The proposed golf course in Newport Coast, a community in Newport Beach, Calif., would sit on the former Coyote Canyon Landfill, which was open from 1963 to 1990. The development would include an 18-hole golf course, fast-play short course, practice facility, a double-deck driving range, bar and grill, and a 2,000-sq. ft. clubhouse.
The County of Orange, Calif., is looking at the possibility of constructing an 18-hole public golf course with an upscale practice facility and entertainment venue in Newport Coast, a community in Newport Beach, Calif., the Orange County Register reported.
The Board of Supervisors recently selected Chapman Investment Co. and Guardian Investment Capital to come up with plans for the course. The proposed golf course would sit on a former landfill, according to county documents. The 395-acre Coyote Canyon Landfill was open from 1963 to 1990, the Register reported.
In addition to a fast-play short course and practice facility, the development could include a PGA Tour Golf Academy, a double-deck driving range, custom club fitting, open-air hitting bays in the bar and grill, and a food court with patio. The project could also have a 2,000-sq. ft. clubhouse, the Register reported.
Even though there are several golf courses in the area, including two fast-play public courses within easy driving distance, the county officials say they believe the course would be a good fit. The area already has 11 18-hole golf courses, the Register reported.
“What’s interesting about this proposal, other than the fact that it’s actually a proposal to construct a new municipal golf facility, is that it is so clearly built on so many of the principles the golf industry has determined as those capable of attracting an audience that is more interested in shorter, faster, more entertaining, more price sensitive, and more focused than a traditional 18-hole championship golf course (such as the) standard country-club-for-a-day facilities,” said Craig Kessler, director of Governmental Affairs for the Southern California Golf Association.
Supervisors voted unanimously September 26 to approve lease negotiations with Chapman & Associates over TAIT and Associates in Santa Ana. The county started accepting proposals about a year ago. No start or completion date has been announced, the Register reported.
TAIT had proposed a links-style golf course with a driving range, public walking trails, outdoor beer garden/recreation area, banquet facility, boutique hotel and spa, and four-star restaurant, the Register reported.
Kessler said that proposal aligned more closely to the “country-club-for-a-day” facility than a customer-friendly approach geared toward fast play and lower greens fees, the Register reported.
“The proposal that this one was selected over was precisely the latter—an 18-hole links course (with) more traditional appurtenances, which would have duplicated much of what many other daily fee facilities on Orange County’s Gold Coast already offer,” Kessler said. “The selected proposal brings something different, and that aspect along with the affluence of the local community may have been what made it more appealing.”
But not all who work in golf are convinced the idea is a good one, the Register reported.
“I say good luck to them, because the golf business is tough right now,” said Keith Wyrick, Director of Golf at Newport Beach Golf Course, an 18-hole executive course in which the property on the front nine is privately owned and the land on the back nine is owned by the county, the Register reported.
Supervisor Todd Spitzer was critical of the plan, saying the area already has plenty of golf courses and demand for the game has been declining. Scott Mayer, the county’s Chief Real Estate Officer, told the supervisors that Chapman would take into account the fact that golf rounds are dwindling nationwide and a focus would be on fast play and corporate and private events, the Register reported.