Amarillo Muni Course Renamed 'The Mustang'

The Amarillo golf course that opened 74 years ago in 1939 as Ross Rogers Golf Course and was later called the East Course in 1977 and then the Old Course in 2003 has been renamed The Mustang following a remodel.

The course was closed in 2011 and will reopen to the public on April 26. "Those players familiar with the old layout will be amazed with the experience, the new design, the new routing, the quality of the course and the fact its an absolutely brand new golf course," said director of golf Sherwin Cox. "I have given many tours of the new layout and everyone who sees it can't believe their eyes, it is such a dramatic improvement."\

The City of Amarillo hired Colligan Golf Design in 2010 to breathe new life into the "Old Course" at Ross Rogers Golf Complex. John Colligan, a Texas native, and Trey Kemp, who grew up in Amarillo, accepted the challenge. Colligan Golf Design has been responsible for recent work at Shady Oaks and River Crest in Fort Worth, Brackenridge Park in San Antonio, Stevens Park and Luna Vista in Dallas, Oklahoma City Golf & Country Club and others across the country.

Ross Rogers Golf Complex has two golf courses - Wildhorse, which was renovated in 2003, and the Mustang. The Mustang was originally comprised of nine holes built in 1939 and another nine in 1968. The course received a new irrigation system in 1977 and that was the last improvement to the course until the recent renovation.

The Mustang was designed to contrast with Wildhorse. The work includes three double-green complexes at Nos. 2 and 4, 12 and 17 and 13 and 16. It also includes wide and rolling fairways, low-mowed green surrounds, collector greens, native areas for wildlife habitat, and a look unique to the Amarillo golf scene.

One major improvement to the golf course was a rerouting. It was done to improve playability and strategy and to fix several major problems. First, there were many long walks from greens to tees; the hike from the second green to the third tee was 300 yards. There were also several safety issues, the most notable at the fourth hole that ran adjacent to a residential street; the ninth hole, which doglegged around the parking lot; and between the 11th green and 15th tee. The new routing also allowed for the course's overall length to go from 6,858 yards to 7,227.

According to Colligan, "The fairways and greens have been designed to be more user-friendly with contours that collect shots as opposed to rejecting them. In addition, large, tightly-mowed collection areas around the greens complexes have been incorporated to help the high handicap player while creating more of a challenge for the better player."

The course now has 40 acres of fairways compared to 29 acres on the old course. The wider fairways are important because of windy conditions year-round. There are also 20 new bunkers to improve strategy and aesthetic appeal. Two small ponds were removed from the course so the golfers now only have to carry water once at the 12th hole.

"Trey and I are very excited with the final product." said Colligan. "The Mustang is a very unique course for the Panhandle of Texas, we have been able to create a course that is very playable for all levels of golfer and one that should be very successful for the City of Amarillo. We did not want to let the city down, the Mustang along with the other city courses are sure to put Amarillo on the map as a great golf city."

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