Golf architect Andy Staples expects to start work this autumn on an upgrade of the Hillside golf course in the small town of Sidney in western Nebraska.
“Sidney is a town of around 6,600 people, and the Hillside junior programme has 170 kids in it,” said Staples. “They start at the age of three, and the club has a great history of developing golf.” His plan, which is to be implemented over a three to five year period, calls for improving the course's strategy by adding grassy hollows and a few bunkers, creating a new-look practice facility, including short game area and chipping green, relevelling tees, and adding a forward set of tees at around 4,500 yards for junior and senior golfers.
“We're also going to redo the entire irrigation system, but we will do it with as few bells and whistles as possible,” said Staples. “The typical system today would call for around 1,500, but we will keep the number to below 800 at Hillside. We're also locating the irrigation storage lake on top of the site to minimise the size of the pumps, reduce energy consumption and reduce pipe sizes.”
Staples also plans to encourage the use of native grasses, allowing the edge of the maintained turf to fade into the native, thus reducing water use and eliminating the jungle of thick grass that occurs when irrigation throw falls on native areas. Hillside was built around the time of the Great Depression, but its original architect is unknown.