The renovation to Los Robles Greens, a municipal golf course in Thousand Oaks, California, led by Dana Fry, ASGCA, and Jason Straka, ASGCA, (Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design) has resulted in an environmentally and economically sustainable golf course.

The renovation included more than 30 acres of golf course turf grass being removed, as well as a redesign of the existing irrigation system which will water remaining turf with greater efficiency, using less water. Upon maturity of the new landscaping areas, Los Robles Greens is projected to use 20 – 25 percent less water annually. The reduction in turf grass also translates into using less fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels to maintain the course.

While the amount of necessary inputs to maintain Los Robles Greens will be greatly reduced through the targeted turf reduction program, the masterful course redesign by Arcis Golf and Fry/Straka enhanced the ‘spirit’ of the course by designing widened fairways, removing water features, and the implementation of a naturalistic-style of bunkering that blends into the new environmental landscape setting.

Along with the turf removal, close to 40 acres was converted into native areas planted with over 35,000 selected California Native and drought resistant vegetation. During the renovation, new plantings were mulched with product made on-site by recycling over 10 years’ worth of green waste that had accumulated on property.

“The renovation of Los Robles Greens was very bold,” said Ed Easley, Senior Vice President, Construction of Arcis Golf. “We achieved the city’s goal and direction to transform the golf course into one that will require far less inputs of water, fertilizer, pesticides and fossil fuels, yet remain a thoroughly enjoyable and challenging layout.”

Much of the Los Robles renovation was patterned after the 2011 restoration of Pinehurst No. 2 in North Carolina. Members of the Los Robles team visited Pinehurst to gather information from the on-site staff about the intricacies of that renovation and project management, which then was applied to the work at Los Robles Greens.

Fry/Straka Global Golf Course Design was responsible for the overall golf course improvement plan.