Friday, June 23, 2017
Rockwind Community Links Ranked by Golf Digest as One of the Best Courses in New Mexico
The facility is considered a trailblazer in uniting golf with the local community. “Community Links” is a concept introduced by Staples and expanded by City Manager J.J. Murphy where the focus of the entire project was to link the golf course to the fabric of life in Hobbs. A special feature is a surrounding trail system complete with multiple trail heads, various outdoor seating areas, picnic spaces and scenic viewing points, including access to the site’s five acre lake that overlooks the golf course.
“As a municipal manager, a primary focus is to get the best return on our investments, and this can come in many forms: enhanced quality of life, increased number of rounds, increased utilization and participation in our programs, or a combination of all of the above,” said City Manager J.J. Murphy. “Being recognized #8 in the ‘Best in State’ rankings by Golf Digest is a perfect example of a high return on the city's investments. The dedication and hours of work from staff, volunteers, and elected officials to this investment is still paying off through recognition and the number of visitors who still recognize our crown jewel. Whether visitors to Rockwind Community Links are golfers or non-golfers, it will be a special place for everyone.”
Murphy refers to his vision that began years ago and was put into action with the approval by the Commission in 2013 to move forward with a redesign and reconstruction of Ocotillo Golf Park. The first steps of the process included creating a volunteer committee of community members to assist with the important framework decisions, such as what the concept for the new course would be, how the transition from a functioning golf course to a construction site would take place, what the new course would be called, and much more.
The committee and administration’s selection of Andy Staples as the course designer would prove to be one of the most important decisions of all, as Staples pitched the initial idea of the “community links,” and Hobbs has now become the first example for the innovative concept across the country.
“Rockwind Community Links is a solid blueprint for the future success of growing the game of golf in a community,” said PGA tour professional and champion Fred Couples, who learned to play golf on a public course and was one of the featured guests at the Rockwind grand opening. “The vision and leadership of the team delivering this jewel was amazing. You’re not going to see many public facilities like this in the country – it’s just phenomenal.”