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Back nine work nears final stage

| June 14, 2006 12:00 AM

By Roger Morris Western News Publisher

Work on the back nine fairways and greens at Cabinet View Country Club is nearing the final weeks of construction, according to contractor Tim Furness.

"We're beginning the prep work for grass," Furness said.

His crews are finishing the pipe and electrical installation for the sprinkler system and then they begin the final phase, which should be completed by the end of July. It involves picking up rocks mechanically and by hand, raking, smoothing the soil and planting the grass seed.

"That's the final phase," Furness said.

The grass growing is perhaps the longest phase and the new nine holes probably won't be ready for action until mid-June to early July 2007.

"Typically you want 120 days to grow grass," he said. "Some of the holes will grow in nice and look good. The whole back nine will look good going into winter."

Furness said the course groundkeepers biggest challenge will be keeping elk off the greens and tee boxes.

"You will have to do some damage control with the animals," he said.

The course may be one of the most scenic in the region, Furness said.

"The vistas and views are as clean as any golf course I've been on," he said. "The architect did a nice job of managing the views."

And the back nine will present a challenge.

"It's going to be a very good test of golf," he continued. "The premium will be on keeping it on the fairway. It's very natural out there and if you get off the fairway, you will be in the bush."

The back nine fairways and greens look like this:

* The first hole is a straight-away 402-yard, par 4 that starts next to the existing practice range.

* The second hole is a long 537-yard, par 5 dog-leg that begins at what is now the end of the practice range and heads directly toward the high Cabinet Mountains.

* The third hole is short 152 yards and a par 3. It has a pond on the right and the green is ringed by bunkers.

* The fourth hole is 362 yards and a par 4. It dog-legs to the left with a pond on the right side of the green.

* The fifth hole is a straight 190 yards, par 3, again heading toward the Cabinets.

* The sixth hole is long dog-leg to the right of 540 yards. It's a par 5.

* The seventh hole is a short 190, par 3 up the center of the new development.

* The eighth hole is a spectacular 460-yard, par 4 that ends on a high green overlooking the Flower Creek Valley with the north end of Cabinet Mountains stretching from straight ahead to the left. It dog-legs slightly to the left.

* The course finishes on the ninth hole which heads 395 yards back toward Cabinet Heights Road. It is a par 4.

The overall back-nine construction is a $1.5 million project, including a subdivision of 115 lots of 8,000 to 10,000 square feet. Funding for the course construction comes from a loan from the community's $8 million fund. The development of housing on the 115 lots is contingent on the City of Libby extending sewer lines into the area. The CVCC board of trustees will begin paying back the loan when the lots begin selling.