very good at it,” said Kettler. Kettler said he hopes to make the loft the kind of place golfers like to come to, practice and hang out for a while with other golfers.

“We want it to be total indoor golf facility and a comfortable place for people to come back to,” he said.

Kettler added that the club hopes to sell memberships, who could be a bargain for area players. Rates have not been set year, but for one price, golfers would get year-round access to the indoor and outdoor practice tee and putting greens.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *