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Architect Andy Staples renovates San Vicente Golf Resort near San Diego


Architect Andy Staples has completed a renovation of the course at San Vicente Golf Resort in Ramona, California, with preview play open now for members and residents while the general public and resort guests can book tee times starting March 1.

Staples and his eponymous design firm renovated all the greens, sand bunkers and tees to increase strategy while providing what he called a unique style and aesthetic to the San Diego golf market.

“This was an incredible opportunity to work with a great owner and a very unique property,” Staples said in a media release announcing the completion of the project. “Our vision from the beginning was to take this course to another level in terms of design aesthetic, playability and, of course, fun. I think San Vicente’s members and guests are going to be blown away with the improvements.”

San Vicente Golf Resort in Ramona, California, after a renovation by Andy Staples in 2021 (Photos courtesy of Michael Gainey, PGA)

Staples said the primary goal was to upgrade the infrastructure of the greens and bunkers while increasing their maintenance efficiency. The new greens feature Pure Distinction bent grass, while the turf surrounds were sprigged with Santa Ana Bermuda grass. The sand bunkers now feature Capillary Concrete liners to improve conditioning and drainage. Staples said other objectives included greater diversity of teeing yardages, tree management and overall drainage improvements.

Long-time San Vicente course superintendent Pat Shannon helped complete the project before his retirement. Australian Ben McBride will take over in that role and is in charge of opening preparations for the course, which originally was designed by Ted Robinson in 1972.

San Vicente Golf Resort in Ramona, California, after a renovation by Andy Staples in 2021 (Photos courtesy of Michael Gainey, PGA)

“I love what Andy has done in terms of how the new green complexes blend seamlessly into their surroundings,” McBride said in the media release. “It’s very similar to courses in my native Australia where short grass not only plays an integral role in how the course is presented for daily play, but how important it is for the design to match the maintenance regimen. I can tell you this will be a pretty unique look for this area.”

Staples said his other current projects include numerous master planning projects such as Olympia Fields Country Club in suburban Chicago, Mount Bruno Country Club in Montreal and the reimagined Squire Course at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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