LAMPASAS — A recent City Council decision will allow the bidding process to begin on additional improvements at Hancock Park Municipal Golf Course.

Hancock Park’s course manager, Van Berry, received the council’s support to replace 98 golf cart sheds used by members who store carts, clubs and equipment at the facility. “We have 131 cart sheds, and out of those, we’re going to tear 98 of them down and build them back with new materials,” he said.

The work will extend almost the entire length of the No. 17 fairway, a par 3 hole, and it will likely become necessary to close down that portion of the course to complete the project.

As a result, Berry told city officials he would like to wait until fall to begin the work, since golf course use is lower during colder months.

Contractors are expected to begin visiting the course and providing walk-through bids this week, and Berry hopes to have bid proposals to submit to the council later this month.

“This past fall, we renovated the men’s tee box and ladies tee box on the No. 17 fairway and renovated the ladies’ No. 15 tee box,” Berry said. “We also had an old pipe fence replaced recently with rock materials. Not only does the city help out with renovations, we also receive contributions from the Lampasas Men’s and Women’s Golf Association.”

Lampasas Women’s Golf Association Secretary-Treasurer Patsy Greaves said the improvements at Hancock Park will increase the popularity of the course. It’s not uncommon to experience wait times to get onto the course.

“To me, I think the course is continually improving,” Greaves said. “The thing that’s cosmetically looking better is the rock boundary around the clubhouse, and we rebuilt the island green along another part of the course.”

The golf associations hold big tournaments every year and donate a portion of the proceeds to the golf course and high school and middle school golf clubs.

An increased number of tournaments not only makes improvements outside the city’s budget possible, it also promotes economic growth, as some of the events last two or three days and bring in large crowds that help boost local retail sales.

More than 23 tournaments were on the books for 2013, from April through October, Berry said.

“The work on the cart sheds should start in November or December and might take a couple of months to complete — it’s a pretty major deal,” he said. “We’re always going to try to do some renovations of some kind every year, and as a result, we’re seeing a steady flow of new people coming in.”

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