All 76 bunkers at the Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. property, totaling more than 90,000 square feet, were overhauled during the four-month project.
A comprehensive bunker renovation to improve all 76 bunkers, totaling more than 90,000 square feet, at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. has been completed.
The scope of the project, which began in early June, included the extraction of existing sand, replacing or repairing drainage, recapturing original bunker edges, installing Capillary Concrete™ bunker liner system, and installing new “Wedge White” bunker sand.
“Feedback has been great,” said Tom Horaney, Tijeras Creek GC’s General Manager. “It’s really a win-win situation for golfers who benefit from increased playability. Plus, it lessens the time needed by our maintenance team to keep the bunkers up to our standards. It’s well worth the investment.”
Located near Orange County (Calif.)’s John Wayne Airport, Tijeras Creek features a Ted Robinson-designed course with a demanding front nine highlighted by water features that come into play on four of the nine holes, and a back nine that features elevation changes as it winds through old-growth sycamores, oaks and native chaparral, including the signature par-3 16th hole. Tijeras Creek, managed by OB Sports, has played host to the Women’s Pac-10 Championships, along with the Men’s and Women’s Big West Championships, and is one of only four daily-fee facilities in the state to have hosted the Southern California Amateur Open.
The Tijeras Creek bunker project was executed by Casa Verde Golf. “Bunkers are notoriously expensive and labor-intensive to maintain over time,” said Jeff Schwinkendorf, Casa Verde’s Vice President. “They flood when drainage becomes clogged; the sand washes away with heavy rain and gets contaminated with soil; they get dried out and crusty in hot weather; it’s always something.”
Those issues will now be remedied at Tijeras Creek, Schwinkendorf said, through the use of the Capillary Concrete™ system, which allows water to drain through to the ground instead of pooling in the sand, and also pulls moisture up from the soil into the sand during dry conditions. Upgrading the bunker sand to “Wedge White” will also improve playability while creating an aesthetically pleasing contrast.
“We knew the renovation would create a buzz in the Orange County golf community,” said Schwinkendorf. “Pacific Life, the property owner, challenged us to elevate the quality of the golf course without closing down during construction. So we worked with the club’s staff to facilitate golf traffic with minimal disruptions. Despite logging nearly 200 daily rounds during construction, we completed the project in less than four months.”