Menlo Country Club in Woodside, California, is converting its ryegrass fairways and primary rough to Santa Ana bermuda, which will help the club conserve significant amounts of water.
The project follows recent efforts to convert over 40 acres of the course’s outer rough from fine fescue to California native varieties, which require little to no water throughout the year.
Course superintendent Chris Eckstrom is leading the project. “Recent California summer droughts and local water restrictions have made it difficult to maintain the previous grasses to our quality standard,” he said. “The turf conversion project allows us to be more sustainable and to prepare for future water shortages.”
Work is being timed to correspond with the construction of a new 38,000-square-foot clubhouse and 9,200-square-foot pool and fitness centre. Theisen Downing from Earth Sculptures is the contractor for the golf portion of the project.
Kyle Phillips and associate Mark Thawley – who led the club through a major course redesign in 2014, are consulting on the project – which also includes the reconstruction of the practice facility.
The course is scheduled to reopen by the end of August with a grand opening of the new clubhouse scheduled for autumn 2021.
This article first appeared in the July 2021 issue of Golf Course Architecture and an article profiling the course at Menlo Country Club will feature in a future issue. For a printed subscription or free digital edition, please visit our subscriptions page.