The Montecito Country Club is getting a new green golf course and millions of dollars in renovations that will be completed by the end of 2017.
The change are becoming more visible to passersby who see the tan soil, mainly specially laid out sand, getting covered with rolls of green sod. It is low water use grass picked specifically for this project. The “greens” at each hole will have grass grown from seed.
After five years of drought, water use has been in the forefront of the design plan according to project manager Bill Medel with Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts. He says the project had high priorities for the environmental issues in the area. Medel is a veteran with local development projects and has worked with city officials on projects for over 25 years.
Standing on the lower end of the property, looking across the golf course to the country club building, he said, “It’s gone through many changes and each change it has gone through has been for the better,” said Medel. “We’re pretty excited about this.”
Golfing legend and course designer Jack Nicklaus has personally created the course with Santa Barbara in mind, along with the water concerns the community strives for. He has been to the site often during the ongoing development stages.
Irrigation is coming from a reclaimed facility nearby instead of fresh water from a well or other city supply line.
“In the drought situation, we have gone from 95 irrigated acres down to 75 irrigated acres.There is a state of the art irrigation system,” said Medel.
The facility can be seen from throughout the waterfront area on it’s location off Hot Springs Road where Santa Barbara and Montecito come together. “It’s is one of the iconic properties in all of Santa Barbara,” Medel said.
Some of the changes include native trees, and a wetland area near Old Coast Highway.
The golf course has a base of sand that will help with drainage on the property and water coming down from the nearby hills.
The completed course and the main building will be opened together in later 2017. While it is a membership club, the facility will be available for local non profit events.
For property owner Ty Warner, this facility is part of a trio of acclaimed local properties including the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore and the San Ysidro Ranch.