Lake of the Pines Case Study

Lake of the Pines: Updating a 50-Year Old Golf Course

Bringing flexibility and cost savings to a major course renovation

Located in the beautiful Sierra Nevada foothills of Northern California, Lake of the Pines is a 2,000 home private lakeside community with a private golf course that has been around for over 50 years. When General Manager, John Bowman was hired in 2016 the club had already set their sights on renovating their course and improving conditions. Golf course architect Forrest Richardson & Associates was engaged and had begun the planning and design process. Moreover, the club’s superintendent was moving on. Change was in the air. Rather than replace the superintendent, John began his search for a golf course maintenance partner to help navigate the renovation and get course conditions back on track. 

Fairway 6 at Lake of the Pines
The fairway on #6 at Lake of the Pines after reprogramming the irrigation system to resolve pressure problems.

New greens and new golf maintenance partner. 

Impressed with the team’s depth of knowledge, resources, and professionalism, the club selected BrightView Golf Maintenance as their first-ever outsourced golf course maintenance partner. Lake of the Pines needed a partner who could not only exclusively focus on and manage the golf course maintenance operation to improve conditions, but also ensure a successful grow-in of newly renovated greens and tees as well as provide input in a renovation planning process that would be implemented over several years. 

BrightView’s first task was to diagnose the problematic grow-in with the first renovated green, installed before they came onboard. In-house PhD agronomist at BrightView, Doctor Todd Bunnell, visited the site to assess conditions and develop a plan in collaboration with the superintendent, Ron Barts, and Area Director, Jonathan Moulton, that quickly turned around the green. Their plan addressed issues with the soil composition as well as temperature challenges with germination.

Finding cost savings for the golf course renovation.

Major golf course renovations are costly. Many times, it’s hard to know what expenses are worthwhile and necessary, and which could be postponed or deprioritized. Having a team of golf maintenance experts on hand to provide input proved helpful to the Lake of the Pines leadership team. BrightView reviewed design options and shared feedback on which designs would be more or less costly to maintain over time. They proposed solutions to reduce the cost of bunker renovations and they were able to reprogram a problematic zone in the irrigation system so the club no longer needed to replace it, saving upwards of $50 thousand. 

Recently renovated hole number 7 at Lake of the Pines
Recently renovated hole number 7 at Lake of the Pines

Planning for equipment upgrades and a more sustainable course.

The club’s golf course equipment was aging and leaders knew it was time to start thinking about replacing it. With a plan to continue to retain ownership of their equipment, they tapped BrightView for help with creating a timeline for phasing out old equipment and to identify what changes the club should consider as they purchased new equipment. BrightView delivered an equipment plan that listed all course equipment with replacement timelines and costs that the club could use as a roadmap going forward.

During the equipment planning process, the club shared their concern with the impact of weed control products on their lake, a beloved feature in their community. Based on BrightView’s experience helping courses operate more sustainably, they recommended a sprayer that would provide greater accuracy where inputs are sprayed and how much product is used. 

Lake of the Pines Cart Paths
Lake of the Pines members have expressed appreciation for the edge detailing along their cart paths.

Improved golf course conditions win over members and buys time. 

“BrightView was able to make conditions significantly better within their first six months and recommend quick course improvements like expanding our greens with a modified maintenance program rather than completely rebuilding them. Now, we can take a step back and do the renovation based on our schedule and available resources,” shared General Manager, John Bowman.

BrightView has addressed weed issues in the fairways and greens, focused on detail work, and they’re contributing valuable recommendations to the club’s long-range planning and golf course renovation. The improvements and recommendations have made a difference, increasing member satisfaction to a level that reduced the sense of urgency for the renovation. Now, Lake of the Pines can chip away at their course renovation as funds are available or they have the ability to invest in other areas at their club.

Outstanding Golf Course Maintenance

You set the standard, we make it happen. We’re laser-focused on continuously refining the science, technology, and operations of golf course maintenance so we can bring our clients a competitive advantage and a course their players are proud of.