The Inland Group has taken over ownership of the 18-hole golf course, with immediate plans to remove dead trees and install LED lights. The group’s long-term plans include remodeling the golf course and facility, adding a multi-story driving range and hitting structure with synthetic turf, and extending its five-year lease with Orange County to 30 years.
The new ownership group at Newport Beach (Calif.) Golf Club has changed its name and has plans to change much more, the Santa Ana, Calif.-based Orange County Register reported.
Formerly known as Newport Beach Golf Course, the 18-hole layout reopened December 31 under its new moniker and with the Inland Group as owner and operator, the Register reported.
Headed by president William Buck Johns, the Inland Group is expected to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into the facility over the next several years, with the first order of business the removal of dead trees and installation of LED lights, the Register reported.
“Our goal is to be a reflection of the community in which we live,” said Johns, a former industrial engineer and entrepreneur who has played golf at the course since it opened in 1976. “There is an incomparable lifestyle in Newport Beach and we should have the finest executive golf course anywhere in the world.”
Inland Group has received consents to assignment of the two ground leases comprising the 65 acres on which the course is situated. (Orange County owns the back nine and the front nine is privately owned.) In December the County Board of Supervisors approved the transfer and the private consortium then transferred its lease to Inland. Steve Carfano, who has operated the golf shop the past few years, is the new General Manager; Keith Wyrick, a former starter at the course, is Director of Golf, the Register reported.
The long-term goals of the Inland Group include remodeling the course and facility, with plans including a multi-story driving range and hitting structure with synthetic turf and a vacuum system that accumulates balls and sorts them for the next golfer. The club would also like to extend its five-year lease with Orange County to 30 years so ample time would be available to undergo changes and see them through, the Register reported.
“I’ve lived just a few blocks from the course since it opened,” said Johns. “I reached out to some good friends and we’re looking forward to sprucing it up.”
Regarding his focus on Newport Beach Golf Club, Johns and Inland have approached architect Tom Fazio to explore his interest in remodeling the course, the Register reported.
“I truly believe with a proactive group of individuals managing the facility, the golf course will see significant improvements,” said Superintendent Mike Williams. “With that should come increased rounds and restoring its reputation to the community.”