Greenway Golf

Greenway Golf kicked off a $6.7 million overhaul of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex last week, which started with turf removal and grading at the Lucious Bateman driving range. Photos courtesy of Rose Agracewicz, Greenway Golf.

The Chuck Corica Golf Complex’s driving range closed on Monday – but that’s good news. Renovations at the 86-year-old municipal golf complex have begun.

Renovations at the Lucious Bateman Driving Range, which will take an estimated four to six weeks depending on weather, are the start of a planned $6.7 million facelift for the golf complex. The renovations are to include a makeover for the Mif Albright short course and a $5.1 million redesign of the Jack Clark South Course that will turn it into a links-style course.

“People are enthusiastic that this time has finally come,” said Ken Campbell, chief operating officer for Greenway Golf, Chuck Corica’s new manager. “It’s fun seeing that excitement and enthusiasm around the club.”

Alameda’s City Council moved a step closer to hiring a professional operator to take over the Chuck Corica Golf Complex on Tuesday night, voting unanimously to introduce an ordinance that would make it so. The council is expected to approve a deal with Greenway Golf next week.

“I am more than excited,” City Councilman Doug deHaan said after moving to introduce the ordinance authorizing the deal, which has been five years in the making.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to negotiate with Greenway Golf for a long-term lease at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex. A lease could be negotiated in 45 days and sent to the council for its approval.

The decision caps five years' worth of efforts to assess needed improvements for the golf complex and to find a long-term private operator to help pay for them, a timeline dotted with countless late-night meetings and a trail of twists, turns and outright reversals that divided golfers and inspired a ballot measure that could put more control of city parkland into voters' hands.

A vote by Council on May 15 to make Greenway Golf the long-term operator of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex is a vote for the future.

As both the national golf experts hired by the city and the city’s own leaders have recognized, ensuring that the golf complex will survive and flourish requires more than just an infrastructure fix such as the one proposed by KemperSports. Rather, a complete redesign of the Jack Clark south course is needed to sustain and increase future golf revenues and to minimize future drainage problems. And this is exactly what Greenway proposes to do.

Two candidates vying to operate the Chuck Corica Golf Course pitched their proposals at a City Council hearing Tuesday, causing one audience member to change her mind on the spot about which proposal she preferred. After hearing from the current interim course operator, KemperSports, and from Greenway Golf, Alamedan Karen Bey said she came to support Kemper but after hearing Greenway’s proposal she supported its plan instead.