Southern manages four courses: The Club at ConCan near, well, Concan; The Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera; Alsatian Golf Club in Castroville; and Utopia Golf Course in Utopia.
Make that five. The company recently won the right to operate Casa Blanca Golf Course in Laredo, beating out notable competition including Kemper Golf Management and Billy Casper Golf Management to be hired by Webb County.
"Southern Golf Properties feels privileged and honored to have been awarded the contract for the management of Casa Blanca Golf Course," said John Junker, Southern Golf's chief executive officer. "We look forward to working with Webb County and serving the community and its golfing needs. Our entire team welcomes this challenge and this wonderful opportunity."
A news release provides further details:
Casa Blanca Golf Course, which plays to 6,539 yards from its back set of three tees and to a par of 72, was designed by Leon Howard and opened for operation in 1967. There have been some changes to the track in the 40-plus years since a tee was first put in the ground, but in recent years Casa Blanca has fallen into disrepair. As a result, rounds – and the accompanying revenue those rounds created for the county and the community – have decreased substantially.
"We are all excited about working with Southern Golf Properties and the changes and the improvements they have proposed for Casa Blanca Golf Course," said Rosaura “Wawi” Tijerina, Webb County Commissioner for Precinct 2. "The management, operation and maintenance of Casa Blanca is a quality of life issue for the citizens of Webb County and – we believe – that having Southern Golf Properties at the course will improve that quality of life."
To aid in that direction, Webb County has pledged funds to Casa Blanca's revival and eventual renovation. Southern Golf Properties' plan of attack for the course begins this week with a thorough testing of soil and water at the track and the firm has set a Nov. 28, 2008 deadline to return to Webb County with a list of proposed capital improvements.
"Our first order of business would be improving playing conditions for local golfers," Junker said. "We anticipate doing work on the hitting surfaces of the golf course – including the fairways – and improving the putting greens," Junker said. "We have a great team with Southern Golf and a lot of knowledge, a lot of experience. We feel very confident we can get things going here."
Junker added that community outreach will also be high on the company's priority list. "We are going to try to find out what the needs are of the community, and we address those needs," he said. "We want to get kids involved, we’ll get adults involved and we’ll try to get the ladies of the community involved. We will go to them. We'll go to the schools. We take that very seriously."