Blackberry Farm is a community, public 9-hole course located in Cupertino, California. The original design was created by Robert Muir Graves in the late 1960s. Blackberry Farm is set within the Stevens Creek Riparian Area, a valley with the urban area of Cupertino.
Beginning in 2014 Forrest Richardson has worked with the community on approaches to transform the course into a new idea — one with less turf footprint, and more association to the environment of Stevens Creek that runs alongside the course. According to Forrest Richardson, “The vision is to create a golf course where one has to ask, ‘is it a meadow that just happens to have a golf course, or is it a golf course that just happens to have a meadow?’”
Regardless, the statement expressed in the planning work has been one of sustainability, environmental stewardship and attention to the details that will eventually transform the course both physically and emotionally. Richardson’s master plan calls for the course to now be all par-3 holes with inner loops of holes that will allow people to enjoy all nine holes, or smaller does of 3, 5 or 7 hole configurations.
Anchoring the new clubhouse site, by noted clubhouse design consultant Brian Curtis, will be a large public putting course. “We have put forth a design where the huge putting green is part traditional golf and part miniature golf,” says Richardson. “The idea is that stone walls for sitting and watching, as well as old tree stumps and chocolate drop mounds of fluffy fescue grass will form individual putting holes for people to enjoy as sort of an obstacle course.”
The Public Green, as it has been named, is just part of the amenities planned for the new site. Digital, high-tech hitting bays and a large short game practice and training area will surround the new clubhouse. Planning is paving the way for eventual approvals aimed at integrating the new vision for the golf course to the overall open space planning for the Stevens Creek Corridor.