Larry Bohannan documents the Bob Hope rotation woes.
"The frustration was the focus when we talked to many of the designers who came in to bid on the design, we wanted a PGA-qualified golf course," Adolph said. "And when it was done, it was not PGA-qualified. That was frustrating."You are writing that down right? A PGA-qualified course. Let me know if you are aware of what that means.
The city received explanations and even a letter of apology from Palmer Course Design.This was interesting...
"We apologize for the way things came out," said Erik Larsen, lead designer at SilverRock, in the June, 2005 letter to the city. "The bottom line is that I think this golf course is terrific and with a year of changes, we'll have one of the most striking courses in the valley."
The changes began when the council approved $1.4 million in work in the summer of 2005 after flooding and erosion problems from uncharacteristic heavy rains earlier in the year. That money went toward improved drainage on the course, additional landscaping, installation of a drainage pipe to divert flood waters along Avenue 52 and additional workers.
Another $600,000 was approved in August 2006 for decomposed granite to cover and stabilize 40 acres of desert, a specific request by the tour. As recently as last month, the council approved $80,000 to repair wind damage to bunkers and downed trees.
"It just seems every time the council meets, they are voting more money for that golf course," said Steve Simpson, 53 and a part-time La Quinta resident. "I know the golf tournament is a big deal, but is it worth what the city is spending?"
John Foster, a member of the executive board of the Hope tournament, says the added expenditures at SilverRock are typical of PGA Tour venues. An example is the work done at the tournament-owned Classic Club in Thousand Palms since last year's Hope event.Yes, the golf course developers who build lousy courses.
"We made substantial changes at Classic Club which are hard to see, but we are up to close to $500,000 in changes," Foster said. "A lot of times people don't hear about it because they are private venues. It's not very unusual, but people may not know how much that goes on. The golf course developers know."
With potentially more changes and additional costs still in the course's future, Adolph prefers to think about how the course can put forward a good impression of the city for the players, the gallery and the viewers across the nation.
"I hope so. The beauty of the area is going to be something that, in most cases, people don't see on their television sets," Adolph said. "I hope so."
There's always hope!