At the reopening of the Thousand Oaks, Calif. club’s golf course after a $10.5 million renovation, the golfing great said 1,200 trees have been added and irrigation has been improved so water use will be decreased by 20 to 25 percent. During the event, he shook hands with Caitlyn Jenner, a 15-year club member who tweeted gratitude for a new engraved locker in the women’s room that was seen as a sign of acceptance of her gender transition.
Jack Nicklaus was at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on March 3rd to celebrate the reopening of the club’s prestigious Nicklaus-designed course after the completion of a $10.5 million renovation, the Los Angeles Daily News reported.
In describing the work his design firm had done to improve the course, the Daily News reported, Nicklaus said he has always felt that the Sherwood CC property, which he called “the greatest piece of dirt I’ve ever been handed” when he first designed the course 25 years ago, has a unique setting unlike any others he’s encountered in his course-designing experience.
“The only one I’d say that was close to this was in Naples, Italy, and we never finished it,” Nicklaus told the Daily News. “It’s very much the same setting, out of the city amongst the mountains like this.
“This particular property, I always thought was a gorgeous piece of property,” he added. Set in the valleys like this, you really have very little influence from the outside.”
Thanks to the improvements made by Nicklaus Design during the recent renovation, the Daily News reported, water use at the course will now be decreased by 20 to 25 percent, even with the addition of 1,200 oak trees.
“You reduce the turf area, you do a more efficient irrigation system,” Nicklaus said. “They can do that today versus what they did 25 years ago.”
The end goal was to make the course more fair for players while improving each hole and the overall quality of the course from soil to tee to green, the Daily News reported.
“It’s always been pretty special in my heart,” Nicklaus said.
Reminded that April 13 will mark 30 years since Nicklaus won his record 18th major championship, the 1986 Masters, Nicklaus laughed and said, “Every year is an anniversary.”
“You can make whatever you want out of an anniversary, whether it’s 20 years, 30 or what,” he said. “It seems like it was just 25 years yesterday. I’ve been getting a lot of conversation, which is flattering. It’s always nice to have people say, ‘Gee, I remember where I was and what I did.’ All the talk about it, I guess it keeps me relevant to what’s going on.”
Regarding his course-design career, Nicklaus added: “I happen to enjoy what I do and I have no desire to not continue to do it. I’m 76 years old now and people say, ‘Why don’t you relax in a lounge chair?’ Well, I don’t like lounge chairs. I like to work, and I’ve said many times that most people work all of their lives, retire and play golf. I golfed all my life, retired and went to work building golf courses. That’s what I do and that’s what I enjoy.”
During the day’s events, the Daily News reported, Nicklaus shook hands with Caitlyn Jenner, a 15-year member of Sherwood CC. Jenner also used the occasion to tweet a photo of her new locker in the women’s locker room, complete with an engraved nameplate, the New York Daily News reported.
“Grateful for my new locker at Sherwood. #welcome #acceptance,” Jenner tweeted with the photo, the Daily News reported.
The 66-year-old, who was Olympic decathlon gold-medalist Bruce Jenner before undergoing gender transition, has been a member of Sherwood CC for more than 15 years, the Daily News reported.
During her transition, the club made headlines for reportedly causing complications with her membership but then issued a statement to deny those claims and clarify that Jenner “continues to be a valued and long-term member at the club,” the Daily News reported.
In an episode of her reality show, “I Am Cait,” the topic of getting a locker at the exclusive club was addressed, the Daily News reported.
At the time, Sherwood was under construction during the renovation, and Jenner was conflicted about how to go about applying for her new locker without causing confusion and undue attention, the Daily News reported.