If you close your eyes and picture Northern California golf, the first images are likely of waves dancing around Stillwater Cove at Pebble Beach or stoic Monterey Cypress trees framing a foggy dogleg at Olympic Club. But George Kelley envisioned something totally different back in 2012 when his team at Greenway Golf beat out several national management groups for a 25-year lease at city-owned Corica Park Golf Course on the east side of the San Francisco Bay in Alameda, Calif.
“I had played professionally for a few years in Australia,” Kelley explained. “And I always thought the fast and firm turf conditions were far superior to what we had here. Curiously, there has never really been anyone in this area who followed the design of those Sandbelt golf courses. So we thought this opportunity was the perfect fit for that.”
The result of this daring plan has been a wild success story. Corica Park’s recently renovated South Course is a masterclass in challenging yet fair public golf, an Aussie-inspired venue where the 70,000 rounds pl...
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