Santa Fe (133)

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 01:34

Lovato Golf Links - Santa Fe

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Lovato Golf Links  -  Santa Fe

Years ago I was doing some work on Seville Rd off E. San Mateo Rd. near the intersection of Old Pecos Trail.  Next to the house on which I was working, was an unusual-looking building at least by Santa Fe standards.  It sort of looked like a rustic clubhouse.  I asked my client if he knew anything about it.  He said it was once a golf course clubhouse and that this neighborhood was once a golf course.

On investigation I found that the area south of E. Cordova Rd, west of Old Pecos Trail to Don Gaspar was once a golf course called "Lovato Golf Links". The Chamber of Commerce  maps of the City of Santa Fe from 1920-1930 show an unnamed road in this location with the following:  "to Lovato Golf Links".  At this time this was beyond the City's southern boundary.

The Palace of the Governors, Photo Archives had this interesting photo. 

             Mr Simms golf whole                                                                        

Courtesy of the Palace of the Governors Photo Archives (NMHM/DCA)

Negative Number 149933

Photographer:  William H. Roberts

Title: Mr. Simms of Albuquerque at the golf links, Santa Fe, New Mexico

Date: circa 1925        

    Mr Simms golf detail                  

In the distance, to the NW of the tee, can be seen the old State Penitentiary near the current intersection of Cerrillos Rd. and St. Francis Dr.  Notice in the photo a complete absence of piñon-juniper; this view today is totally obscured by trees.  The tee was of compacted soil, the fairway of native vegetation.  Another of Roberts' photos shows a "green" of compacted, raked sand:  a real environmentally conscious course.  It was probably by default, as they didn't have elaborate sprinkler systems then, nor water availability.

For some reason this course isn't mentioned in the city Directories of the period.  It appears to have been short-lived as "to Lovato Links" disappears from the C of C maps in the early 1930's.

New Mexico historian,Ralph E. Twitchell, (1859–1925) authored a book/pamphlet in 1925 entitled the "City Different".  In it is a list of things to do in Santa Fe, one of which was:


               Country Club & Lobato (sic) Golf Links " of the most complete in NM."


The late Pancho Espstein, a Santa Fe New Mexican columnist and avid golfer, wrote a column on golf, and one was a brief history of Santa Fe golf courses.  In it he mentions the Mesa Golf Course located in what is now the Sol y Lomas neighborhood off Old Pecos Trail, north of Rodeo Rd.  The Mesa Club was founded in 1900.

I believe his location is incorrect because a New Mexican article dated Aug. 18, 1900 reports the burning down of the Ramona School at "the head of Don Gaspar", the same location as the Lovato Links. The article goes on to say that the large structure was the home of a local merchant by the name of Goebbel and that the rest of the building was occupied by the Mesa Golf Club. I believe the Mesa Club morphed into the Lovato Links.

And to clinch my research as to location, I remembered that Charles Lindbergh and his wife Anne in 1929 did an aerial photo survey of New Mexico and Arizona archaeological sites.  Not all of the photos were archaeological, and there are peripheral photos of non-archaeological locations:  three of Santa Fe.

One of them is a panorama of Santa Fe taken from the south looking north (Palace of the Governors, Photo Archives, Lindbergh 1929, neg.#130333).  On this photo is shown the Lovato Links, all nine holes, at the location I described with a clubhouse in the center of the course.

Happy Golfing!


This is a copy of newspaper photos of Jack Campbell being administered the Oath from my grandfather, Lowell Green and Cheif Justice J.C. Compton

This historic building (aka) The Joseph Halpin Building and the first location for the New Mexico Records Center and Archives is one of many historic sites in the Santa Fe Railyard that could be included in the historic tour proposed by Rick Martinez.   

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