Bunker renovation project enhances golf experience for all players
Located only 30 miles east of downtown San Francisco, The Bridges Golf Club in San Ramon is a course players of all abilities should add to their Bay Area rotation.
The Bridges, a semi-private facility, was designed by Robert Muir Graves and Damian Pascuzzo and debuted in 1999. The course quickly earned a well-deserved reputation for providing superior conditions amidst the beautifully landscaped hillsides, sloping fairways, and innovative design. Now, with an extensive bunker renovation project complete, The Bridges offers enhanced playability and increased strategic options from tee to green.
Under the management of KemperSports, The Bridges set out to improve the drainage and maintenance of the bunkers in early 2013. Each bunker was reshaped, outfitted with new drainage pipes and a state of the art bunker liner, and filled with new sand. In addition to the maintenance aspects of the project, the re-crafted bunkers were designed to allow for greater playability and access.
The bunker renovation was completed under the direction of Bay Area golf course architect Jay Blasi. Prior to starting his own firm, Jay Blasi Design, Blasi spent 11 years with the Robert Trent Jones II design group, where he played a major role in the design of Chambers Bay, site of the 2015 U.S. Open Championship. While most of the bunkers were re-crafted in place, Blasi aimed to improve playability and add interest by the strategic shifting and relocation of a handful of bunkers, and the removal of more than two dozen others.
“The goal of making the course more fun and playable for most golfers without diminishing the challenge for scratch players can be difficult,” Blasi said. “But I believe the refinements to the bunkers (at The Bridges) have done just that.”
Now, in addition to the landscaped hillsides, views of hawks circling overhead, and the natural beauty of the ridges and valleys where The Bridges resides, players enjoy a complete golf experience, regardless of handicap or which set of tees they choose to play from.
In the clubhouse, players can review their round while overlooking six fairways from the indoor bar or the casual outdoor patio. The clubhouse also features the Mediterranean-style Garden Pavilion, a popular location for receptions, banquets, and other special events.
But golf is the focus at The Bridges, and the club recently opened the only TaylorMade Performance Lab in Northern California, adjacent to their stadium-lighted driving range and Practice Center. The TaylorMade Performance Lab (left) at The Bridges utilizes the same Motion Analysis Technology by TaylorMade (MAT-T) featured at the TaylorMade Kingdom in Carlsbad, where the Kingdom experience is not available to the general public. However, any golfer can take advantage of the TaylorMade Performance Lab at The Bridges Golf Club and come away with a complete understanding of why their golf ball does what it does.
The clubhouse, practice facility and the TaylorMade Performance Lab at The Bridges may be reason enough to visit the club in San Ramon … but the golf course is what will bring player back. Alister MacKenzie once belittled golfers who played in a “card and pencil” spirit as opposed to embracing golf with the “spirit of adventure.” The “spirit of adventure” is alive and well at The Bridges.
Are you up for it?
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