Future home to ASU golf prepares for massive makeover

Papago Golf Course, the future home of ASU men's and women's golf is set for a massive renovation which will feature new state-of-the-art practice facilities

Papago Golf Course is undergoing a massive renovation in preparation of becoming the new home for Sun Devil golf.

After the 2017-18 season, ASU will be leaving its current home, Karsten Golf Course and moving to the Papago course, located in eastern Phoenix.

“I am really excited for the renovation,” women's head golf coach Missy Farr-Kaye said. “These facilities will be the best in the country.”

The future home of the ASU men’s and women’s golf teams will feature new state-of-the-art practice facilities along with a new restaurant and club house, according to the University and the City of Phoenix when they announced the renovation plan in February 2017.

Starting this summer, the Arizona Golf Foundation, along with Deputy Athletic Director Rocky Harris, will begin construction on the clubhouse.

This comes a couple years after ASU and Phoenix signed a contract to ensure the management of the course along with a home for the golf teams. 

“The part we are working on right now is the club house,” Farr-Kaye said. “We are still finalizing the practice facility.”

The renovation project will also feature assistance from ASU men’s golf legend Phil Mickelson, who will design ASU’s short-game practice areas.

“Phil is helping utilize space,” Farr-Kaye said. “He has his own practice facility at his home in San Diego and he will be helping us set our (short-game) practice area up similarly. It is amazing that he is going to share his system with us.”

Farr-Kaye said that she and ASU men's golf head coach Matt Thurmond met with Mickelson in January. 

“We walked the land to see the possibilities,” Farr-Kaye said.

Along with the short-game area, the new facilities will show off 6,750 square feet of indoor space, as well as a driving range.

The new renovation effort is the second Papago has had since its establishment in 1963. The course shut down on April 4, 2008 to undergo its first restoration a project that — cost $5.8 million in total. It is now known as one of the finest public golf courses in the state.

The 2008 renovation project included a new irrigation system and improved fairways, greens, bunkers, and tee boxes.

“When I first starting working at Papago, you could tell it was a muni(cipal) and a city run golf course,” said Kyle Maze, who works in the course's cart barn. “But that’s what gave Papago its home-y feel."

He said the good condition of the course can be attributed to the grounds crew. 

In addition to his job in the cart barn, Maze runs a popular Instagram account called Cartbarnguys. The account, which chronicles the goings on at the course, has thousands of followers and has been a positive platform to market the course, he said.

"[It is] definitely one of the best public courses you will find,” Maze said of Papago.

General Manager of Papago Daryl Crawford said that as sad as it is to see the Karsten course be put to rest, he is excited for the team to move to the newly renovated course.

"I think in general, Papago has a long story. From people waiting in line, to hosting some cool championships, it's got a great base and some great locals, me included," Crawford said. "... ASU is building a nice bridge for the (golf) teams to comer over and have something special. I think it's fantastic."

Reach the reporter at trittenhouse34@gmail.com and follow @tritt55 on Twitter.

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