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The holiday season: that special time for giving thanks


We are truly in the middle of the “holiday season.” It is indeed a joyous time of the year for people of all faiths. A time not only to give thanks but also to reflect on how we may extend our good fortune and abundance to those in great need. Yes, Thanksgiving has come and gone, but there is still time for me to share my giving of thanks for many of the blessings we have. Since Veterans Day was only a few weeks ago, I will first give thanks for active duty members of our armed services as well as all military veterans (I am one), who ensure we live with a measure of freedom found nowhere else in the world. The United States of America is certainly the “land of the free and the home of the brave.”

As for golf, we all can be thankful for our four beautiful golf courses here in our quaint little town, as well as several others within an hour’s drive. Here in Las Cruces we have New Mexico State University Golf Course, Sonoma Ranch Golf Course, Red Hawk Golf Club and Picacho Hills Country Club (private).

We owe a debt of thanks to the club managers and staffs at our four championship courses who bend over backwards to maintain the grounds, stock the pro shops, service the carts, serve the food and beverages, and keep everything the way it should be. One of the reasons we have such a strong golfing community (including the “snowbirds”) is because we can golf year-round here in the desert, with temperate weather that is cooler than Scottsdale in the summer and warmer than Albuquerque in the winter. Each year at this time I renew my hope the golf course at White Sands Missile Range will come to life again and be open for play.

I am particularly thankful I play with a group of golfers at my home course who are respectful of the rules and the golf course, play serious golf, honor the game of golf at all times (including attire), are fun loving and good to be around.  You know who you are. So let’s give it up for our golfing friends, who make those hours we spend beating around little white orbs a lot more fun than it otherwise would be.

Sometimes we overlook the younger people who work at our golf courses in the capacity of trainees and interns. As students, they are part of the Professional Golf Management Program housed in the Business School at New Mexico State University. Certified by the PGA of America, our PGM Program was one of four original PGM programs when it was begun in 1986 by former Aggie men’s golf coach Herb Wimberly. Today there are some 20 U.S. programs. Thanks, Herb.

I’m sure I speak for everyone when I express a profound thanks to our “first responders” who are there for emergencies and to protect our safety; these include police, fire-fighters, EMTs, ambulance personnel, doctors, nurses and all hospital workers.

Thank goodness the pandemic is mostly behind us, but we’re not out of the woods yet, as it were. There has been a nice surge in golf rounds since 2020. I hope that is sustainable.

We should all be grateful for the local businessmen and women who support dozens of golf fundraisers throughout the year with donations, gifts and effort. These events enable schools, teams, community groups, foundations, agencies and other worthy causes to thrive. We should all be proud that the citizens of the USA are the most giving and charitable people in the world. I am thankful to be an American. God Bless America.

I’m also deeply thankful for the Las Cruces Bulletin, and in particular publisher Richard Coltharp, for providing a truly fine, information filled weekly newspaper. In January I will begin my 18th year as the Bulletin’s golf writer, and I am ever so grateful for all of our loyal readers. For me, writing my column is genuinely a “labor of love.”