Golf Course Management

APR 2019

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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30 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 04.19 Jason Cook would be among the first to admit that more than a few things had to fall into place for the renovation of the Co - rica Park South Course to be as successful as it was. "It was built to be a sustainable golf course that would last through generations," says Cook, Class A superintendent and 23-year GCSAA member who, along with Vinny Paul, serves as Corica Park's day-to-day super - intendent. "We were fortunate to have a lot of resources available to us." As a result of those resources — not to mention forethought, logistical coordination and tons of work on multiple fronts — the renovated South Course at Corica Park in Alameda, Calif., already is being hailed as a model for environmental stewardship within months of its June 2018 reopening after a 3½- year transformation project. In December, Golf magazine declared it the top municipal course renovation of 2018. Two months later, Audubon International and Ewing Irrigation and Landscape Supply presented Corica Park South and its management firm, Greenway Golf, with the first Water and Sustainability Innovation Award, which recognizes land - scape companies, organizations and munici- palities for sustainable, water-efficient projects. Corica has a storied history. e now-45- hole facility — which has had a few names over the years, including Alameda Municipal Golf Course; Chuck Corica Golf Complex, a moniker it took to honor the city's former mayor, in 1992; and its current name, after a rebranding in late 2017 — opened in 1927. William Park Bell designed the original 18- hole course, now known as the Earl Fry North Course, and Desmond Muirhead partially re - designed it in 1967. at course is undergoing its own renovation, nine holes at a time, with an eye toward full reopening in 2020. Bell's son, William Francis Bell, designed the Jack Clark South Course in 1957; it was partially redesigned by Robert Muir Graves in 1977. Greenway came on the scene in 2012 and signed a 40-year lease on the property — and quickly set about transforming it, from the driving range to the Mif Albright 9 par-3 course, which Golf.com in 2018 named one of the top 13 par-3s in the country. At least some of that earlier renovation work served as a laboratory of sorts for the South Course redo. Take, for instance, the South Course's grassing. e fairways were sprigged with Santa Ana bermudagrass in a nod to its drought tolerance. Greens are Pure Distinc - tion creeping bentgrass. Roughs are ryegrass, collars are Seaside II bentgrass, and bunker edges are Agrostis pallens, a cool-season bent - grass native to California. "For us, it wasn't a question," Cook says. "ere was no other direction for us to go from a grassing standpoint but to include drought-tolerant warm-season turfgrass as part of the renovation." Crucial to that plan's success was an intri - cate irrigation system that was designed to uti- lize its 2,729 golf heads and additional 2,486 low-precipitation sprinklers to target turf types specifically. Water use on the fairways is down 40 percent since the Santa Ana regrassing. "Anything we could design and install to limit our off-target water use was installed," Cook says. at turf sits atop another Corica oddity. Greenway took thousands of truckloads of inert fill — from regional construction, in - cluding excavation for a Bay Area Rapid Tran- sit tunnel — and built up the site to raise it above the water table, comply with regulations due to the course's location on an old landfill New-look California course already hailed for sustainability (environment) Andrew Hartsock ahartsock@gcsaa.org Twitter: @GCM_Magazine An innovative grass plan plays a big role in sustainability at the South Course at Corica Park in Alameda, Calif. That plan includes Agrostis pallens, a California-native bentgrass, seen here in the foreground surrounding the bunker complex of hole No. 6. Photo by Jason Cook and add contouring for the redesign by Rees Jones and associate Steve Weisser, in con - junction with Greenway's Marc Logan and George Kelley. at trucked-in fill had a large amount of dune sand, which, after soil import, rough shaping and subsequent drainage/irrigation installation, was used to cap the entire course. e sand helps in the course's water reclama - tion, speeds drainage and contributes to the course's Australian Sandbelt vibe. "Without that proximity and access (to the fill), the scale of the renovation and sustain - ability of its infrastructure would not have been as grand or successful," Cook says. e course was paid to take that fill, and it was able to take advantage of used synthetic turf, some of which was ripped out during the renovation of the Oakland Raiders' training complex. at second-hand turf — along with reutilized artificial liner from the range reno - vation — lines the South Course's bunkers. "ere were a lot of things that otherwise would have gone to the landfill," Cook says. Underneath it all is a massive water-har - vesting system that includes close to 690 catch basins, cart paths designed to help collect run - off and around 180,000 linear feet of drainage. All these efforts were designed with sus - tainability in mind, to reduce the use of in- puts while presenting a course that's entertain- ing, playable and capable of standing up to high traffic. It's all interwoven. e grassing plan wouldn't be possible without the irrigation, which wouldn't be possible without the water- harvesting system. And none of this would have been possible, Cook says, without Greenway and its vision. "A lot of things came together to make this possible," he says. "Hopefully this will stand as a model for what renovations can be." Andrew Hartsock is GCM 's managing editor.

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