The course at Birch Hills Golf Club, located in Brea, California, is edging closer to reopening, with architect Casey O’Callaghan confirming to GCA that the final stages of construction have been reached.
Significant changes have been made to seven holes, with O’Callaghan stating as much as 80 per cent of the site has been completely reshaped.
“We sprigged the last hole in the first week of September and only the practice range remains to be shaped, sprigged, and sodded,” O’Callaghan explained.
The course’s owner and developer is Birch/Kraemer, a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation. Once work is completed however, the course will be transferred to the City of Brea.
According to O’Callaghan, the Birch Hills course is being redesigned and upgraded as part of the La Floresta multi-generational, mixed-use master-planned community, which is currently under construction and also nearing completion.
An earlier opening date was originally anticipated for the golf course. However, the longer-than-expected construction timeframe was the result of several factors, including the decision to improve the course design, as well as unanticipated environmental work that was needed to allow for property transfer to the City of Brea.
Imperial Golf, the company tapped by the City to manage the course, helped supply the additional funds to reconstruct the remaining portions of the course.
“Every tee, sand bunker complex, and green was reconstructed,” said O’Callaghan. “There were significant routing changes to seven of the golf holes, and a new Hunter irrigation system was installed.”
The Newport Beach-based architect said that once completed, Birch Hills will be a ‘beautiful, fun, and playable executive golf course’, with a par of 59 and a length of 3,100 yards.
“In addition to making it a fun playable course for locals, we focused on creating some strategic golf holes,” added O’Callaghan. “The par-three second hole is a reverse redan hole and the seventeenth hole is a driveable par-four that can be attacked straight on through a narrow gap in the bunkering or hit a draw shot over a fairway bunker that splits the fairway and will reward a successful carry by feeding the tee shot down toward the green.”
A date for the reopening of the Birch Hills course will be announced soon.