Wednesday, February 3, 2010


"A beginning is the time for taking the most delicate care that the balances are correct."

That is the first sentence from the 1965 science fiction classic Dune by Frank Herbert. I thought it was fitting for the beginning of this blog as well.

Let me now take some time to get the balances correct and give you some background.

My name is Scott Spooner and I am the Superintendent of Leslie Park Golf Course in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Leslie Park is owned by the City of Ann Arbor (along with Huron Hills) and as such, is considered a municipal golf course or "Muni." I first came to Leslie Park (LP) nearly one year ago after working for nearly 10 years as a wandering golf course superintendent in south east Michigan.

I have a Bachelors degree from the University of Michigan as well as a two year certificate in Golf Course Management from Michigan State University.

Leslie Park was originally a farm owned by Dr. Leslie, a professor at the University of Michigan. You can see some of this farm genealogy when you see the old orchard located between #6 fairway and #8 tee. The land was donated to the city and turned into a golf course in 1967. A major renovation was undertaken in 1994-95 with the redesign of 5 green complexes (#1, #8, #10, #11 and #17) along with some drainage and bunkers and the dredging of the irrigation pond, located along #17. At this time, the irrigation system was upgraded with new satellite controllers, a central computer control and a new pump house. This was all under the direction of Matt Warba, longtime Superintendent at Leslie Park.

Last year, the city of Ann Arbor rededicated itself to making the golf courses profitable and as such, committed a large amount of money to upgrading some things that had been neglected since that time. The equipment fleet was completely replaced with brand new Toro and Club Car machines. Also, the cart paths were resurfaced and lengthened in some areas while the bridges that cross Traver Creek that runs between #10 and #13 were completely replaced.

On the heels of this, Leslie Park was named the best "Muni" in the State of Michigan by Golf Digest, who was ranking the best Muni's in all 50 states. To put this in perspective, we rank amongst Bethpage Black in New York and Torrey Pines in California while charging around a sixth of what those course will get for a round. Of course, these rankings were based on previous year's conditions and thus, I owe a debt of gratitude to the previous Superintendent, Charlie Gaige. Charlie is now enjoying his retirement but the seven years of hard work he put in before I got here is much appreciated.

That is all I have time for at this time, I will try to update this Blog whenever something of interest pops up or when I can find some time to sit down at the computer. Also, check back for photos of the course that will be coming soon.

Thanks for reading


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