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Sport Photos: Refreshed CordeValle offers big and bold California experience

14:35  10 june  2021
14:35  10 june  2021 Source:   golfweek.com

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California is big, bold and beautiful. And while not everyone wants to live there, it seems almost everyone wants to visit. For golfers who want the quintessential California experience, CordeValle delivers.

The 1700-acre golf club and boutique resort, located in San Martin about 30 minutes south of San Jose, offers 18 holes of golf, 49 luxurious suites, tennis, bocce, pool, two restaurants, meeting and banquet rooms, a spa and access to the adjacent Clos LaChance Winery.

The course opened in 1999 with a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design that plays through an oak-dotted valley surrounded by golden foothills. It ranks No. 7 in California on Golfweek’s Best Courses You Can Play list for public-access layouts, is No. 52 among all resort courses in the U.S. and is tied for No. 69 among all public-access layouts in the U.S.

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Like California, everything about the course is big and bold. The bunkers are enormous, flashed and ornate. The shaping of fairways, greens and surrounds is sharp and dramatic. There are acres and acres of lush green rough between holes. Miles of concrete cart paths are hidden by an elaborate series of mounds and planted trees.

First-time guests are likely to be drawn to the holes that climb into and descend from the foothills (Nos. 6-9 and 13-17) that afford long views across the property. With multiple plays, one will learn where to miss and how best to score. Moving the ball left to right is one advantage, as 14 of the 18 holes set up well for a fade. It is a course fit for members but capable of challenging the game’s best. And it has – over the years CordeValle has hosted events run by each of the three primary golf organizations in the U.S.:

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2010 -2013 Fry’s.com Open (PGA Tour) 2011 and 2015 PGA Cup (PGA of America) 2013 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open (USGA) 2016 U.S. Women’s Open (USGA)

But as is the case with all courses, reinvestment over time is needed. In recent years the club decided that to be the best moving forward, it should look to the past.

Funded by owner Hasso Plattner (founder of SAP and owner of the San Jose Sharks) and guided by Jones Jr., the club has refreshed the course with the original vision as the guiding light. Tees have been leveled, original fairway lines restored, greens resurfaced with new Pure Distinction bent grass and fairways re-grassed with perennial ryegrass. The bunkers have been updated with new liners and Augusta-white sand, and supplemental irrigation was added for the bunker surrounds.

The results produce a technicolor experience of deep green grass and bright white bunkers contrasting the golden hills. It is an experience that saw membership sales increase by 40 percent in 2020 despite the extreme impact the Covid shutdown had on the resort side.

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The investments won’t stop there. The club is working on the practice facility and aims to re-grass the roughs with perennial ryegrass in the near future.

The club is taking the same approach with operations. After years affiliated with Rosewood Hotels, CordeValle has returned to its origins as a self-managed facility.

The team leading CordeValle is as diverse as the experience members and guests receive at the club. General manager Luca Rutigliano from Italy, general manager of club operations Lloyd Martindale from England and director of resort operations Marcel Eichenberger from Switzerland each worked around the world prior to settling in at CordeValle.

Recent golf improvements, an upcoming room renovation scheduled for next year and an engaging hospitality team have CordeValle positioned to offer members and guests a world-class California experience for years to come.

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