Palmer to reinvent California course


Sean Dudley

A comprehensive reinvention of a California golf course has received the go ahead after a nine year planning process.

Plans call the for the Rolling Hills Country Club in Palos Verdes, outside Los Angeles, to be transformed into an entirely new golf course, which will at the same time rehabilitate a 60 year old landfill operation.

Rolling Hills’s existing golf course dates from 1963, and was designed by prolific California architect Ted Robinson. But around two thirds of the course is on land leased from a nearby sand and gravel facility – a lease that expires in 2012.

The new plan will see the club gain title to an additional 131 acre plot that will be used to create a new golf course, practice facility and clubhouse. On top of that, 114 new homes are planned as part of the project.

The city of Rolling Hills granted permission for the development – which is a collaboration between the club and the Chandler family, who own the sand and gravel facility – this week.

Arnold Palmer Design has been hired to create the new golf course. Palmer himself said: “Rolling Hills Country Club presents an extraordinary and exciting challenge. We now have the opportunity to take this underused piece of property – right in the middle of one of the most beautiful areas of California – and turn it into something beautiful and important.”

Designed for walkability, the course is planned to balance length with visual appeal and a layering of difficulty. A new practice facility will include a full-length, 300-plus yard driving range with all-grass tees, a multi-tiered chipping area and a 7,500 sq ft practice green.

The new clubhouse, designed by architect Bob Altevers will be situated on a 100 foot rise looking over the golf course and the entire Los Angeles basin from the mountains to the sea.