Origins Golf Design has started a $20 million renovation project at Sharon Heights Golf & Country Club in Menlo Park, California.
The renovation plan – approved in 2019, around the same time that the club completed a $23m recycled water plant project – covers all 18 holes with architect Todd Eckenrode aiming to make the layout more playable and interesting, improve course aesthetics and conditions, and adhere to the club’s sustainability initiative.
“Fairways will be expanded for added playability and strategic interest while greens will be redesigned and enlarged to offer an increase in hole locations and enhanced variety,” said Eckenrode, who is planning to connect fairways at the third and fifth, ninth and tenth, and fourth and sixteenth.
“All bunkers will be renovated, including new bunker locations to improve strategy, interest in play, and aesthetics,” said Eckenrode. Tees will be rebuilt into more natural shapes and expanded, with new tee locations for some holes.
Tees, fairways, chipping areas and greens will be seeded with new bentgrass varieties to ensure for firm and fast playing conditions. All turf areas will be sandcapped, with subsurface drainage added throughout to enhance growth and facilitate better drainage.
The course, designed by Jack Fleming in 1962, was built on a rolling site that features stands of California oak trees. A key part of the project is the removal of trees that do not align with the original design. The planting of native species, such as California oaks and sycamores, aims to contribute to a reduction in water usage.
Other work includes cart paths, installing a new irrigation system and expanding recycled water storage capacity by undertaking a project on the irrigation storage lake. Golf Projects International will be responsible for construction and project management.
The club expects work to be completed by late autumn 2023, with the course reopening by early summer 2024.