Local Treasures: Butterfield Trail Golf Club

POSTED: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 5:57pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 22, 2012 - 7:41am

East El Paso Course Wins National Praise

Dawn at Butterfield Trail Golf Club brings out the best of this local treasure.  Among other things it's a wildlife refuge. A roadrunner is curious about the camera, but more interested in catching breakfast.  A baby jackrabbit.  Those ears will grow to the size of skillets. For that he can blame his parents. And in a special moment you get the roadrunner, and the jackrabbit. Butterfield is also a desert arboretum, with some of the most fascinating plants you'll see in the desert.  Beautiful flowers sprout against all odds,  straight out of the dirt.  Others frame the lakes on the property, home to a hundred ducks that have not a care in the world. Dawn at Butterfield promises a new day to succeed where you've failed so often before....and it offers some of the greenest, grandest views of the franklin mountains.

How did it happen? With some daring imagination and a lot of water...which by the way, gives you a bonus rainbow in the morning. To understand this miracle of irrigation, you have to see Butterfield Trail from the air..and there it is, an oasis in the desert...an emerald placed on the sand.

Dan O'Rourke:: Give me an idea of how much water you put on this property every day
Val D'Souza, Genral Manager: "You know growing grass in the desert takes water and one of the neat things about this property is that we can reclaim it in our irrigation ponds through drainage, and then re-use it because we water right out of our irrigation lakes"

Butterfield Trail broke ground in 2005, designed by the reknowned course architect Tom Fazio.  That alone gave it a chance to become one of the great courses in the southwest, and then, when golf magazines named Butterfield one of the best courses in America...the game had truly come to El Paso, not just at the country clubs, but at a place that any golfer can come and play, any day of the week.

This is where I met Bob Jefferson, a retired air traffic controller now completely grounded in the game of golf.  Learning of Butterfield's reputation, he drove 12 hours to play golf here.

Bob Jefferson

"They did a fabulous job of sculpting this out of the desert...immaculately maintained, and it's a real pleasure to play"

The course itself has a couple of heroically long par 4's....bunkers deep enough that they actually give you a stairway to get out, and a long do-or-die appraoch over water on the par 5 18th.

Butterfield Trail Golf Club is a local treasure, because of what its done for both serious and casual golfers, and because of the pride El Paosans take in it for themselves, and their friends.

Val D'Souza:  "Yeah, one of th most exciting things for us is having the citizens of El Paso and the golf community, every time they have friends, framily, corporate guests in town, theY bring them to Butterfield Trail, right away without doubt, and that's the most special thing for us.

Butterfield Trail is near El Paso International Airport and is open to the public seven days a week.

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