Local golfers benefiting from key improvements at Oak Knoll Golf Course

If you have played at Oak Knoll Golf Course over the past four years you've probably noticed some notable improvements on the golf course recently and a friendlier environment in the pro shop.

When parks and recreation director Don Robertson needed to hire a new superintendent four years ago, he brought in Drew Moyers, someone replete with experience and insight. Similarly, when it came time to hire a golf shop operations manager, Robertson chose an individual who was experienced in customer relations — Tom Cronin. Cronin grew up playing city and country courses in Maryland.

In spite of a very limited budget and staff, Moyers has made considerable improvements to Oak Knoll's layout — primarily new and larger tees. He has also added trees along the fairway, none more striking than along the fifth fairway.

Altering landscapes is nothing new for Moyers, who says he grew up "Digging holes in my dad's backyard" in the Los Altos area at the age of eight. Since then, he became an assistant superintendent at 25 and plays golf with a single-digit handicap.

As a long range focus, Moyers would like to see an improvement in the 30-year-old obsolete water system and more focus on junior golf. Moyers and his assistant, Laura Harvey, arrive between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. each day in an effort to make the golf course an enjoyable environment. Similarly, Cronin is focused on making the course a local destination.

Being the only municipal course in the area, Oak Knoll has always served the local golfers (sixty men show up for the men's league on Thursday evenings).

"To make us more responsive to the golfers needs, I schedule a meeting between Tom and Drew every Tuesday morning to go over the scheduling of events for the week," Robertson said.

Cronin hopes there will be some junior golf instruction over the summer but adds that high school and younger players can tee it up for only $5 for nine holes.

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