Diablo Grande’s Legends Course Closing Due to Drought
March 25, 2014
A Central Valley course has fallen victim to the drought.
According to the Modesto Bee, officials at Diablo Grande in Patterson announced last Friday that watering has stopped on the Legends Course, a popular 18-hole layout designed by Gene Sarazen and Jack Nicklaus, due to a lack of water.
The course will remain open through the next few weeks and close in April or May when it becomes more unplayable due to a lack of irrigation.
Diablo Grande’s less-esteemed Ranch Course, which sits at the luxury community’s gateway, will remain open.
“We all need to suck it up,” Bill Lindley, a resident told the Bee. “I’d much rather they cut off water to a golf course and give it to a farmer.”
Following the closure of the Legends Course, any tournaments that were booked for that venue will move to the Ranch Course.
“Each course has great qualities,” said Philip Cybert, CEO of Laurus Corp., which owns the project. “The Ranch Course is the gateway. The first thing you see is the Ranch Course, and neighbors urged Laurus to keep it open.”
Diablo Valley’s homes, vineyard and courses typically use 1,200 acre-feet of water each year, but will try to get by with one-third that amount in 2014, the Bee reported. Diablo Grande has no access to groundwater.
Thousands of farmers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta have been told to expect no irrigation water this year from two government-run networks of reservoirs and canals: the State Water Project and the federal government’s Central Valley Project.
In February, a new Sacramento Golf Industry Water Conservation Taskforce was created following a meeting in Folsom which featured golf industry representatives from the region, including superintendents, professionals, general managers, owners and irrigation industry experts. The objective of the taskforce, which parallels similar groups that already exist in Los Angeles, San Diego and the Coachella Valley, will be to establish communication lines between golf courses and regional water agencies.
It was at the initial Sacramento task force meeting that the possibility of closing one of Diablo Grande’s courses was discussed.
In what will be another closure, Ridgemark Golf and Country Club in Hollister (another two-course facility) will shut down 18 of its 36 holes courses on July 1.
Alex Kehriotis, president of JMK Investments, which owns Ridgemark, said the downsizing is due to financial reasons and the drought. Ridgemark’s water allotment had already been cut to a 50% minimum and is expected to be further reduced.
“The drought was the last straw,” Kehriotis said.
Instead of closing one course, Ridgemark is expected to take holes from both courses, merging them into a new 18.