Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club was recognized in the Renovation of the Year competition in Golf Inc. Magazine’s July issue. This distinguished publication is for golf course developers and operators worldwide and their Renovation of the Year competition seeks to identify the best renovated golf venues each year.
Golf Inc.’s esteemed judges chose the winners for the Renovation of the Year competition through a blind judging process, where they reviewed comprehensive packages without logos or names to avoid bias. Winners were selected based on how well the project realized the vision of the development team, as well as course aesthetics, environmental and economic sustainability, among other factors. In the private course category, five winners were chosen. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club was named among those five as an honorable mention.
The recognition highlighted Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club’s $3.8 million course renovation, completed in October 2021. The architect behind this renovation was Bergin Golf Designs, Inc. and was brought to life by the construction team at Medalist Golf. Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club’s Golf Maintenance Team, led by Kelly Barker, also played an integral role in this project. Throughout the course of this project, several mechanical needs of the golf course were addressed, including new greens, bunkers, tees, and drainage. Since the original course was narrow and overgrown, many improvements were made to the aesthetic elements of the property.
“The golf course epitomizes my belief that golf should basically be an ebb and flow between challenging holes and opportunities to score,” said architect Bill Bergin.
The renovation aimed to work with the natural terrain and landscape by creating dunes with appropriate vegetation. Maintainability was a key focus of this renovation and even adjusted the cart path to reduce turf damage.
“The goals of the renovation and the bottom line far exceeded what anyone could have dreamed possible for Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club. From person to person, we had hopes that the renovations would be a milestone renovation for the club for future generations of our club,” said General Manager, Michael Bickett.
Santa Rosa Golf & Beach Club’s new design provides a challenge for the most skilled golfers, but is also approachable for the recreational player. The new design added about an acre to the current greens complexes, which made room for more holes and a more dispersed traffic pattern.
Not only did this world class renovation address the course’s operational needs, it addressed the desire to bring the course up to USGA standards, make it environmentally friendly, and a course that everyone would talk about. While starting the renovation at the beginning of the pandemic created challenges, ultimately the club’s leadership trusted that the project would produce all of their desires, goals and more. The course has improved in all areas and now has a waitlist for the next 2-3 years.