Wednesday, August 03, 2005

New Owner Vows Improvement at Lake Waco

Waco was recently named the best golf city in Texas by Golf Digest. But one of the courses there has been suffering through a slow, steady decline. The semi-private Lake Waco Golf & Country Club has seen its membership drop by nearly 70-percent over the past few years as conditions deteriorated.

New owner Ray Lamb vows to change that. If you've ever played Lake Waco, you might know Lamb. He's run the Heart of Texas Golf Academy at the course for more than half a decade. Now, after spending $2.5 million, he owns the place.

According to the Waco Herald-Tribune, Lamb plans to keep the club open to the public for at least a couple years while improvements to the two courses - one regulation 18 and another par-3 18 - are made. He hopes to boost membership and take the club private again in about two years.

From the story in the Waco paper:

The club, which Lamb has renamed The Lake, had seen its 36 holes fall into such poor shape “that no one wanted to play,” he said.

Lamb said membership has declined from 438 when he joined 25 years ago to about 130 today.

“I don't think it will take that much to build the membership back up,” he said Tuesday. “This is the only course on this side of the lake and China Spring is a growing area.”

Lamb said “there is no telling” how much he will spend to improve The Lake. “I will do whatever it takes to make it into a good golf course,” he said.

The Lake includes an 18-hole regular course and an 18-hole, par-three course. Lamb said he will build two new tennis courts “and we're opening back up the RV park.” The club also has a swimming pool.

Lamb said he hopes to create a “better playable, better conditioned” golf environment. Changes to the regular course will include narrowing the fairways and relocating bunkers.

“The course will become more of a challenge to better golfers, but regular golfers will still enjoy it,” he said.

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