Todd Eckenrode of Origins Golf Design has said he “couldn’t be more thrilled with the dramatic improvements” in progress at Diablo Country Club near San Francisco, California.
Construction work began this spring with all features of the course, including tees, greens and bunkers, being renovated. Shaping of all eighteen holes is now complete, with grassing expected to finish shortly, followed by seeding of the outer area and creek fescues.
The renovation will see greens restored to their original size along with reclaiming lost hole locations. All bunkers have been recreated, with many restored to their original locations. The renovation will not alter the original routing with Eckenrode and Andy Frank, senior designer at Origins Golf Design, ensuring that every feature reflects the course’s golden age design.
The first nine holes were designed in 1915 by Jack Neville and five years later designer William Watson created the second nine, crafting most of Neville's original holes into the 18-hole course. Diablo CC is unique in that it is the only golf course to showcase the designs of both Neville and Watson.
“The club’s leadership has been outstanding, providing us and the construction team great freedom in the process,” said Eckenrode. He believes this approach allows them to optimise the design leading ultimately to a “finished golf course for the members to enjoy for decades to come.
“I can’t say enough about course superintendent Ryan Nicholson and his team’s efforts and talent as well, as they have contributed tirelessly in the construction, while also growing-in the first phase of holes, which are looking fantastic.”
Nicholson said: “This project has created the chance to provide Diablo Country Club with the infrastructure and agronomic conditions that will position the golf course well into the future. Converting to hybrid bermuda grasses in the fairways and roughs, reducing the overall irrigated acreage with oak mulch beds and native grass plantings, as well as upgrading to a state-of-the-art irrigation system, will allow us to significantly reduce water consumption while providing more consistent playing surfaces.”