Fry/Straka studies classics for renovation at Valencia

  • Valencia CC
    Valencia Country Club

    Fry/Straka has completed a renovation of the golf course at Valencia Country Club in California

  • Valencia CC
    Valencia Country Club

    Bunkers have been renovated to a classic style

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

The golf course at Valencia Country Club in Santa Clarita, California, has reopened following a seven-month renovation by Fry/Straka.

The private course, located north of Los Angeles, was originally designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr and opened in 1965.

The purpose of this year;s project, led by Jason Straka, was to restore Jones’s original design intent and classic features and enhance strategic options, while turf replacement, on all areas except greens, has reduced irrigation needs by 30 per cent.

Prior to the renovation, Straka, the agronomy team, Arcis Construction and course superintendent Eric Ullrich visited the historic layouts at San Francisco, Lake Merced, Cal Club, Bel-Air and Riviera to study their bunker styles and design approaches.

“I firmly believe that the more you see and experience, the more ideas you gain,” said Straka. “In the case of Valencia Country Club and how this project turned out, these site visits undoubtedly made an impact. When golfers see the renovated course, they are going to be wowed.”

Some of Valencia’s bunkers have been removed or repositioned while others have been added to create new and different angles for tee shots and approaches into greens. Every bunker on the course has been rebuilt and has new sand.

New forward tees were built on all holes, and back tees were extended, providing more playing options, including hybrid set-ups. All existing tees were levelled and reshaped as rectangles to create a more classic look and feel. Tees on all par threes were expanded to distribute wear more evenly and eliminate the need for overseeding.

“These significant architectural changes to this revered course layout reflect our commitment to Valencia Country Club and its members,” said Blake Walker, founder and CEO of Arcis Golf. “Our focus and investment are on enhancing this club’s lifestyle through upgraded playing experiences, creative culinary programmes, and additional member programming.”