Golf course architect Jay Blasi is leading a project at the Santa Ana Country Club that involves the rerouting of the club’s golf course.
Located in California’s Orange County, Santa Ana CC has been at its current location since 1923. The original course at this site is largely attributed to John Duncan Dunn in terms of design, but Ted Robinson updated the layout in the 1980s and the course as it currently stands is mainly his work.
Blasi was hired to develop a new masterplan for the golf course by the club back in 2014.
“While working on the masterplan, we conducted an audit of the current course and determined there was about US$5 million in deferred maintenance, including irrigation, drainage, bunkers and greens,” Blasi told GCA. “At that point, we studied all options for renovating the golf course. We developed multiple concepts that ranged from no rerouting, to partial rerouting, to a complete rerouting. The project committee was almost unanimous in support of the complete rerouting as it best met the goals outlined.”
Blasi identified four main benefits of rerouting the course: improved safety, better natural landforms, added variety, and enhanced practice facilities.
“In terms of safety, the boundary holes now slice into the property where the old holes were slice side out,” Blasi explained. “The new routing takes full advantage of some great slopes, bowls, hillsides, and valleys, and there will be greater variety thanks to the range of par three, four and five holes in the new layout.”
Previously, Santa Ana CC had a short driving range featuring 80ft tall nets and poles, which limited golfers practice options. As part of Blasi’s masterplan, the course will gain a short game area, putting green, chipping green, a full-length, double-ended range and wedge practice area.
Pre-construction work got underway at Santa Ana CC in January 2016, with full construction work set to get underway this month.
Blasi said: “We are planning to complete the construction in summer 2016 and reopen the golf course in autumn 2016.”