The Fair Oaks, Calif., property will overhaul its greens and bunkers for the first time in its 63-year history. The updated golf course, which will feature temporary greens during the construction process, is expected to open in early 2018.
Long-awaited plans for renovating North Ridge Country Club in Fair Oaks, Calif., are officially underway, involving a $3.5 million overhaul including new greens and bunkers, the Carmichael (Calif.) Times reported.
The club’s membership approved the renovation plan and began the bid process for contracting roughly a year ago, the Times reported.
Featuring high-elevation and rolling terrain, North Ridge Country Club was founded in 1952 by architects William Francis Bell and his son, Billy Jr. The 18-hole parkland golf course is spread across approximately 165 rolling green acres. Although the club’s event center and adjacent buildings were renovated in 1997, the 63-year old course itself will be getting its first upgrade, the Times reported.
“This is a fine course and we have good conditions, but what we are really doing now is modernizing and making an investment in our course to stay competitive in the private club market,” said General Manager Rink Sanford.
North Ridge was designed incorporating an old push-up mound construction method, which has, over time, created drainage issues for the course, spurred by deteriorating root structures, all of which have created challenges for players and rendered the course vulnerable to erosion, the Times reported.
“Our forefathers picked a phenomenal place to put in a course,” said Sanford. “We are at the highest point in the area and we are blessed with a lot of rolling hills and terrain, but the old push-up method that was used to design the course originally needs to be addressed.”
The course’s natural elevation changes will allow RTJII to redesign the club’s greens and bunkers to take advantage of its hilly topography in ways “that were simply not possible many years ago,” adding construction of the new greens and bunkers will be achieved without disrupting mature trees that have called North Ridge home for decades, the Times reported.
“Today, players really want greens with solid drainage, and so what this will do for us is allow us to keep the mature trees and the rolling hills, but in and around the greens and bunkers we’ll be adding better drainage to bring the course in line with some of the most competitive, high-caliber golf courses anywhere in the world,” Sanford said.
Meanwhile, high-quality, temporary bentgrass sod greens are being created to offer members temporary greens to utilize during the construction process, the Times reported.
The course is expected to officially open in early 2018, Sanford said. While there are no increases on the horizon this year for membership fees, it is anticipated that fees will increase once the new course is fully operational. The current annual membership fee for North Ridge is $6,500, however, due to the construction, which is expected to run through August, the club is offering a promotion of $4,500, which runs through June, the Times reported.
“The long-term hope is that once the new course is up and fully operational in early 2018, our membership price will go up, and that will be in keeping with what’s going on with other clubs and membership fees at private courses across the country,” Sanford said.
Membership at North Ridge, said Sanford, is currently at 463, near full capacity. To cover the costs of the project, members voted to each pay their share of the $3.5 million, for a total of roughly $8,000 or $60 a month each, the Times reported.