On the afternoon of July 22nd, a brush fire started near Robinson Ranch that a day later would hit the course and burn up its back nine, causing the course and clubhouse to close.
The extensive damage prompted a course renovation, but the club is also undergoing a renovation of its restaurant, clubhouse and golf shop while closed. The new restaurant is due to open in October with the course hopefully opening by the end of the year.
While the circumstances of the renovation are unfortunate, the opportunity it presents is for a new and improved Robinson Ranch that’s able to provide a re-invented and re-branded experience to its golfers and guests.
To keep you in the loop about the renovation, we’ve prepared this FAQ to answer your inquiries about the renovation. We hope this addresses your curiosity about the project, and we appreciate your inquiries and support during this challenging yet exciting time of change for the club.
In this FAQ, Robinson Ranch Head Golf Professional Mark Kagaoan answers your questions about the fire and renovation.
How did the fire start? How much of the course was impacted by the fire?
It started as a brush fire near our driving range at 2:14 on July 22nd. It was going in the opposite direction (from the course), but the next day wind changed and took it back in our direction and it took over our whole back nine. It’s hard to believe that little bush turned into all those many acres.
What does a desert-style renovation mean?
It’s like the turf reduction some courses undertook last year due to the drought. We’ll have green tee boxes, green fairways and green chipping areas and greens. Then it’ll be desert-scape and decomposed granite waste bunkers. We’ll also introduce lots of desert plants, including cactus. And we’re re-sodding the areas that need to be sodded.
The community needs this. We’re the only public championship golf course in Santa Clarita.
What’s the status of the renovation?
We lost a lot of tree cover and we’re just starting to replant trees. Between landscaping and construction, there’s a lot to do, but we’re hoping to open by the end of the year.
Will the renovation make the course harder?
We’ve always been a tough track because the fairways are really narrow, but the back nine has actually opened up now. You can hit it and spray now, but you’ll be in the waste area.
It’s going to remain challenging, but we’re also going to make some aspects easier. The slopes going into the habitat area, for example, are going to be leveled off. We’re also leveling the fairways.
But you’re only open the Valley Course, right? The Mountain Course will remain closed?
Yes. We want to focus on giving people one great golf product.
How will having one course change Robinson Ranch as a tournament venue?
We were one of the biggest tournament facilities before because we had two golf courses. We’re going to do smaller tournaments now but we’re still going to push to be one of the top options. We do tournaments really well and make it easy for tournament coordinators and committees. Our guys know exactly what they’re doing.
What changes are you making to the driving range?
We’re doing solar on property and going to put the panels over the mats driving range so we’ll be the only shaded driving range for 20 miles. We are also re-grading the range and adding actual turf.
The new restaurant will open in October. What will the new concept look like?
We’re going to make the patio a more functional restaurant and partially enclose it with a grass windscreen. We’re replacing the old furniture with all new furniture and replacing all the carpet as well in addition to re-painting the entire clubhouse.
What’s happening to the old furniture?
We want the community to come take it. We’re giving away tables, chairs, etc., and the community is welcome to come get it.
What’s happening to the golf shop?
We’re re-stocking with all new merchandise. We’re looking forward to people coming to shop with us again soon.
What’s the overall intent of the renovation?
This opportunity is a blessing in disguise. Our owner is putting insurance money and capital into this project to do some re-branding and put the wow factor back into Robinson Ranch.
If you questions about the renovation, you can contact Mark at email@example.com. Follow our Facebook page for continued updates about the progress of the renovation.