The old Bolado Park Golf Club Clubhouse sits in ruins after being devastated by fire in January of 2006.

– After a year of wading through insurance company red tape,
Bolado Park Golf Club is about to begin rebuilding the clubhouse
destroyed by a blaze in January 2006.
Hollister – After a year of wading through insurance company red tape, Bolado Park Golf Club is about to begin rebuilding the clubhouse destroyed by a blaze in January 2006.

The Bolado Park Golf Club board of members will submit its clubhouse design to the 33rd Agricultural District grounds committee Wednesday, said Manny Gutierrez, a board member. If ap-proved by the committee, the plans would go to the full board of the ag district, which oversees the state-owned fairgrounds and the golf course at Bolado Park. From there, the plans would be sent to the state for final approval, Gutierrez said.

Much anticipation surrounds the building of the new clubhouse, which has since been replaced by a temporary trailer, clubhouse manager James Ferland said.

“That’s all anyone ever talks about,” Ferland said. “Everyone wants what we used to have.”

Dan Holt, the former general manager of the club and current member and arborist, said the club’s membership declined after the loss of the clubhouse.

“The loss of revenue is phenomenal,” Holt said. “You don’t really realize how much a clubhouse adds to a golf course until you lose one.”

At the time of the fire, the club had 275 members, Holt said. That number has dropped to 220, Ferland said.

“We used to have a four-, five-year waiting list for our cart stalls,” Holt said. “We have 15 open now.”

The club has also fallen on hard financial times.

Holt said yearly rates increased in April from $300 to $600 for a single member with a certificate, sold to original members when the club was founded. Yearly non-certificate single member fees have increased from $500 to $750, he said.

The $1.4 million insurance payout will not only cover the estimated $525,000 it will cost to build a new clubhouse, but will also pay for additional landscaping and course upgrades, Holt said.

Gutierrez said board members hope construction will start by the end of March. And since the grounds are owned by the state, the club will not have to deal with the permit process, Holt said.

The new clubhouse, which was designed by club member Rick Stanifer, will be placed on the same site as the original, which was built in 1950, Gutierrez said. It will include much of the old clubhouse’s features, with a bar, grill and lounge area on the second floor, and lockers for club members on the bottom floor, Gutierrez said.

The design will also feature an alcove for the starter’s box, allowing the starter to see the parking lot and first tee box, Gutierrez said. He said the exterior of the clubhouse will most likely be stucco and brick, a more modern look than the original.

Faulty electrical wiring caused the 2am blaze on Jan. 21, 2006, that destroyed the original clubhouse. Firefighters from the City of Hollister and the California Department of Forestry didn’t get the call to the course until almost an hour after the blaze began, when a passerby called emergency officials, authorities said.

The course was built in 1928, Holt said.

Michael Van Cassell covers public safety for the Free Lance. He can be reached at 831-637-5566 ext. 335 or [email protected].

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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