Improvements at Shoreline Golf Course Continue


Shoreline Golf sits on the shores of Carter Lake on the Nebraska-Iowa border near Omaha, and its owner/operator has begun a lengthy push to "shine the gem."

"These improvements should have been done 10, 15 years ago," said General Manager/Head Professional Rob Spomer. "Once Landscapes Golf Group took over full operations in 2004, we started to game-plan for the future. All of this construction is showing a commitment to the golf course. We plan to be in the market a long time, so we're trying to make it as good as it can be."

The upgrades and enhancements Spomer referred to at the 17-year-old course include:

a new irrigation pond;

practice-range tees that have been tripled in size;

several improvements to the course design;

lengthened cart paths, aiming toward a wall-to-wall system;

a new cart-storage building; and

the latest upgrade is a 2,000-square-foot addition to the clubhouse that more than doubled the dining area from 90 to 190 seats.

Mike Jenkins, president of Landscapes Golf Group which owns the course, said, "We really like the Omaha market. We operate five courses in the Omaha area, including Shoreline. It has a loyal following and has been a good performer for us."

Even though Shoreline GC is located just five minutes from downtown Omaha, Eppley Airfield and the Council Bluffs' casinos, Landscapes Golf Group (LGG) pushed ahead on the improvements to attract new golfers. Using the muscle of its owner, Landscapes Unlimited in Lincoln, the world's largest golf course builder, Shoreline has pumped several hundred thousand dollars into the facility, with plans to continue the effort.

Practice Range & Golf Course

The immediate project for LGG was the irrigation pond. Ironically, Shoreline was plagued by lack of water until Landscapes dug a half-acre pond and lined it. "Maybe the biggest improvement we made was shoring up our water source, which led to dramatically improved course conditions," said Tom Everett, director of operations for LGG. "Also, superintendent Bill Japp has been a tremendous addition."

Japp, the assistant superintendent at the Players Club at Deer Creek on Omaha for seven years, joined Shoreline two years ago and was on board during other major projects, including complete reconstruction of the practice range.

Work on the range tees began in the fall of 2006, and last June 2 golfers saw the result of the practice area that tripled in size to 42 stations, complete with new irrigation, re-grassed tees, mats to hit off during inclement weather, regraded range and new target greens.

"This is a terrific improvement over the old range," Spomer said, "and it will continue, with spring and fall overseeding to improve the mixture of low-grow bluegrass and ryegrass."

Out on the golf course, new tees have been built on the 6th and 12th holes, and the fairway has been reconstructed on the par-5, 515-yard dogleg-left 9th hole. "Drainage issues have been ongoing on that fairway since the course opened in 1990," Spomer said. "Landscapes crews came in and totally re-graded and rebuilt it, adding bunkers beside the landing area. It's now one of the better holes on the entire course."

As part of a three-year process, Shoreline has added cart paths to the 6th, 10th, 11th and 15th holes in the last year. Spomer, who has worked at Shoreline for nearly two years, said that in the next couple of years the cart path will be continual from the first hole to the last.

Vertical Structures

Meanwhile, construction of another type has enhanced both the clubhouse and cart storage. Shoreline unveiled a 2,000-square-foot addition to the clubhouse that included office and storage space as well as enhanced dining area for the full-service restaurant which offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and hors d'oeuvres buffets.

"Mostly, it is seating space for the dining area," Spomer said, adding that "it was for tournament business. We host business meetings, receptions and holiday parties, but basically the addition was for our tournaments, so golfers can play and eat here. At a big tournament in August, when it's 100 degrees out, people don't want to eat outside. With this, we will be able to keep those tournaments and add others as well."

So far, Spomer reports the word is out to the Omaha region. "Business is up 30 percent from when we started all these projects," he said. "Rounds have jumped by 5,000 a year. I attribute the increase to these changes."

For more information about Shoreline Golf Course, call 712/347-5173 or visit www.golfshoreline.com.


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