Not only was Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nevada, designed by noted architect Rees Jones, it’s home to a teaching facility run by Butch Harmon, often referred to as the best golf instructor in the world. “Expectations for superior performance at the course are very high,” said Eric Dutt, vice-president for golf operations for Caesar’s Entertainment, which owns the facility.
IGM took over maintenance responsibilities for the course in February 2014. Jones and the Caesar’s ownership team recognized a need for extensive upgrades and renovations and asked IGM to also manage the project. With their vast experience in agronomics and the golf course industry, IGM:
- created and handled project specifications for new greens and bunkers,
- managed the bid process with four different contractors, and
- presented a recommendation that was endorsed by the owner.
The grassing project starts May 23, 2017, and IGM will oversee the day-to-day activity, verifying work and materials. Steve Gano, IGM’s vice president of operations, said the project is on a strict schedule for completion during the course’s down season. “One of our goals is to minimize disruption. The grass must be in place by mid-August to have the course ready to re-open for the fall season.”
IGM is also renovating the bunkers, removing existing sand and installing the Better Billy Bunker system, which is considered the most high-tech and efficient system available.
Dutt is particularly happy to receive an accurate forecast of his annual expenses. “That’s especially important with the way the golf industry is affected by the economy. Rio Secco is a high-end golf course, and I need it maintained in a way that allows us to charge the greens fees we do,” said Dutt. “We serve some well-known clients who expect a certain level of golf experience.”