Tractor prepping the land for the new golf course
Tractor fills up truck to prep for the new golf course
Truck being filled with dirt
Tractor prepping the land for the new golf course
Tractor fills up truck to prep for the new golf course
Truck being filled with dirt
With the help of vendors across the state, the Anchorage Golf Course was renovated at a low cost to make it presentable to a national audience in 2022.
Anchorage Golf Course Receives Facelift Ahead of 2022 U.S. Golf Championships
Vendors join forces to get the job done
By Victoria Petersen

laska is the only state in the nation that hasn’t hosted a United States Golf Association (USGA) championship, but that’s set to change in 2022, when Anchorage hosts the 60th U.S. Senior Women’s Amateur championship.

The move was announced by the USGA on October 7. The event is planned late summer 2022, at the city-owned Anchorage Golf Course, which is currently undergoing a transformation to accommodate the gathering. In a press release from the USGA, Chief Executive Officer Mike Davis said bringing the championship to Alaska is a “monumental occasion,” and “something that has been a long time coming.”

“Players from all over the country dream of becoming USGA champions, so it is important we bring our events to all corners of the United States to expose golfers and golf fans to the inspiration and competitiveness of our championships,” Davis said in the release. “We’re so thankful to Anchorage Golf Course for working with us to make this dream a reality.”

The Construction Catalyst
Golf can be tricky in the state’s roughly twenty courses. The summer season is short and conditions are often unpredictable during the shoulder seasons. When it is summer, though, the sun stays up longer, giving golfers the chance to hit the greens any time they like.

Alaskan golfers are used to the pros and cons of playing the sport here, but the municipal golf course needed a little work to make it more presentable to a national audience. So, local contractors got together to tackle big projects on the range, including leveling a hill to capitalize on views of Denali.

Jim St. George, founder and president of STG Consulting, volunteered for the project. He uses the muni golf course and says he plays on it a “fair amount.” The effort to fix up the range has been talked about for years, he says. With the 2022 championship on the horizon, “the stars aligned,” and it was the perfect time to add some upgrades to the range.

In October, Aaron Bartel and B.C. Excavating joined St. George on the project—working for several weeks on the course. Bartel says his role was more “behind-the-scenes” managing contracts and permitting.

The first project they completed was to “significantly” level a hill at the end of the 18th hole, lowering it by 20 feet. The leveling done by B.C. Excavating makes room for a view of Denali and will open up options for more events. In leveling the hill, a large practice green was also created with bunkers below the hill. Golfers will be able to practice bunker shots, which they haven’t been able to do before, St. George said. The new practice area is adjacent to a lesson area on the range.

Their final work in October focused on the driving range, where reworking was done on the entire range and new target greens were put in. The rest of the work—which includes a total clean-up of the area, new irrigation, and a seating area—will be finished when the snow melts in the spring.

AGC Members Team Up
St. George says the project is a collective effort, with donations and contributions from throughout the Alaska general contractor community. A Volvo 45-ton truck, from Construction Machinery Inc. and a D9T Cat bulldozer from NC Machinery were brought down from Fairbanks with the help of STR Trucking and Rigging to help get the jobs done.

“There were a lot of volunteers and in-kind contributions from those vendors just for the betterment of the muni golf course that everyone uses,” St. George says. “Everyone got behind it, and obviously with any project of this nature, you sort of have to have someone pushing. I think that was my role. In terms of making it happen, we just kind of had to put our heads down and go. Everyone contributed and we got a pretty big job done for a pretty low cost.”

Victoria Petersen is a writer who lives in Anchorage. Photos courtesy of Dan Redfield of WakeOne.