Liberty Lake Golf Course, which has been shut down for the past 19 months while undergoing a massive $4.5 million renovation, is scheduled to reopen on May 28.
To what degree of fanfare has yet to be decided.
County officials are declaring it a “grand opening date,” but Liberty Lake head professional Kit DeAndre said details surrounding the reopening are still be worked out and will be announced to the general pubic once they are finalized.
According to DeAndre, the reopening could involve nothing more than opening up the phone lines on the Tuesday before and booking tee times for callers.
“But at this point, we really haven’t finalized that decision,” he added.
Whatever transpires, DeAndre is convinced those who remember the old LLCG layout will be thoroughly delighted by the new one that will emerge from the much-needed facelift performed by Phelps/Atkinson Golf Design.
“The topography has changed from flat to undulating, which was one of those visual things that needed to be done to make the golf course a little bit more interesting,” DeAndre explained. “They’ve added three more ponds, almost doubled the number of bunkers and nearly doubled the size of the greens.
“Of all the things that have been done, including the installation of a state-of-the-art irrigation system, those are the things that are going to be noticed by the players who played here previously and who have something to gauge the changes on.”
Course superintendent Todd Harper, in a men’s club news letter, said the abnormally warm winter was a huge factor in helping the new bentgrass greens and bluegrass fairways and tees boxes grow in and mature. But he admitted the lack of snow cover made the soft, exposed greens susceptible to deer-track damage, and added that some of the hoof prints left behind were a deep as 11/2 inches.
According to DeAndre, however, Harper and his off-season maintenance crew have already started mowing tees and fairways, and just recently verticut the greens because they were growing so well.
“They’ve applied some fertilizer, too,” DeAndre added, “and in the last few days, the course has really started to green up.”
Unexpected setbacks in the progress of the renovation have apparently been minimal. But DeAndre did say some of the new trees that were originally planted did not survive.
Those trees, he said, were replaced – under warranty – by the company that did the construction work.
During the county’s ambitious remodeling project, DeAndre has served as a consultant and admits he has fostered a new appreciation of all that is involved in the redesign of a golf course.
But he’s ready, now, to get his golf course reopened and resume his head professional duties.
To that end, he has already started re-stocking the pro shop and restaurant, while also tending to his fleet of riding carts.
“For me, personally, it’s been a satisfying project to be a part of,” said DeAndre. “And now it’s time two switch back to being the head professional and manager of the facility again. It’s (early) April, and we have less than two months until we reopen and that, from my perspective, is very exciting.”