Valley Grande Golf Course celebrates one-year anniversary
Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 29, 2007
The Selma Times-Journal
Riding around in a golf cart with Rex Bible, it’s easy to tell the man loves his work.
Bible runs the day-to-day operations at the 18-hole Valley Grande Golf Course, which celebrated its first year of operation on April 18.
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“I love it. People have been so good. It’s unreal how nice people have been to us,” Bible said.
The golf course, formerly known as Ocmulgee, was purchased last year by Bible and principle investor John Hong of Los Angeles.
“It’s a very tight, very demanding course,” said Bible, who has played tournament golf and has owned and managed courses throughout his career. “It’s a tough course, but we have four sets of tees. So, the average golfer can come out and enjoy himself without getting beat up.”
The first year has been “great so far,” Bible said. “We’re getting a lot of work done.”
The course was in rough shape when it was purchased. “That’s putting it mildly,” Bible said. “It was a bit on the shabby side.”
There were dead trees on the driving range, deep ditches cutting across fairways and greens that, well, weren’t quite green.
Since purchasing the course, the company has installed cart trails, re-surfaced Ocmulgee Drive, completely renovated all 18 greens and the putting green, and removed all the dead trees and debris. “We got all that up,” Bible said. “We filled in all the ditches and completely renovated all the sand bunkers.”
The company had to re-do almost all of the irrigation system, and they continue to work on that, Bible said, but the course is completely irrigated.
He estimated that “somewhere near $600,000” has been spent on refurbishing the course.
And there are more projects in the works.
“We’re going to re-do the tees and fairways next,” he said. “Somewhere down the line I hope we build a clubhouse.”
Bible added that they have already built an extension on the equipment barn. The company now has six golf course employees, and two who work inside the pro shop. He is quick to credit his wife, Brenda, a retired math teacher, for helping with the operations. “I wouldn’t make it without Brenda. I wouldn’t even want to try.”
He said the course has a good customer base, “and it’s picking up. There’s a lot of new faces.”
A lot of former golfers are beginning to come back as well, Bible said, and there can be anywhere from 60 to 100 people golfing on Saturdays.
“You have to constantly stay at it,” he said. “People see what you’re doing – see you’re trying and you’re for real – they are absolutely tickled to death.”