Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

No decision reached on artificial turf for par-3 course

link Staff photo: Robin Fornoff

City Commissioner Gary Elliott leans on a pin marking a hole Monday at the Hillcrest park par-3 golf course. Elliott and other members of the city’s parks, recreation and beautification committee took a walking tour of the course while considering an upgrade and redesign.

Projects Editor

[email protected]

It’s one thing to sit in an office at City Hall and debate. Quite another to actually tour the subject of debate.

Which is exactly what the city’s parks, recreation and beautification committee did Monday. They, along with City Manager Joe Thomas, hit the links, walking the soft grass of the par-3 golf course at Hillcrest Park.

The final score:

• Thomas managed to find a golf ball, not a nick in it.

• City Commissioner Juan Garza got in a few Johnny Carson-style phantom golf swings; no actual play was allowed.

• No decision was reached on whether to recommend installing artificial turf on the greens.

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Dayhoff said he wants to get at least one more bid before the committee makes its decision Sept. 22. The purpose of the tour, he said, was to get a first-hand look at four different design proposals.

Committee members walked to the course with Dayhoff armed with the designs ranging from a 9-hole to a 6-hole par 3 course.

Committee member and Commissioner Gary Elliott said he couldn’t support turning the now 9-hole course into a 6-hole course. He did say he could support a 7-hole course provided the design left room for expansion to a 9-hole course in the future.

Dayhoff said part of the issue is coming up with a design that doesn’t infringe on walking trails and soccer play that surround the existing course.

Dayhoff said bids range from about $49,000 for artificial turf greens on a 6-hole course to about $70,000 for a 9-hole course. He said he preferred one of the 6-hole designs, acknowledging it was a strange number given that most golf courses are in increments of 9 holes.

Dayhoff said he spoke to golf coaches at Clovis High School and all said their teams would use the course more often if the greens were artificial turf. He also said the coaches didn’t have a preference for a 6-hole or 9-hole course. They did say they preferred a variety of distances from the tee to the hole.

The plan Dayhoff said he preferred featured 6 holes with lengths ranging from 70 to 100 yards.