As the first steps of a proposed 10-year master plan, the club’s Board has approved an $8.8 million golf course transformation in 2020/2021 that will include a new irrigation and well telemetry system, followed in 2023 by $2 million in clubhouse improvements, including a new outdoor dining terrace. Work on the course was originally scheduled for March, but “the coronavirus had other plans, which ended up being a blessing in disguise” as new funding was secured, says General Manager David Stocke. “We have pivoted, adjusted and pivoted again, but the show must go on!”
The Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo (Calif.) Country Club (SLOCC) previously approved two projects that were presented to the membership on October 8, 2019. The projects were reviewed during a 3-hour Town Hall Presentation under the banner of “Vision 2020: A Clear Path to the Future.”
“We had tremendous support after the Town Hall presentation and were ready to roll for a start date of March 15, 2020,” says General Manager, David Stocke, CCM. “However, the coronavirus had other plans, which ended up being a blessing in disguise for our membership.”
“Our 700 member families have thoroughly enjoyed the course and our modified, COVID-19 approved club activities despite the many challenges the pandemic has thrown at us over the past 8 months,” Stocke adds. “We have pivoted, adjusted and pivoted again with all our club’s best practices, but the show must go on! The members have been absolutely thrilled to see our plans move forward, funded by 1st Capital Bank out of the Monterey-Salinas area.”
The first project, which officially broke ground on September 28, 2020, will transform the golf course with over $8.8 million in improvements, including a brand new HDPE, two-wire RainBird irrigation system; a new driving range and short-game practice area; all-new bunkers; new square tee boxes; lake expansions with liners; greens expansions; natural barrancas; nursery greens, an indigenous tree program, and drilling new wells to protect the future of the club.
San Luis Obispo CC is working on the golf course renovation with renowned West Coast golf course architect, Todd Eckenrode, of Origins Golf Design and has selected Landscapes Unlimited, Inc. as the contractor. The same team has completed major course renovation projects in California at properties including Lakeside Golf Club, Brentwood Country Club, Hillcrest Country Club, and most recently, Diablo Country Club (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/diablo-cc-returns-to-the-golden-age/).
SLOCC also hired irrigation expert and designer Brent Harvey Consulting for its new state-of-the-art irrigation system to showcase new RainBird sprinkler technologies for all 161 acres. Brent Harvey Consulting recently finished projects at Torrey Pines South and Monterey Peninsula CC.
The new irrigation system and infrastructure will have a robust well transfer and telemetry system for existing wells, wastewater treatment center and reservoirs on club property. The club is also considering Hydro Engineering HCT to improve water quality and improved pump stations.
Prior to the pandemic, the SLOCC Board also approved plans for $2 million in clubhouse renovations, anticipated now in 2023. If the project gets wings it will include a new outdoor dining terrace, main entrance, and modernization of the club’s bar and lounge.
The Mediterranean-style clubhouse was built in 2000 and is primed for interior-design updates to enhance the member experience, including flooring, lighting, countertops, tables, chairs and a temperature-controlled wine room, according to Stocke.
Award-winning architect Erik Peterson, AIA, NCARB of PHX Architecture has been engaged for the future clubhouse project. Jerry Williams of JW Design & Construction, Inc. will lead the project as General Contractor and was the former builder in 2000.
SLOCC consulted with Eric Gregory, CCM, Executive Director of Club Benchmarking to create a 10-year capital strategies plan. The pro forma takes into consideration the club’s 20-year capital reserve study and future goals.
With the long-term financial plan in place, the Board has been able to consider future aspirational capital projects and the replacement of depreciating assets on a targeted schedule. SLOCC currently features world-class golf, a state-of-the-art, 5,550-sq. ft. Fitness Complex, Kids Activity Center, aquatics, two heated bocce courts, six lighted tennis courts, and pickleball.
“The first two projects [for the golf course and clubhouse] may be just the beginning of our master plan,” says Stocke, who became the club’s GM in 2017. “But they represent the highest priorities of what we are trying to accomplish in the coming years to stay at the top of our game and remain the premier golf and family club on the Central Coast of California. Anything else to improve our facilities and offerings to our membership would be a pure bonus.”
The SLOCC Board strategically decided to finance the first two projects with no assessment, Stocke notes, to keep attrition at a minimum and maintain the level of 700 family memberships enjoying all that the club has to offer. Dues have been increased to fund the projects proportionately for all categories and remain very reasonable at under $1,000 per month, for a Full Equity Golf member.
SLOCC has been a Distinguished Clubs Award recipient since 2012 and anticipates continued interest in new members joining, along with increased member activity following completion of the construction.
C+RB featured SLOCC as the cover story of its January 2014 issue (https://clubandresortbusiness.com/restoring-california-dream/)