JMP Golf Design Group‘s Brian Costello, ASGCA, integrated the requirements of numerous government agencies to turn what was once a cattle pasture into an upscale municipal golf course for the City of Pleasanton, Calif.

Callippe Preserve Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif.

Callippe Preserve Golf Club in Pleasanton, Calif.

Located approximately 45 minutes east of San Francisco, the 18-hole, par 72 Callippe Preserve Golf Course offers scenic views of majestic Mt. Diablo. But the 145-acre project proved to be a challenge because it runs along Happy Valley Creek and its main channel branches – a haven for several sensitive species including the federally endangered Callippe Silverspot Butterfly, which is the project’s namesake.

Costello met often with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, California Department of Fish and Game, California Regional Water Quality Control Board and the State Department of Health Services to integrate environmental requirements and the intended design concepts into a challenging, yet playable course with a sequence of unique and memorable golf holes. In total, more than 20 land management plans govern this cooperative land use project that includes the golf course, trail system, endangered species habitat, created wetlands and dedicated grazing land.

Some of these measures included acceptable stabilization and restoration measures applied to both recreated streams and existing creeks. During construction, the project team worked closely with Continental Golf, Inc., GCBAA, to avoid fenced-off sensitive undisturbed areas as well as adhere to the construction-stage “Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan.”

The design philosophy of avoidance, restoration and mitigation, combined with the application of best management practices during construction and post-construction allowed for a drainage watershed that reduced sedimentation and runoff and established new riparian habitats and wetland areas. The golf course was sensitively routed through this enhanced network of existing and recreated wetland channels, which not only added strategic value and interest to the golf experience, but contributed towards the goal of creating a successful and award-winning example of environmental stewardship.

Shortly after opening, Callippe Preserve Golf Course achieved Audubon International designation as a “Certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary” by demonstrating a high caliber of environmental dedication in areas such as environmental planning, wildlife and habitat management, outreach and education, chemical use reduction and safety, water conservation, and water quality management.

To read more about Brian Costello’s work on Callippe Preserve Golf Course take a look at the book An Environmental Approach to Golf Course Development by Bill Love, ASGCA.