San Vicente Golf Course Update

Significant progress was made last month in the planning stages leading up to the April 1 start date for the Golf Course Renovation project, and the professional team will be working on more technical details this month. Take a moment to learn about the updates, and the new companies selected.

Bermudagrass Restoration

The Golf Course Bermudagrass Restoration Project, a 2017 cost-saving initiative, is evolving the look of our golf course turf. The once winter “green grass made possible by ryegrass overseeding” is now a blonde color in areas as new bermudagrass seed laid throughout 2018 where ryegrass had thinned is taking root, and we are seeing a thicker and healthier bermudagrass base.

This terrain transformation is a four-to-five-year growth process, which will be managed by Golf Course Superintendent Pat Shannon and his team. The new turf will be strong and playable; Summer grass will be a rich green and Winter grass will be a light blond color, a change in color increasingly seen on golf courses to conserve water and decrease maintenance expenses.

Tree Removal

To allow for more light for our new Pure Distinction Bentgrass Greens, which need a minimum of six to eight hours of sunlight daily, a selective tree removal plan was designed to remove large pine trees, which are shading areas across numerous greens. Tree removal is planned for the first four months of 2019.

Pope’s Tree Service, a local Ramona company owned by self-described “tree-hugger” and Arborist Dustin Pope, is managing this work, ensuring as little disruption to golfers as possible.

Golf Course Renovation

Planning work continues by Golf Course Architect Andy Staples, who worked to update the drawings for the Greens and Bunkers plan in January. He has a clear vision, which will be presented and communicated to the project team this month.
His meticulous details in the drawings, timelines, resource planning and more are all becoming more tangible. Staples utilizes a real-time communications tool for Project Management, and the team can see updates in one digital space, which is critical for the many people in many places working on many projects and tasks. We all know phone and email are time-consuming, and this project, which is laser-focused on the April 1 start date, is efficient!

If you would like to learn more about the essence, philosophy and work of this award-winning and academic architect, please visit
Staples, and the Renovation team, are working closely with O’Day Consultants based in Carlsbad, a civil engineering and land surveying firm with 37 years’ experience, who were selected for the project in late 2018. Project Manager Keith Hansen has been assigned to our project, and he brings 22 years of experience in the design and management of public works and land development projects within San Diego.

Heritage Links, the contractor chosen for constructing the course changes, has been working with the project team and SDCEA Management on contract details, and the $2.2 million contract was approved by the Board at the Jan. 22 meeting.

Heritage Links Division

President Jon O’Donnell has been diligent in understanding SDCEA’s needs and budget during contract negotiation. He has an impressive 25-year career in the golf course industry including golf course construction, development services, and golf course maintenance.

After graduating from Penn State University, he worked at courses such as Augusta National Golf Club and went on to manage the facility at the Vintage National Golf Club in Indian Wells, CA prior to career re-direction in the golf course construction industry.

A Heritage Links team is now being assembled to manage the construction work, with many living in or near Temecula, CA.
Additionally, Planning Systems was selected for environmental biology work, and a $13,000 contract was approved by the Board at the Jan. 22 meeting. Paul Klukas, a 28-year veteran with a diverse background in planning and environmental categories, will be our project lead.

Lastly, the team continues to work with FG Consulting, which specializes in turfgrass. Owner and Agronomist Fred Astrom brings over 20 years’ experience, beginning as a Golf Course Superintendent who evolved into a well-respected industry expert in turfgrass management.

Course renovation updates and more information about the companies selected are available on our website, Log in to your account and scroll down the Member Home page and find Golf Course Renovation.

Course Renovation Article Archive

The Detailed Process of Chossing a Contractor (Published January 2019 San Vicente Valley News)
Looking Forward | Golf Course Renovation (Published October 2018 San Vicente Valley News)
Golf Course Project Approved to Move Forward in 2019 (Published September 2018 San Vicente Valley News)
SDCEA Greens and Bunkers by John Selby (Published August 2018 San Vicente Valley News)
Introducing Andy Staples (Published August 2018 San Vicente Valley News)