Papago bucks tree removal trend


Sean Dudley

The Papago course in Phoenix, Arizona, is bucking the golf industry trend towards tree removal by adding 68 new mature trees while it is closed for overseeding later this month.

All the trees should be planted and the project completed by the time the course reopens for play on 27 October. “In our continued efforts to enhance the overall look and feel at Papago, we wanted to add a variety of desert trees that are indigenous to the area throughout the golf course,” said Rob Harman, deputy director of Phoenix’s parks and recreation department.

The trees will include a variety of mesquites, palo verdes and ironwoods, and will be placed in various locations throughout the golf course, based on recommendations by Billy Fuller, the golf course architect who led the recent renovation project at Papago.

“We have been looking forward to this opportunity to enhance the desert plantings and replace some of the strategic trees taken down by last year's storm as well as to replace dead ones taken down during the renovation. Holes one and five should be especially noticeable to the players,” Fuller said. “This revegetation process is very much in line with our renovation plans, and will be ongoing for years to come. We will be very careful to preserve the beautiful long views while continuing to enhance this wonderful golf property.”

Papago, designed by William Francis ‘Billy’ Bell, originally opened in 1963.