The Man Who Knows Where All the Balls are Buried

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By Roberto Hugo Gonzalez

As originally published by Texas Border Business newsprint edition November 2019

Many local golfers know that Carlos Espinoza is a man of many qualities. He is the director of the Palmview Golf Course, where he has been for more than twenty years. 

He knows this business well, but more than anything, he knows his clients and treats them with the utmost respect. Besides, he knows where all the golf balls are buried. That includes the ones that went into the creek and drowned. 

Recently, Texas Border Business visited the golf course and met with Carlos during a momentous occasion. It was the opening celebration of the reconstructed teas and bunkers, a project that, according to him, needed to be done to create more capacity.

Carlos said that two years ago, they redid the greens, which has made a significant difference, netting a tremendous increase in play participation.  He said, “Specifically in the number of junior golfers that use our facility.” He continues, “It got to the point that we needed to be bigger, and management never hesitated in putting the plans and funding together and got it done.”

Carlos recognizes that the challenge always lies in keeping the operation going, while construction is in progress.  “It’s almost equivalent to a reconstruction of a tower hotel, and there’s noise. How do you keep the operation going?”

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He attributes that everything went well because of the fantastic customer base they have. “My heart goes out to them because they put up with us for about 12 weeks, and we didn’t miss a beat.”

He credits the staff, “Not only do they take care of the normal stuff, but also what’s going on with the reconstruction.” 

The fantastic part is that during the last two years, they have kept good participation numbers at 44,000 rounds.

The junior players were what prompted them to do the reconstruction. “We have three McAllen high schools playing and practicing out here ten months of the year. In addition to that, we have STC classes practicing two or three times a week. In addition to that, we have Juan Diego Academy, Idea Public Schools, Sharyland, La Joya, and Palmview schools using the grounds.”

Carlos said, “That is the reason we needed to expand. If you go to a restaurant and a customer uses a table, you clean it and then five minutes later, it is ready to go. Here, it takes 10 to 12 days for it to recover if properly maintained.” He continued, “Now, we’ve got 50% more space.”

Palmview Golf Course has about 180 acres; he said not all of it is irrigated. “That includes lakes, the areas that we don’t maintain are called environmentally sensitive.”

Carlos manages with a total of 27 staff members. Of those, only 12 take care of the maintenance of the golf course. “We are well set up in four different divisions, golf course, maintenance, golf carts, dining room, and golf shop,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll do better now that we’ve got 50% more space to offer.”

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