Although recent flooding had closed it temporarily, the newly-revamped Saratoga Golf Course is expected to receive more play from clubbers around the state.
Matt Daubner, Course Manager and PGA Golf Professional, said he had seen many golfers hit the greens so far this season before the flood hit. He said the 3,580-yard nine-hole course, which has a cliff-top tee and three over-water tee shots, officially opened up for spring on April 23.
"We've gotten people from all over, including Colorado, Cheyenne, Laramie and Rawlins, and we get a lot from Fort Collins who come up," Daubner said. "We really get a lot of people from all around who come to play, or play and also stay at the resort. People in general who played in the last couple of years are really enjoying the changes and improvements, which is always a pleasure to hear. They're really excited about things."
Daubner said because of significant changes, growth and maintenance, the course has been in much better shape over last year.
"Last year they had the drought and it flooded the year before then, so the course took a beating without an updated irrigation system," he said. "But from last year to this year, it's like a new golf course now. The golf course came through really good through winter, all the work put into it last year is really showing up again this spring. The greens are in really good shape."
Extra irrigation has taken place on certain course holes, in addition to clean-up and tree removal in the area, Daubner said. He added fertilizing and seeding will also occur on the course land.
"We got new irrigation around our first tee and practice area, along with new irrigation on our first, ninth, eighth and seventh hole," Daubner said. "We're excited because of what irrigation we have, and we had to take down a few trees in certain spots to allow more light into certain growing areas. We also widened the space on hole No. 9 over the river a little bit between the trees, and we expect quite a few of the fairways to fill in from the irrigation."
Daubner said holes No. 8 and No. 7, and parts of holes No. 4 and No. 5, had been underwater because of the recent flooding. Although the course is currently closed, the driving range is still open.
With help from the new maintenance superintendent, Danny Moe, Daubner said he expects another great summer season.
"We're going to be in real nice shape this season," Daubner said. "Things are looking good for the growing season, and to make this the best golf course in Wyoming is what we want."
Daubner said golf lessons are still offered at the course, and local youth are encouraged to sign up for the Youth Golf Program, which runs June 9-24 with a tournament June 24. He said he also plans to have different outings and functions involving the course again this year.
"It's exciting, and each year we're going to really start seeing more and more improvements out there," Daubner said "We're really looking forward to a good season with more growth, and hope to continue our progress with the irrigation. That irrigation is going to make everything possible for us when the growing season starts."