Omni La Costa Resort & Spa Carlsbad is starting a multi-million- dollar renovation of it Champions Course.
“We’re hoping that this will bring bigger events to the golf course,” said Randy Zupanski, managing director of the resort.
Omni Resorts won’t say what the renovation will cost but it will be the first of several improvements to the resort, including a reimagining of guest rooms.
“This is the start of something much bigger for the resort,” Zupanski said of the golf course renovation. “The primary driver of this is that we secured the NCAA finals for the men and women’s championships starting in 2024 for three years.”
The golf course work will be led by Hanse Golf Course Design, founded by golf architect Gil Hanse who also designed Fields Ranch East at the Omni PGA Frisco Resort in Frisco, Texas.
“The setting and surrounds of the Champions Course lend themselves to a golf experience that looks and feels authentic Southern California,” Hanse said. “Our design work will bring a bit more simplicity and elegance to course aesthetics.”
Kurt Alexander, president of Omni Hotels & Resorts, said that the renovation will make the Carlsbad golf course “one of the marquee courses available to the public in Southern California.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to kind of bring back the historic championship course and position it in today’s world for golf and actually put Carlsbad back on the map for golf like it was in our history,” Zupanski said.
Planned changes include the creation of a drivable par-four on the 11th hole, a repositioned green on the par 3 16th hole, and a par 5 on the 18th hole with a putting surface brought closer to an existing creek.
“Gil is not changing the map of the course or layout of the course. What he’s doing is reimagining some holes,” Zupanski said. “What he’s doing is really trying to set up the course so it would be better from match play for this NCAA championship
The course will play as a par-72 and have the flexibility to play from 4,300 yards to 7,500 yards.
“We want our course to be playable for everyone. It’s just that if you are a professional golfer, you’re going to be playing the back tees,” Zupanski said. “It’s being set up to be a more competitive course in today’s environment. The equipment changes over the years have made come of the older courses less challenging. People are hitting the ball farther. They’re better golfers.”
Plans also are to redo the resort’s golf practice area with a lengthened driving range and expanded short game area.
As part of the golf course renovation, the irrigation system will be updated.
“We’re removing some man-made ponds. They’re holding reclaimed water they’re not necessary,” Zupanski said.
Since the COVID pandemic, golf has become increasingly popular, according to Zupanski. “Before COVID, golf was on a downward trend. Through COVID and now, golf is on an upward trend.”
Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
Managing Director: Randy Zupansky
Notable: La Costa founder Merv Adelson discovered the land during a horse ride through the coastal foothills. When he arrived at the peak of a hill, he reportedly looked down upon the valley and a crystal-clear vision superimposed itself over the scene. Adelson then joined forces with partners Irwin Molasky and Allard Roen to bring his vision to life.