No dramatic changes are planned at Diablo Grande's Ranch and Legends courses, says Troon Golf's new man in charge.
"Both are phenomenal," said Chad Pettingill, the new general manager employed by Troon Golf, which assumed control of Diablo Grande's golf operation last month. "You won't get bored on either one."
Pettingill, a 12-year veteran of Troon Golf who worked for four years at Badlands Golf Club in Las Vegas before he arrived at Diablo Grande. He'll stress improved service and course conditions at his new work address.
"We're preparing a long list of things to do and will take a step-by-step approach," he said. We're going to bring the facility up to Troon Golf standards."
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Bringing in Troon Golf, a top-tier leader in upscale golf course management, is a plus for Diablo Grande, which is trying to regain traction after a painful ownership change.
One project already under way is the installation of a patio near the lounge and the putting green for outdoor dining, parties, weddings and a gathering area for tournaments.
Golf-wise, the focus will be placed on upgrading the quality of tees, greens and fairways. It's nuts-and-bolts stuff but a crucial step in returning Diablo Grande to a major player on the local golf scene.
"The Nicklaus-Sarazen (Legends) is a great course and is very playable with generous landing areas and tough greens," said Pettingill, a former golfer at the University of Utah. "The Ranch also is great and people say they've never seen it in better shape. It's longer and tighter than Legends. We're proud of the fact it's a hard course. You want to test how good you really are, play the Ranch."
AT&T WRAPUP -- Mitch Lowe, the Del Rio CC director of instruction, missed the cut for the fourth time at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. But after that fact, the news is all good. His 73 at Monterey Peninsula CC's Shore course, 73 at Spyglass Hill and 72 at Pebble Beach amounted to his best-ever showing, though he was seven strokes too high to qualify for Sunday. Better still, he ended the week Sunday night at Spanish Bay with his marriage to Lake Merced CC general manager Donna Weinman.
Elsewhere, Beyer High graduate Matt Bettencourt also logged a short week with his 74 at Spyglass, 73 at Pebble and closing 69 at Monterey Peninsula.
The Shore course was praised the entire week by both the pros and the amateurs. It figured to get the benefit of the doubt since it replaced Poppy Hills, never a favorite of the pros. That said, veterans from Brad Faxon to Steve Elkington went out of their way to approve the Shore's major renovation six years ago by the late Michael Strantz. Expect the Shore to remain on the AT&T rotation.
The spectacular weather and merging of Valentine's Day and Presidents Weekend all worked in the tournament's favor. Ticket revenue jumped 16.5 percent over 2009 and sponsorship money, down 15 percent from 2008, hiked 10 percent. The tournament grossed $7 million.
Paul Goydos' tortuous 9 Sunday at Pebble's 14th knocked him out of contention, but he and Hertz executive Robert Stuart won the pro-am. Soccer star Brandi Chastain, the only woman in the field and the first woman in five years to make the cut, tied for seventh with Stockton's Ricky Barnes.
This just in: Dustin Johnson, 25, apparently likes Pebble Beach. He's finished seventh, first and first at the AT&T.
THE SHAG BAG -- Diablo Grande's statue of Gene Sarazen, knocked sideways by an out-of-control cart last year, has been corrected and still stands near the putting green. "Gene is straight. He's ready to receive golfers. They got it done before I got here," Pettingill said. ... Coming up: The Ripon Quarterback Club's annual fund-raising tournament on Feb. 26 at The Reserve at Spanos Park north of Stockton. Call John Franscella, 599-2556 or 401-0418.
Bee staff writer Ron Agostini can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2302.