Skip and Dreama Fumia
From its charter, the Green Committee’s objective is “to promote and enhance the golfers’ enjoyment and satisfaction from use of the golf facilities.” Quail Creek’s golf facilities include the practice range. Situated next to the Madera Clubhouse on Quail Range Loop, the practice range includes: putting green, chipping green, greenside bunker, driving range, equipment and parking. The practice range is jointly maintained by our Course Superintendent J.R. Kies and his crew and by our Head Pro Joel Jaress and his staff.
As you’ve probably noticed, our practice range is well-utilized by our golfers all year round. Recently the Green Committee formed a subcommittee to explore ways to improve our practice range beyond day-to-day maintenance. Over the last several months this subcommittee has met with golf staff, golf architects, POA Board members and POA Management staff in this regard. The following is the practice range improvement plan you’ll see occurring in stages over the near term focused on the driving range.
First we plan to lengthen the hitting area by about 40 feet. The current concrete will be removed and a crushed stone base will be installed. New, improved mats will be installed on the crushed stone base. The mat will allow placement of a regular tee anywhere on its surface area. That maximizes the number of people able to use the range mats. The mat is composed of a fairly dense long artificial grass surface that feels like regular fairway grass when hitting a ball. There is no bounce of the club when hitting off this surface. It is not a jarring surface and is quite comfortable to use. This change in the driving range teeing area will be done very soon, hopefully within the next several weeks. This should not interrupt golfers’ usage of the driving range.
The next stage will be leveling of the hitting range itself and installing a new practice bunker. This will start soon after the QCLGA Member/Guest event, our last major tournament of the season. The hitting range will be leveled and enlarged, going from the current 16K square feet to just over 26K square feet. By leveling this area we will have a better hitting surface and be able to utilize the entire area length when moving the hitting line.
Once the hitting range is leveled and sodded we will not be able to use that hitting area for at least three to four months to allow the sod to take hold. Therefore, the matted hitting area must be completed prior to the hitting area leveling. There will be about a two-week window while the range is being leveled that we will not be able to use the range itself.
More improvements to the practice range will come over time, but the above changes will: provide more teeing area to accommodate more golfers; provide better mats for more realistic practice and level the hitting range to better utilize available teeing space.