Panorama West Improvements Underway
By Susan Thompson
Installation of a new irrigation system at the Panorama West golf course began in late May. The system will make it possible to water all fairways, tees and greens on the course, which wasn’t possible with the existing system.
The work is possible because of a gift from Jim and Joyce McLuen, who died in 2016. Twenty percent of their estate was directed to Friends of Lake Panorama, a 501(c)3 nonprofit charity. Last August, members of the Friends board were presented with a check for $473,700.64. The McLuens stated the bequest was to be used at the Panorama West golf course.
Landscapes Unlimited, which has its home office in Lincoln, Nebraska, was the low bidder for the irrigation project. The first materials were delivered May 21, and work began a week later. Construction is to be complete by July 30.
The course remains open during construction. Work is being done on one hole at a time, which means each hole will be closed for a few days. During construction, players need to check-in at the pro shop to find out what hole to skip.
Another improvement made possible by the McLuen gift is updated landscaping around the clubhouse. In early June, Wood Brothers Landscaping removed undesirable plants and trimmed shrubs that would stay.
Old pea gravel was removed from the beds on the north and west sides of the clubhouse, and replaced by river rock. New shrubs and perennials have been added to the landscaped beds on all four sides of the clubhouse, with new pea gravel added on the south and east. A flowering crab tree also was placed on the east side.
A six-foot metal bench has been ordered, and will be placed in the landscape bed near the clubhouse entrance. A bronze plaque on the bench will express appreciation to the McLuens. A second plaque with additional detail also is planned.
New signs, yardage markers, ball washers and trash receptacles have arrived, yet another improvement made possible by the McLuen gift.
Each of the 15 tee boxes now will have a sign showing distances to the green from all tee markers. Nine of the posts will have trash receptacles attached, with five of these also holding ball washers. Having the trash receptacles and ball washers mounted on these single posts will make maintenance easier.
Six additional signs will be added to the course at various locations. These signs will help direct players to the par-four tee boxes that exist on five holes, plus make it clearer where carts should park near the par-four tee boxes on the fourth hole.
Eighteen 5”x7” granite yardage markers will be installed on the nine par-three tee boxes, showing distances to the green from both the red and blue tee markers. All signs, tee markers and other new items will be installed as staff time allows, and in coordination with the irrigation construction.
Once the irrigation construction is complete, attention will turn to a cart path improvement plan. This will include adding concrete paths to most par-four tee boxes, plus a section of concrete adjacent to par-three tee boxes where none currently exists. A decision on the extent of the cart path additions will be made once bills for the irrigation work have been paid.
In the fall, a three-year project to improve turf conditions of fairways and tees will begin. Fifteen acres of tees and fairways will be aerified and interseeded, plus starter fertilizer applied. This project will result in better disease and drought-tolerant turf conditions.
In 2019 and 2020, funds will be added to the existing Panorama West annual operating budget for additional seed, fertilizer and weed control as turf conditions improve.