Michael S. Williams

Pomona, California 91767
(818) 425-6142

 

Whittier Narrows Golf Course

Director of Agronomy 2011 - 2015
8640 Rush Street
Rosemead, California 91770

Whittier Narrows Golf Course is a 27-hole public facility located 10 miles east of Los Angeles in the community of Rosemead. Designed by William Bell, the course features three nine hole courses (River, Pine and Mountain). The River and Pine are regulation length while the Mountain is slightly shorter in distance by having one less par-5 and one more par-4 with smaller greens. The entire golf course is very wide open and covers nearly 250 acres. The golf course is one of the eighteen in the Los Angeles County Golf Department under the Parks and Recreation Division. The property averages 120K rounds per year and nearly 275 rounds per day. In addition to the 27 holes of golf, Whittier Narrows offers a large lighted driving range with grass tees, two putting greens and one chipping green to improve your game. On site is a well stocked proshop, snack bar and banquet room with a large patio area to host outside events.

Vico, LLC leases the golf course from Los Angeles County under a management contract. I also work with the owner of Vico and the Operations Manager on these other golf courses as Director of Agronomy.

All three course have their own individuality from the weather, number of rounds and financial challenges. As a small group of properties we share equipment, labor and in some cases supplies in an attempt to save on expenses to the bottom line. In the spring of 2013 The Links at Victoria GC will undergo a drainage project that will help eliminate standing water from the low areas which will produce a better soil profile to promote a stronger root system. Once this phase is complete, 20 acres of seashore paspalm will be sodded in the fairways where turf coverage is thin. If everything goes as planned the "new" Victoria should ready by July for our patient golfers.

My first year as Superintendent at Whittier Narrows will be in October 2012 and everyday has been a learning experience. There have been new challenges to face as well as improving on older ones but I believe the property has taken baby steps on improvement. Every month the golf course is evaluated by the county on conditions, playability and aesthetic value. Prior to my arrival the evaluation score never exceeded 91%. In May and June 2012 our score was 96% and for the remainder of the summer we were no lower then 90%. I must give credit where credit is due, my crew of 16 hard working guys is the reason why our score increased and our golfers (including county officials) began to notice the conditions. Golfers who haven't played our course in years now call Whittier their new home and enjoy the product we provide. My General Manager has noticed an increase in rounds which helps the entire facility as a whole to the bottom line and the golf course has more financial freedom to take on other projects.

During this first year I was able to implement new programs to benefit the property:


As the seasons change into Fall and Winter I will be able to focus more on projects for the golf course using available CIP funds from the county. Open for discussion is installation of cart paths in the fairways/roughs, renovation of tee boxes and clubhouse improvements. The choices are endless but the goal is to make the improvements that benefit our guests the most. Whittier Narrows supports our mens and womens clubs and its only proper to keep them in mind as we make the property a better place to experience.

In September 2012 I was featured in an article for Golfdom Magazine regarding safety on the golf course

Last year (2013) was a great year for the entire property. With careful financial planning I was able to save $80,000 against my budget and reduce my irrigation expense by $60,000 while increasing rounds. Our tournament schedule increased, driving range revenues were up 20% and the golf course finished third in voting for Los Angeles County course of the year.

#1 Mountain Green
#3 Mountain Fairway

 

#6 Pine Green
#8 Pine Fairway

 

Whittier Narrows Golf Course

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