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When the city got its hands on the Lago Vista track, it was, according to Zach Padgett, Lago Vista's director of golf, "a poor golf course.
The course was still being played but just not being properly taken care of," he said.
Coincidentally, Zach Padgett, the golf pro named to manage the Lago Vista Golf Club when the City of Lago Vista bought LVGC in July 2008, can lay claim as a godfather to the Men's Golf Association some 32 years before.
Padgett, who played with Tom Kite for the University of Texas in the late 1960s, came to Lago Vista in 1974 as the 26-year-old director of golf for NRC. "I established Thursday as playday for the Lago Vista men," said Padgett. Padgett said the entire course had out-of-bounds markers, whether there were homes or not. Zach Padgett was hired as LVGC's new manager. He immediately widened the cut fairways 10 to 15% to make the course more playable. Padgett removed the out-of-bounds markers in 2009, permitting golfers whose balls were in the hazards to take a one-stroke penalty and drop the ball in the playing area. It would not require golfers to go back to the tee for a second shot. It would be safer and speed up play, he said. Within a month, MGA persuaded Padgett to let MGA go back to the old OB rules. About two-thirds of the course was irrigated, and Padgett began adding new lines, starting with the 16 th hole.
Zach PadgettZach Padgett is a 1970 graduate of the University of Texas and participated on the golf team from 1966 to 1970.He became an assistant golf professional at Canyon Creek C.C. in San Antonio for 2 years.After a 1 year trial on the mini-tours, Zach returned to club professional status as the head pro at Lago Vista C.C. in Lake Travis.In 1983 Zach became the head professional at McAllen C.C. where he resided for 13 years.From 1996-2002 Zach became the Director of Instruction at the Raven Golf Club in Phoenix, Arizona.He is currently the Director of Instruction at Mino Vista Golf Club in Ft. Worth.His wife, Cindi, is the golf coach for the University of North Texas Women's Golf Team.He has 3 sons and 1 daughter.
Two weeks into his new job as manager of the Lago Vista Golf Club, Zach Padgett is redefining many of the fairways to make the course more playable.Some fairways could be expanded, 10 to 15% wider.Others could be longer, with more cut at the traditional height of half an inch.In some cases, the roughs could be wider - with the intent of catching wayward shots before they go out of play.Overall, says Padgett, "we are not far from being in good shape."His impression, after being away from Lago Vista for 30 years: "I'd forgotten how pretty it was.""We are blessed with a good layout.We have the lake, and deer, elevation changes and doglegs," he adds."This is a place where any golfer would want to come and play.""I want to establish a rapport where people are proud to play here and encourage others to come out," Padgett says.Cooperation from golfers, employees and the city is good, he says.The acceptance and attitude is great, he adds.On No. 10, Padgett said widening the rough on the right would keep more balls out of the creek bed.One of the lasting impressions on any course, he says, is the greens.His goal is to keep them in as good a shape as he can.He plans more verticutting and aerification.You may not like aerification for a day or two, but "you can putt good even after verticutting and aerification" and "it makes them a lot better in the long run."Padgett believes in the discreet use of pesticides - "to the degree that it is necessary to get rid of grubworms, Skip Schneider has included in this issue of our monthly newsletter the salient information about Zach Padgett, I requested of Zach Padgett that LVGC retain the $25 (plus tax) fee charged for MGA members who are not members at the LVGC but wish to play in MGA events at LVGC.This rate was agreed to by the previous owners.Zach responded that the $28 weekday senior rate (which includes tax) would be honored for that situation regardless of the age of the MGA member.Club Manager Zach Padgett hopes the grille will be "up and running" in several weeks. Meantime, he is taking bids to have the kitchen thoroughly cleaned as well as taking applications for cooks.Bohn invited leaders of MGA, WGA and other groups to discuss playday preferences with Padgett.
Talking about course conditions, you probably have noticed that Zach has again remarked the OB and lateral hazards almost the way they were at the beginning of the year.
Nearly 31,000 golfers played the Lago Vista Golf Course during the 2009 fiscal year, from October through September, according to Manager Zach Padgett. He hopes to increase that total by 10% in the coming year. Out-of-bounds rules are back to their summer status, said Padgett, with a few exceptions: 1) The right side of No. 13 is hazard, not OB.