Palo Alto to reopen as Baylands, under OB Sports management

After a restoration, the Palo Alto Municipal Golf Course will reopen with a new name and a new manager — OB Sports Golf Management. 

The William F. Bell design is scheduled to re-open on May 26thas Baylands Golf Links, after a refresh by architect Forrest Richardson. The course has been closed since July 2016. 

"We are excited to be chosen to lead such a special endeavor, with an extremely bright future," said Phil Green, COO of OB Sports. "Every aspect of Baylands Golf Links has the potential to be best in class, and we look forward to working with the City of Palo Alto as we prepare to re-open this beautiful facility."

Founded in the mid 1950’s, the municipal course is operated by the City of Palo Alto as part of its Baylands Nature Preserve District, adjacent to the coastal land bordering Palo Alto along the San Francisco Bay. The San Fransisquito Creek, a historic waterway, runs along the course and is a major flood conveyance stream.

Construction began in mid-July 2016, with removal of most of the non-native trees throughout the golf course. Tree removal was mitigated through the planting of 300 new native trees on the reconfigured course, along with the planting of two acres of native bay ecosystem habitat in Byxbee Park.

The re-designed golf course will feature 55 acres of native Baylands vegetation and wetlands areas, a 40 percent reduction of managed turf areas, a 35 percent reduction of potable water use, and additional 10.5 acres added to the Baylands Athletic Center for future recreational use, and 7.4 acres of land converted into in-stream marshland terrace habitat within an expanded San Francisquito Creek for increased flood protection.

The site was recontoured using soil from the large on-site stockpile, which created an undulating landscape and elevated scenic views of the Baylands and San Francisco Bay that will enhance the golf experience.  The golf holes will be separated by large natural areas planted with wetlands plant species that improve habitat for birds and wildlife, and integrate the golf course into its Baylands setting.

"The new Baylands Golf Links includes a more environmentally-sensitive design, and a more exciting golf course to play,”  said Rob de Geus, Deputy City Manager. “We believe these characteristics will make Baylands stand out in a competitive regional golf market, while still allowing for a much more efficient use of park land."

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