Another course bites the dust—literally. Vandenburg Air Force Base’s Marshallia Ranch Golf Course is the latest California course to close because of the drought and the high cost of water in the state. Located on terrific terrain north of Santa Barbara, the little gem of a course, which has been popular with military golfers for nearly 60 years and public players since 2005, will cease operations tomorrow.
Water costs have risen to several hundred thousands of dollars a year, putting the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Fund in danger of going bankrupt. “I feel like I’m saying goodbye to a very dear friend,” Bill Prenot told the local ABC affiliate. “I’ve been playing this course since January of 1997 and it’s been my home course. This was the course I looked forward to playing every year, every weekend if possible and this is where a lot of friendships were formed and this is really where I cut my teeth on the game of golf.”
Marshallia joins a host of other California courses that have closed in recent years, including four L.A.-area courses, two Pete Dye designs at Lost Canyons, the Mountain Course at Robinson Ranch, and Empire Lakes. The drought has also forced courses in the Bay Area and Palm Springs to shut down.