Los Alamos Golf Course Featured in ‘Wide Open Fairways’

‘Wide Open Fairways’ by Bradley S. Klein includes the Los Alamos Municipal Golf Course. Courtesy photo

Staff Report:

The Los Alamos Golf Course is one of six courses featured in Bradley S. Klein’s “Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the landscapes of Modern Golf.”

Klein is architecture editor of “Golfweek” magazine and runs its national golf course rating system. In the course of writing the book, Klein visited courses in locales ranging from The Bronx to North Dakota.

Klein visited Los Alamos in 2011 just two days after residents were allowed to return to town following the Las Conchas Fire. Klein tells some of the history of Los Alamos, including the history of the golf course, which was begun in 1947 and took two years to construct.

Although Klein sees a number of drawbacks to the course, partly because of its age, partly because of its design and partly because of water and geographical issues – the spectacular setting and intriguing history of Los Alamos captivate him. He’s drawn in by the town’s quirk’s, including everyone’s favorite statistic, the 17 percent of adult residents with Ph.Ds. He sees a lot of potential in the town and in the course, both of which he currently finds “a bit down at the heels.”

Klein hooks up wiih Andy Staples, the golf designer hired in mid-2011 to give a detailed evaluation of the golf course. Staples developed two plans, one modest and one ambitious (Plans A and B). Klein is enthusiastic about Plan B and comes up with a name, Los Alamos National, a logo and even a slogan. “Great golf in Los Alamos, the secret’s out.”

Klein captures the spirit of Los Alamos and his enthusiasm for the town and for the potential of the golf course is infectious. “Wide Open Fairways” will introduce Los Alamos to golfers around the country, who will perhaps pay us a visit, try out the course and enjoy what Los Alamos has to offer.

Los Alamos Golf Course Manager Steve Wickliffe spoke with the Los Alamos Daily Post about the feature in Bradley S. Klein’s “Wide Open Fairways: A Journey Across the landscapes of Modern Golf.” 

“It was interesting to get the take on the community and this course from someone who has been in the business for such a long time and visited courses all over the country … it’s worth noting and I think it’s important for the community and golfers to reflect on,” Wickliffe said.   

Summertime photo: Nestled at the base of the Jemez Mountains atop the Pajarito Plateau, Los Alamos Golf Course offers a challenging 6,500 yard, par 72, 18-hole layout. The course, built in 1947 by the Atomic Energy Commission, is one of the oldest 18-hole courses in New Mexico. Playing through Ponderosa Pine and Cottonwood, the sloping fairways and small greens provide a challenge to players of all skill levels. Panoramic vistas and clear, fresh mountain air provide a beautiful setting for an enjoyable round of golf. Courtesy/LAC

Progress continues on the clubhouse renovations at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Courtesy/LAC


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