Restoration of Phoenix's Papago Golf Course doesn't disappoint
This weekend, the second of two very enjoyable and historic munis reopened after extensive renovations. On Saturday, it was half-century-old Papago Golf Course in Phoenix, long considered one of the better city courses the country, but in need of some updates. A week ago, it was 86-year-old Brackendridge Park in San Antonio.
Neither of the restorations are disappointing.
At Papago, a 1959 Billy Bell design that hosted the 1971 U.S. Amateur Public Links, nearly $6 million was spent for new greens, new grass, new irrigation system, restoration of the lakes and tree removal, to name just a few things. It also got a little more length. The result of the work by Billy Fuller’s renovation team is a golf course that’s more playable than ever, with views if the nearby Papago Buttes and surrounding mountains on every hole. Although the course still needs a little time to mature, its new MiniVerde greens were in large part fairly pure, and the fairways and tees were in excellent shape for a course that just reopened after being shut down for seven months.
What I love about Papago and Brackenridge both, however, is that you can easily walk them and there are no homes on the courses. Papago has no cart paths, so the greens and tees are right next to each other. Still, somehow, because of the design of the course, you never felt like you were going to hit other players on the adjacent holes. It was a great design in 1959 and continues today.
(Have you played Papago? Click here to rate it.)
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