US$2.2 million rebate from turf reduction at Los Angeles-area club

US$2.2 million rebate from turf reduction at Los Angeles-area club
Sean Dudley
By Adam Lawrence

Glendora Country Club in California has begun a turf reduction project, aimed at removing 25 acres of turf within the next 180 days, as a response to the extreme drought conditions that have affected California in recent years.

The programme has been designed to comply with a rebate programme put forward by the local Metropolitan Water District. The MWD announced plans to encourage turf reduction this July, and Glendora was the first club to apply for the rebate, which allows for reimbursement of up to US$2 per square foot of turf. The club – whose golf course was laid out by Robert Trent Jones Sr in the 1960s – stands to receive a US$2.2 million rebate.

Landscape design firm Pinnacle Design Company and golf architect Casey O’Callaghan have planned the work, which will see areas of turf ripped out and replaced with native planting. The project aims to create natural corridors that accent the terrain and shape of holes. Drought resistant, native plants will blend with the existing landscaping. In addition to turf reduction, the club will enhance its irrigation system, installing drip irrigation to maximise efficiency.

Prior to this project, Glendora had already taken measures to reduce water usage by installing new irrigation controllers and sprinkler heads. The club already had plans in the works to remove 15-20 acres of turf and install drought tolerant plants before the rebate program was announced.

Club president Jack Stoughton said: “The project has the potential to save 20-25 per cent of water annually which is extremely critical to our club. It also displays our leadership as a club in our community, in our market, and within our industry.”

The turf reduction project will be completed by 15 February to fit within the 180-day window mandated by the MWD. The club expects minimal disturbances and course closures.