Brentwood Country Club, Los Angeles, Calif., celebrates the completion of its newly-refurbished course, renovated by California-based Todd Eckenrode, ASGCA, and Origins Golf Design. Through Eckenrode’s work, Brentwood Country Club now employs a captivating look and sensibility, enhancing the overall golf experience for club members and their guests while also reducing water usage.
The renovation of this classic course includes the rebuilding and shaping of four greens plus slight adjustments on all other greens capturing additional hole locations, rebuilding green surrounds and reconfiguring approach areas-with a return to the original strategy which is more receptive to “run-up” approach shots and the ground game. Bunkers now reflect a more classic styling and placement – most repositioned strategically throughout the course. In the process, the course has been lengthened to 6,948 yards.
“Through collaboration with the club and its green committee we were able to develop a compelling yet ecologically-efficient design plan which included everything from converting green surfaces from Poa to Bentgrass to incorporating a well thought-out tree removal program,” Eckenrode said. “We were able to reduce formal turf areas, replacing them with a variety of effective solutions for reducing water use, such as drought- tolerant landscaping, pine straw or mulch under mature tree groves. There were also large sections of the course that were converted from manicured turf to drought-tolerant hardy fescues. The members are excited about the new playing experience, which is gratifying to our design team.”
The classic course now boasts increased visual and ecological enhancements trailing into a rustic canyon setting- achieved through the removal of non-native trees and shrubs replaced with native specimens (California Sycamores and Oaks) highlighted by the whispy, natural character of the fescue understory. The canyon (which prior to the renovation was a golf ball-eating nightmare plus a significant maintenance challenge) is now a natural and esthetically attractive feature that creates a common thread throughout the golf course.
The restored canyon now enhances seven of the course’s holes and serve as a stunning backdrop for other holes-creating a memorable identity that was lacking prior to Origin’s course renovation work.
According to General Manager Daniel Enzler, the membership at Brentwood Country Club loves the “new” course evidenced by the positive feedback he continues to receive. “Members are enjoying a wider variety of pin positions as well as a series of newly refurbished bunkers.”
Brentwood Country Club is embracing its environmental stewardship and the economic benefits of reduced water usage and the improved maintainability of the course in general. The successful renovation creates a stronger, revitalized membership and is expected to attract new members.
Teaming with Todd Eckenrode?Origins Golf Design were golf course contractors Landscapes Unlimited/Christensen Irrigation, long-time course superintendent Robert “Bob” O’Connell and his capable staff, irrigation consultants Bryant Taylor Gordon and independent shapers led by Kye Goalby and Blake Conant with help from Brian Caesar and Tony Russell- the shapers- hand-picked for their talent by Eckenrode himself.
“Working with Todd Eckenrode and Origins Golf Design’s talented Senior Designer Andy Frank, was a phenomenal experience,” said PGA Head Golf Professional Patrick Casey. “Origin’s vision for the renovation exceeded our expectations, it was masterfully achieved while maintaining the integrity of the course every step of the way.”
Thomas Klein, Co-Chair of Brentwood CC’s Green Committee, probably expressed the Club’s feeling best. “Working with Todd has been a great experience,” Klein said. “He has a strong, clear point of view but is never imposing. He listens closely and he cares, a great combination. What I really appreciate about Todd is his sense of classic old-school golf design. Todd is a classicist with a keen artistic eye.”
In addition to the renovation at Brentwood Country Club, Origins design portfolio includes restoration and/or renovation projects at Palos Verdes Golf Club (Palos Verdes, California), Lakeside Golf Club (Toluca Lake, California), and recently completed Quail Lodge & Golf Club (Carmel, California). Origins has commenced work on renovations and restorations at historic clubs: Virginia CC (Long Beach, California), San Gabriel CC (San Gabriel, California) and Orinda CC (Orinda, California), and is celebrating the recent opening of a magnificent new course, The Country Club at The Golden Nugget (Lake Charles, Louisiana).