The deadly mudslides that hit Montecito, Calif. two weeks ago killed at least 21 people and have left one of the world’s most beautiful areas devastated. The Forecaddie has been monitoring news reports and can confirm that The Valley Club of Montecito, Alister MacKenzie and Robert Hunter’s masterful 1929 design, sustained major damage and could be out of commission for up to a year depending on how the winter unfolds.
The club’s general manager, Dan Mead, confirmed that the property remains off limits and within the mandatory evacuation zone. Mead said officials have reported that all four major bridges and irrigation lines were wiped out on the club’s creekside holes, while the eight holes in front of the clubhouse were not damaged.
The par-3 11th green is covered in 4 feet of mud and will need rebuilding, while the clogged creek running through the back nine will need major debris removal and stabilization work. Mead said the club is waiting out the winter and will regroup in April to seek permits to restore all bridges, lost irrigation and other course elements.
Here are some photos of the Valley Club, pre-flood:
Next-door neighbor Birnam Wood Golf Club is also within the mandatory evacuation zone and served as the base for California Fire’s Search and Rescue operations. According to one report, 39 stranded residents were rescued from the Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed private course by one National Guard crew.
A club employee said many of the members do not know the state of the course or their homes two weeks after the tragedy. It’s too soon to tell when they will be able to return homes or what they will find.