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Thomas Dai

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Building the course was easy, the politics of its development were the hard part.
Thoughts and tales?


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I'm almost reluctant to go there as it was so bad...gotta think about it


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The ongoing saga of the Coul Links project near Dornoch certainly fits the bill here.,71104.0.html 

If/when the course ever gets final approval, I suspect building the course will take much less time (and perhaps even cost less) than it took to be approved at the various levels of government. 
« Last Edit: June 03, 2023, 02:03:10 AM by David_Tepper »


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Entitlements and jurisdictional approvals... Once you have that, yes - it's usually comparatively easy.

Jeff Segol

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Renovation of Palo Alto Muni into what is now Baylands Golf Links. The renovation was required by a flood control project, and included federal funds for part of the renovation. When plans were ready for the golf course, my good friends (ahem!) at the California Department of Fish and Game wouldn't provide the permit, because they deemed the golf course renovation integral to the flood control project, and weren't convinced the flood control solution was the environmental best alternative. That delayed the course work by about a year, I would estimate. A further problem was the City Council's decision to require the project to provide 10 acres for soccer fields which the City has no money to complete. A third problem was the decision to take fill from Stanford, on a tight schedule. That all resulted in disruption Forrest Richardson's plans to redo the course nine holes at a time, which left the City with more than a year of a patched-together track of temporary greens, followed by a one-year course closure.

End result is green fees that ended up much higher than they used to be, or were promised to be when the renovation was first proposed. Frankly, the City would have lost its shirt (similar to SF and Harding), but for the boom caused by the pandemic. I mostly only play tournaments (I'm in the club there) since I live in San Jose. Really, the problem is needing to make up for the revenue lost during the rinky-dink course period prior to the closure, which was why the committee I was on begged the City Council to not do the soccer fields, and allow Forrest to do the nine-at-a-time renovation.


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I have had the experience a couple of times that what looked like a simple golf course to build was forbidden. 

St. Andrews Beach took about 3 months to build, but it took 3 years to get the deal done and then it went bankrupt almost immediately.

The site we looked at near Castlegregory, Ireland, looked like we could just mow out most of the holes, but it was under the EU's new Special Area of Conservation status, so even that was forbidden.

I've been at planning commission meetings where there were 100 picketers.  The best one was in Napa years ago, where one of the opponents did a video presentation set to John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads".  I never expected to see Napa County lovingly compared to West Virginia!


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