The timing was perfect. The Fred Arbanas Golf Course, now renovated for more challenging play and just as picturesque as ever, re-opened on a sunny spring day May 22 -- ideal conditions for playing a round or two.
During a special ribbon-cutting May 21, Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders joined County Legislators Theresa Garza Ruiz (1st District At-Large), Bob Spence (6th District) and Dan Tarwater (4th District) in celebrating the course's reopening and applauding the evening's guest of honor, Fred Arbanas (a former Kansas City Chiefs star tight end, the current Jackson County 3rd District At-Large Legislator and the man for whom the golf course was named). Renovation work on the 18-hole champion course, which began last summer, was completed on schedule and on budget, Sanders proudly noted.
Representative from several Greater Kansas City publications, radio and TV stations were the first to get on the course during a special media tournament prior to the ribbon-cutting.
The project required the course to be closed throughout the summer of 2008, but the more than 100 people attending the May 21 event seemed to agree -- it was worth it!
All 18 greens and a practice green were renovated to meet the United States Golf Association (USGA) "Recommendations for Putting Green Construction." The scope of the project involved erosion control, earthwork, shaping, green construction, sand bunker construction, drainage, irrigation, grassing and golf cart paths.
Craig Schriener, owner of Schriener Golf based in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, home of many award-winning course, served as the project's consultant. Mid-America Golf and Landscaping of Lee's Summit served as the construction contract.
As a public course set within the natural beauty of Longview Lake Park, the new Fred Arbanas Golf Course is a rare "jewel," according to Schriener. He described the new greens to the best he'd seen during his 20-plus years as a golf architect, including greens on courses that have hosted major Professional Golf Association (PGA) tournaments.
A COMPLETE MAKEOVER
In addition to meeting USGA standards, all the greens, as well as a practice green, were rebuilt to improve surface drainage. Green surrounds, including sand bunkers, mounds and grass hollows, were reshaped to further improve drainage and reduce surface flow onto the putting surfaces.
The project also entailed restoration of all the golf holes impacted by the greens construction. This work included site drainage, irrigation, concrete cart paths, tees and sand bunkers.
Finally, the club house was given a makeover as well.
Retaining the original design integrity of the golf course was an important objective achieved during the renovation work.