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Montecito Country Club Golf Course Closes for Renovations

Clubhouse will remain open until January 2016, when it too will see upgrades

The Montecito Country Club will close for about a year while the golf course and clubhouse are renovated.
The Montecito Country Club will close for about a year while the golf course and clubhouse are renovated. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Regulars at Montecito Country Club’s Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course this week played their last round of golf for at least a year as the green prepares for renovation.

Preliminary construction and demolition begins on the course next week — a long-anticipated course redesign that’s expected to be complete in early 2017.

The clubhouse itself will remain open to members and events through the end of 2015, closing sometime in January to undergo a transformation of its own, said Bill Medel, project development manager for Ty Warner Hotels & Resorts.

Santa Barbara mogul Ty Warner of Beanie Baby fame owns the private country club, along with the Coral Casino, the Four Seasons Biltmore and Goleta’s Sandpiper Golf Course, which is where the club is directing members to play in the meantime.

Warner is also directing club golfers to his Rancho San Marcos course off Highway 154.

“It’s going to be one of the finest clubs in Southern California,” Medel said of changes to the Montecito Country Club, which was originally built in the 1920s.

Upgrades designed by Nicklaus Design, the global golf course design firm founded by golf icon Jack Nicklaus, are supposed to significantly improve the club’s efforts to conserve water during an ongoing drought.

The Montecito Country Club will close for about a year while the golf course and clubhouse are renovated. Click to view larger
The Montecito Country Club will close for about a year while the golf course and clubhouse are renovated. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

A new state-of-the-art irrigation system — reducing irrigated turf from 95 to 75 acre feet of water — and more drought-resistant turf will be installed, along with efforts to convert existing potable water lines to recycled water lines for all landscaping.

Because of water-saving initiatives and reshaping of the course and sediment basins, Medel said the vast majority of storm water runoff would be collected, routed and treated before leaving the property.

Clubhouse changes include adding a new member event lawn, a golf cart storage building, updated parking lots, an upper maintenance facility and extensive landscaping. The club also plans to improve its pool complex with a family and lap pools.

All work is scheduled to end around the same time in early 2017.

Medel said club members have the option to defer monthly dues until completion, adding that Montecito Country Club was accepting new names for membership and reservations.

He said Nicklaus received initial entitlements to embark on renovations in 2009 but has since revised golf course plans and added clubhouse features — golf, tennis, swimming, dining and social amenities are already included — to be more “family friendly.”

Montecito Country Club is waiting for final permits to start interior and clubhouse work.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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