Lagoon Park Features Spectacular Landscaping
Gateway Park and Gateway
When it comes to municipal golf, Lagoon Park Golf Course and Gateway Golf Course in Montgomery, Alabama are ahead of the curve.
Because of budgetary constraints and the fact that golf course maintenance often is down on the priority list within a civic budget, municipal golf facilities often lack for care. That’s not the case with the Montgomery’s Lagoon Park and Gateway Park golf courses.
Bargain Golf in Montgomery
Lagoon Park was designed by Charles Graves in 1978 on land that was once a swamp. The Tifdwarf Bermuda grass fairways feature numerous doglegs lined with towering pines, flowering dogwoods, California raindrop trees and century-old oaks.
The design places a premium on shot placement. As temperatures warm up in the spring, the course comes alive with hundreds of blooming azaleas and flowering trees lining the beautifully manicured paths. The result is a scenic, parkland-style golf course.
From the back tees, Lagoon Park plays 6,773 yards with a course rating of 71.2 and a slope of 121. Move up a set of tees and the course plays 6,413 (69.6/117). Four sets of tees make Lagoon Park a fun course, no matter how good a golfer you are. The modest elevation changes and quick pace of play make walking the course a popular option among locals.
Perhaps the best hole at Lagoon Park is No. 4, which plays 414 yards from the No. 2 tee box. It’s the No. 1 handicap hole and is the first hole to bring water into play. The tee shot can be somewhat tricky and the hole is best played with a tee shot out to the left, which does bring the water and high grass into the picture. Push anything out to the right and there are four large pine trees that will need to be dealt with. The green is protected by bunkers in front on either side and slopes back right to front left.
Another difficult hole is the double dogleg par 5 No. 15. At 525 yards, there are two options off the tee – a safe slight draw to set up your second shot or a risky line by cutting the corner in which you have to challenge a 150-foot tall pine tree.
The practice facilities at Lagoon Park are excellent. It’s a complete practice facility with a lighted driving range that can accommodate up to 20 players. The practice facility also has a large putting and chipping green, complete with a green-side bunker and a private instruction area.
Riding 18 holes at Lagoon Park costs $42 on weekdays and $48 on weekends, and walking costs $30 on weekdays and $35 on weekends, making it a strong contender for the best deal in golf in Montgomery
Learning to Play Golf in Montgomery
The PGA professional staff at Lagoon Park is building a premier golf teaching and learning facility.They use the latest computer technology and believe that the game should be learned from the green back to the tee. They teach new golfers the fundamentals of impact and ball control. Director of Golf and General Manager Mike Shirley has over 25 years’ experience as a PGA club professional and serves as one of the instructors, specializing in the Laser Optics Putting system, which uses a laser to project a line on the green for putt visualization..
Recently, Talbert Griffin, a native of Montgomery, has been hired as the director of instruction. Talbert’s collegiate career included playing for both the Oklahoma State and University of Alabama golf teams as well as winning several amateur events. Talbert specializes in both full swing and short game instruction.
The clubhouse was renovated in 2018 and features the Heron’s Nest Grill.
Although it’s only a 9-hole course, one quick look at the Gateway Park score card and you’ll understand how you get the two different yardages; play the front nine from Tee I and play the back nine from Tee II. The par 3s are not pushovers and will keep you honest. From either set of tees, the shortest par 3 is 167 yards. The par 5s are generally three-shot holes, and No. 6 is a drivable par 4 for most players, although water does come into play.
Nine holes at Gateway Park cost $12 to walk and $25 to ride and 18 holes costs $35 to ride and $20 to walk.
Gateway Park also features an 18-hole Foot Golf course.
Lagoon Park Golf Course offers annual passes that includes free green fees, discounted rates on cart rentals, 50 percent off range balls at Lagoon Park and 10 percent off select merchandise in the Pro Shop. Easy payment options can be set up, too. But perhaps the biggest benefit of becoming a passholder is that you’ll receive preferred rates at participating Honours Golf properties. A Lagoon and Gateway Park Golf Pass is good for one calendar year. For more information and costs involved, click on the passholder tab at www.playmontgomerygolf.com.
(Featured image: Montgomery Parks and Recreation)
David Theoret an Alabama Golf News contributor