San Vicente ready to start golf course renovation work

  • San Vicente

    Andy Staples sketches for new greens at San Vicente Resort

  • San Vicente

    A visualisation of new bunkers planned for the par-four third hole

  • San Vicente

    Staples plan includes expanded shortgrass and ground contour, with minimal bunkering

Richard Humphreys
By Richard Humphreys

Construction work will begin shortly on the renovation of the golf course at San Vicente Resort in Ramona, California.

Golf course architect Andy Staples has created a renovation plan that involves rebuilding every green and bunker on the course, and several tees.

“From a design standpoint, I’m very excited about building new green complexes that fit this site,” said Staples. “The original complexes are very typical of courses built throughout this area during the 1970s and early 80s, and the course enhancements we’ll be making should set the course apart from its contemporaries in a unique way.

“It’s an incredible landscape, and my vision takes the playability and strategy to new levels. Expanded shortgrass, ground contour with minimal bunkering, and interesting sand features will highlight the new look. Our plan is for this course to be a destination stop on everyone’s playlist while in the San Diego area.

“I’m also very excited about the vastly improved sustainability of the course, and what that will translate to for the future of the club. We’re also expanding upon the turf reduction project the club implemented a few years ago. When everything’s said and done, the final product should be a great combination of cool design and efficient maintenance. We’re not just setting this course for the next five or 10 years, but rather for the next 30.”

San Vicente was built in 1972 by Ted Robinson, and has essentially remained untouched ever since.

“This course hasn’t changed much since it was opened nearly 50 years ago, and the staff at the club has been very helpful in helping me identify what’s likely to resonate most with the members,” said Staples. “General manager Mario Trejo has played a critical role in balancing needs versus wants of the membership, and superintendent Pat Shannon has been invaluable in assisting me with forecasted maintenance regimen, as well as setting up the processes for the club’s long-term vision.”

Heritage Links will begin construction work on 1 April and Staples hopes that golfers will be back on the course by November.

“I’m really looking forward to the new bunkering style combined with the expanded shortgrass areas and improved ground contouring; I’d be lying if I told you my recent trip to the sandbelt of Australia didn’t inspire me on this project,” said Staples. “I really think there are so many similarities to how they present a golf course down there, and how golf is evolving here around San Diego. Again, our goal wasn’t just sustainability with this project, but giving the members something they’ll enjoy playing over and over, as well as giving visiting golfers something special to look forward to next time they’re in the area.”

Greens will be seeded with Pure Distinction while the expanded shortgrass will feature Santa Ana bermuda, and bunkers will be lined with Capillary Concrete.

Staples is being supported on the project by Kimley Horn, which is in charge of engineering; Paul Klukas, who is handling the permits required by San Diego County; and Brent Harvey, who is responsible for irrigation design.