San Vicente Golf Course Bunkers and Greens Renovation Workshop and Updates:
Course to Remain Open During Entire Month of April

During a Community Workshop held on March 20, Golf Course Architect Andy Staples presented a detailed Golf Course Greens and Bunkers Renovation Update, and Heritage Links Vice President Oscar Rodriquez provided a construction summary. The San Vicente Room was packed as many came to see and hear about the renovated course vision, construction details, and to ask questions. Workshop attendees included the SDCEA Board of Directors and staff, Good Life General Manager Therese Grybow, San Vicente Golf Club members, homeowners, condo and timeshare owners.

Andy Staples, our course architect, providing an update on the project.

We previously communicated the San Vicente Golf Course renovation work was to begin April 1, and the course would close; however, the course will now remain open in April, as we work to obtain San Diego County Planning Department’s approval of some elements of the work.

Staples presentation set up clear priorities for the work, beginning with greens and green complexes, including cart paths, drainage tie-ins, and finishing the tree/stump removal, followed by greenside bunkers, fairway bunkers, and select tees. The presentation summarized that the greens will be 10 percent larger, a total of 55 bunkers with liners and all new sand will be completed and select tees will be improved. Modifications are planned for important drainage and turf modifications.
The audience engaged in a question-and-answer session. Staples confirmed the course irrigation will be improved and the existing sand will be reused in other areas. We will be using TifTuf bermudagrass on the approaches. It retains its green color into the winter months longer than other brands and is water efficient. Staples also noted the design is simple and will reduce the work required by Golf Course Maintenance once the renovation is completed. Last, and not least, Staples confirmed with Golf Course Superintendent Pat Shannon that the trees removed in this project were not native oaks, and the future will include planting of “the right trees in the right spaces.”
Staples clearly illustrated his passion for the game and designing courses when he spoke about the green design — a “second-shot golf course” with interesting slopes and surrounds, and expanded bentgrass collars. The renovated greens will be varied in sizes, shapes and slopes, creating an interesting mix of difficulty for players, including high, medium and low. In the end, Staples’ design is one in which he hopes to hear all players exclaim, “Those were some of the most fun greens I’ve ever played!”
The presentation moved into high gear when Staples walked through the hole-by-hole drawings made for Heritage Links and construction workers, while also showing ‘before-and-after’ renderings of select holes. In this section, Staples talked about the “playability and accessibility contrast of sand to turf” and a “dramatic visual appeal that looks hard, but plays easy,” being among the many attributes of the renovated course.  
Staples spoke the language golfers liked, as he talked about a punchbowl hole — a hole design that dates back to golf’s origins in Scotland. He became more animated with a golf swing, a short putt, and a vivid description of the view from various greens and bunkers as he moved along with descriptions of slopes, hollows, short grass, water challenges, the rough, spectacular bent grass design and more.
The audience reacted well to the rendering of a green and bunker that is “switched,” meaning that the green is designed close to the water on the left and one must navigate past a bunker on the right side. He finished with Hole 18, which was described as “a dramatic finish in its natural amphitheater setting.”
During this portion of the presentation, SDCEA President Eileen Castberg asked the audience what they thought of the design, and the audience applauded and were excited about playing the renovated greens and bunkers.
Heritage Links Vice President Oscar Rodriquez was introduced by Staples, and Rodriquez provided a summary of the construction work on what he called the “functional and aesthetically pleasing course.” Rodriquez lives in Temecula and is very familiar with Southern Californian golf courses, although he has worked on many nationwide courses. He has a dedicated crew, with many employees that have worked with him for 20 years, and he stressed their experience, efficiency of work and safety, as he walked through the high-level construction details.  The expanded renovation team met early the next day to plan the project and work.  

Course Renovation Article - Archive

Bermudagrass Restoration, Tree Removal and Heritage Links (PDF) (TXT)
(Published February 2019 San Vicente Valley News)

The Detailed Process of Chossing a Contractor (PDF) (TXT)
(Published January 2019 San Vicente Valley News)

Looking Forward | Golf Course Renovation (PDF) (TXT)
(Published October 2018 San Vicente Valley News)

Golf Course Project Approved to Move Forward in 2019 (PDF) (TXT)
(Published September 2018 San Vicente Valley News)

SDCEA Greens and Bunkers by John Selby (PDF) (TXT)
(Published August 2018 San Vicente Valley News)

Introducing Andy Staples (PDF) (TXT)
(Published August 2018 San Vicente Valley News)