appreciation for the wonderful transformation your restoration and design partnership has
brought to Berkeley Country Club. We have a “new” course, a new position in our market,
many new members and now, an enthusiasm and proprietary attitude among our members.
Your expertise and experience with restoration projects has brought character, artistry,
and a renewed standard of excellence to a classic course that will be played with pride by
our members for years to come. Many thanks for helping us realize our vision and
preserving Robert Hunter’s legacy.
In 2006 Forrest Richardson, together with Mark Fine, began what would become a remarkable journey. The restoration of the original Berkeley Country Club, founded in 1920 by Robert Hunter during his early days teaching at the University of California.
Hunter had enlisted Willie Watson to draw his vision for Berkeley. Watson had some obvious design input, working with Hunter to get the vision for the new club on paper and ready for the founding members to move forward. But, until Richardson and Fine began their historical research, it remained Watson who had received the majority of credit for the design. The research showed, however, that it was Hunter who actually crafted the layout and imagined each of the holes cascading across the ridges and valleys of this remarkable setting. In several newspaper clippings before and after the opening, Hunter is more than once described as “the designer” of the new Bay Area course in the hills high above the town of Berkeley.
In all, 19 greens were restored, 44 bunkers returned to their classic design and shapes, and a program of new tees, tree management and turf reduction was brought together for the final result. All, remarkably, carried out within 170 days from start of construction to finish.
The process for restoring Berkeley Country Club began four years earlier, establishing an approach and careful measures to preserve the green surfaces and nuances that were so loved by the members. Our work involved a process where members weighed in on the course with pros and cons of the conditions, strategy and future directions. From that point began the process of preparing a detailed historical overview and master plan. This was ultimately adopted by the club by formal vote and measure.
Scope: Historical Research, Club Workshops, As-built Documentation (greens laser mapping), Master Planning, Master Plan Packaging & Presentation, Budgeting, Construction Documents, Construction Observation Services
Budget: $2.7 million USD
Completion: Restoration Completed 2010
Address: 7901 Cutting Boulevard, El Cerrito, California 94530