What's new in 2021
Golf was booming during the pandemic of 2020 and the momentum has continued into the spring of 2021. Golf courses at Lake of the Ozarks have continued to see increased demand and with that some of the courses have made significant investments to update their facilities. Most notably were the upgrades that Lake Valley Country Club and Eldon Country Club made this spring.
Lake Valley Country Club spent the off-season renovating their grill, men’s and women’s locker rooms, restrooms, and contracted out a complete makeover of their 23 bunkers on the par-72 layout. The clubhouse received a facelift starting with both locker rooms and the adjoining restrooms with member lockers, carpet, paint and fixtures for the locker rooms, and fresh tile, paint, vanities and fixtures for the restrooms. The Bar and Grill was also renovated with new televisions, surround sound, carpet, paint and redesigned bar seating. Many local companies were used for the remodel including Four Seasons Plumbing, 21st Century Electronix, Barklage Drywall, Inc., and DC Electrical Services.
Mammoth Sports Construction, out of Kansas City, was hired to spearhead the renovations of the golf course. Alongside Brad Seidt, General Manager/Golf Course Superintendent and his crew, they got to work on the complete bunker renovation. They began by removing all the old sand from the 23 bunkers. They kept 20 original bunkers in their pervious locations, filled in three existing bunkers and relocated three bunkers. Once the sand was removed they reshaped many of the bunkers, dug up and replaced all the drain tile, and reshaped many of the bunkers to enhance their appearance and playability. State-of-the-art bunker linings were installed in each bunker and over ¾ of a mile of drain tile was laid down. This will allow the bunkers to empty very quickly after any amount of rain and should be playable significantly quicker than in previous years. A total of 350,000 pounds of fresh sand was replaced in the bunkers during the renovation, in addition to four semi-loads of sod to replace areas around the bunkers and over the drain tiles.
The new white sand stands out when you drive into the property and it gives golfers a great visual target as they play each of the holes. Brad and Mammoth Sports did a phenomenal job and I know the members and guests that play Lake Valley this year and for years to come will be impressed.
Eldon Golf Club also spent the off-season upgrading their facilities. They started by moving their existing golf shop to the banquet room located adjacent to the pool and current golf shop. The membership did the majority of the renovations to the building. The area was segmented into the golf shop, offices, restrooms and their new learning center. The learning center is certainly the highlight of the remodel as the club now has two simulators, an indoor practice green, and the golf shop and offices all under one roof.
The learning center is equipped with a Foresight Sports GCQuad launch monitor and a Skytrak launch monitor. An indoor putting green has also been installed where the GCQuad monitor can analyze your putting stroke. Both monitors allow you to analyze numerous shot characteristics such as launch angle, ball and club speed, spin rates, angle of attack, swing path and much more. These monitors can also be used as a golf simulator so you can play 9 or 18 holes on one of multiple pre-loaded courses. Reservations for the simulator can be made online at www.eldongolfclub.com. Cost is $40 an hour. If you reserve the Skytrak simulator part of the fee goes to support the Boys and Girls High School Golf teams at the Eldon High School. If you want a PGA Professional to give you a lesson and explain how the simulator readings can improve your swing and game, contact Michael Cummings at 573-392-4172. Lessons begin at $75 an hour, and I guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the information you will receive about your game. The professional staff can also custom fit your clubs with the use of the in-house Callaway and Mizuno fitting systems.
The membership at the Eldon Golf Club is committed to making the club a unique and special place to be a member or just to enjoy a round of golf. In 2022 plans are to remodel the old golf shop and snack bar into a full kitchen that will service the members, daily golfing guests, and the Eldon community.
The golf business at Lake of the Ozarks continues to grow and become more and more popular. With the commitment these courses and others are making to improve their facilities, the future of golf looks bright.
See you on the course!
Paul Leahy is a PGA Golf Pro and the director of golf at The Oaks at Margaritaville Lake Resort.