The City of Alameda continues their strong heritage of public golf with the unveiling of the new Corica Park South Course on June 22, 2018.
The grand opening is the culmination of a three year project under the design hand of famed golf architect Rees Jones in collaboration with Greenway Golf Chief Agromomist Marc Logan. The new South Course will be one of the nation’s most environmentally friendly public facilities, while offering golfers an affordable chance to experience design elements of the renowned courses of Logan’s home country Australia, like Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath.
The South Course is a walkable, world-class layout with a public course fee structure. Jones’ vision was to provide golfers ample landing areas off the tee, and a variety of ways to approach any green. Even shorter hitters will be rewarded with a short birdie putt if they use their imagination to roll their approach shots through the contoured openings in front of most greens. A well-honed “ground game” will save strokes on shorter shots around the green as well.
The Corica Park South Course was also built to withstand California’s weather extremes. Much of the investment was at the engineering level. For example, Logan and his team installed new drainage (25 miles of pipe worth); a high-tech irrigation system, plus 6-7” of sand capping on each fairway to ensure that the course is dry under foot following even the heaviest of rains. Cart paths include recycled glass, whille the bunker liners are recycled turf from local football fields.
Drought-tolerant strains of Bermuda grass on the fairways reduce the amount of water required, while closely-mown areas around the greens and “run-up” ramps will give Corica Park an old school design aesthetic not previously seen in California.
Today’s golf executives shy away from discussions of “signature holes.” But Greenway Golf’s CEO George Kelley — a former Australian Tour player — loves a short par-4, and there are several on the South Course that have him beaming, especially the 8th.
“It’s easy to design a great long hole,” he said. “But it’s really hard to design a great short one. I think this is one we’ll all be really proud of.”
South Course architect Rees Jones was receptive to ideas about the new design. When Kelley pointed out spots he thought a bunker made sense, Jones agreed and designed them in. “If you get in them,” joked Jones to Kelley during an early course walkthrough, “it’s your fault, not mine.”