Out in far West Texas, hard against the Mexican border, sits the Lajitas Resort, a starcrossed project that opened to much fanfare, struggled to stay solvent, and was recently sold to new owners with a plan to revitalize the property.
The Ambush is the resort's golf course, an 18-hole carpet of green in the Chihuahuan desert, designed by Roy Bechtol and Randy Russell and praised by just about every golf who had a chance to play it.
The Ambush is now in ruins, much of the course destroyed by massive flooding along the Rio Grande caused when Mexico was forced to open floodgates and multiple dams along the river to remove the possibility of dam breaks in the aftermath of a tropical storm.
The good news is that the resort believes it can recover nine holes and have them playable again in the near future; the second nine will take a lot more time and effort.
In an article for Cybergolf.com, author Steve Habel describes the damage:
By the middle of September, only three of our course's holes were above water. "The back nine was entirely flooded for four weeks," said Terri Thate, a spokesperson for Lajitas and the resort's reservation manager. "The devastation was amazing. I have lived here for years, and I had never seen anything like that before."
The back nine of The Ambush course - which included the famed "international" hole that allowed players to tee up a shot in the United States and hit to a green in Mexico, and four holes on an island in the river, are damaged beyond repair.
Portions of The Ambush's front nine, most of which was also underwater, died because the flooding destroyed the course's irrigation system. Once the waters subsided, the grass burned up for lack of water (as ironic as it seems) in the arid desert landscape.
"We may have six or seven holes on the front nine that can be saved and reworked, and that is our current goal," said Edwin Lesley, Lajitas' president and chief executive officer. "We hope to have those nine holes back and playable by March 2009, and then we will turn our attention to the rest of the course."
Read the full article.