Bob West: Aquila Golf committed to more upgrades at Babe Zaharias Golf Club

Published 12:20 am Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Relatively few lost days because of weather conditions, and a golf course which just keeps getting better condition-wise, led to a robust year for Babe Zaharias Golf Club and its operator, Aquila Golf. Head pro Mitch Duncan insists the best is yet to come.

Overall rounds in 2019 were up 24 percent from a year ago. Because Zaharias’ drainage is such that it’s open and carts are off the path faster than other area courses, it seems safe to say no other layout in the area produced such a significant increase in rounds played.

While being open when others were closed accounted for part of the Babe’s increased traffic, dramatically better greens and other, more subtle improvements also played into the equation. Those who have played Zaharias since its opening in the mid 1970s, and I’m one of them, swear the greens have never been as smooth and fast as they were in 2019.

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Take a bow, superintendent Darrell Reeves and company on the Zaharias work force.

Aquila president George Brown insists he’s not ready to rest on the good reviews coming his way. He’s backing that up with a fleet of new Club Car carts with lithium batteries. The carts feature Plexiglass windshields and pull out covers on the back to keep clubs dry when it rains.

And that’s not all. Other significant projects for 2020 include fertilizing fairways in March and September and a biggie — upgrading all bunkers with new white sand. The latter, however, comes with the asterisk that help from the city of Port Arthur is going to be needed.

Also on Duncan’s hoping-to-do list is a teaching/fitting building located on the back range. That’s a natural progression from last spring’s implementation of a Trackman feedback device that greatly enhanced what Duncan has been able to do from a teaching standpoint.

All in all, the arrow is pointing up for golfers who continue to be able to enjoy a better golfing experience at a public facility that for too many years was the butt of jokes over its condition.


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