2013 was yet another impressive year for American Golf as we helped Los Verdes Golf Course capture LA County’s Golf Course of the Year award. This is the 4th straight year a course managed under AGC has come away with the award, including 11 of the last 14 years. 2013 was also a monumental year for Los Verdes, as the property underwent several improvements aimed at providing one of the finest golf experiences available anywhere in Southern California.
“We are absolutely honored to be a part of this award,” said AGC Chief Operating Officer Keith Brown. “We’ve been so fortunate to have such an outstanding staff up at Los Verdes, and the support from the county has been instrumental in helping the club get to the level it’s at today. We are very proud of all the work that has gone into the property over the last year, and we extend our deepest gratitude to the golfers who have embraced our changes in an effort to make Los Verdes better.”
The property has seen a major update over the last 12 months. Renovations to the back 9 started last fall and concluded in the spring. The front 9 improvements got underway and eventually concluded in late summer. Brown noted that several of the modifications were put in place to help the golf course keep up with modern technology.
“The course is such a classic that it becomes tough to try and change anything, but we recognized that some of the design elements and strategy were having difficulty keeping up with the modern game. Bottom line is that a lot of guys are hitting it well past where shots were originally designed to be played, so we had the challenge of maintaining the integrity of the golf course while helping it match up against modern equipment.”
Overall, the goal was to make the course more strategic for the lower handicapper and more playable for the higher handicapper. The short par 4 11th is a great example of this. Playing well downhill at around 300 yards, short and long hitters relished the chance for a birdie opportunity. However, with the addition of two new fairway bunkers roughly 50 yards in front the the green, the hole becomes much more of a risk/reward play.
The clubhouse also received a face lift with several interior design updates. “It’s such a spectacular location and view with so much demand. We felt like we had to make an upgrade to the facility so it reflected the market we serve on a continual basis,” said Jessica Cesta, who oversaw much of the interior design upgrades on behalf of American Golf. “The end result is a beautiful, clean space that matches the wonderful view.”
Bob Lockhart, General Manager of Los Verdes, has said the feedback from golfers has been tremendous. “Overall, they love everything we’ve done. I think they were a little nervous when we first started with the back 9, but once it was complete, they couldn’t wait to see how the front 9 would turn out. We’re so thankful for their support and feedback through the process, and we’re glad they’re enjoying the course more than ever.”
The 2013 Los Angeles County Course of the Year Award is great reflection of the work and dedication that has gone into Los Verdes for the past year, and American Golf has plans to continue improving the facility, including upgrades to the cart paths, turf, patio, and on-course restrooms.
“It’s nice to reflect and be proud of our efforts,” said Brown, “but we will continue to find ways to create better golfing experiences at all of our courses, especially within LA County. There are a lot of courses and organizations out there that could use some help in restoring their properties with a design refresh and maintaining their course operations going forward. We are excited about the opportunity to apply our knowledge of the industry to help these organizations run better facilities and provide a better experience for golfers around the country.”