Shortly after the 2009 financial crisis, the Rams Hill golf course became yet another victim of the crashing US economy; unable to continue operations, Rams Hill closed its doors to regroup and in doing so lost its only source of water.
From 2010 until 2014 the course had no source of water and the course became an empty shell of its former glory. During this time over 360 non-native trees died and the course literally joined the desert, lacking water, grass, or any means of sustenance.
In 2014, it was time… Through careful planning and thoughtful execution, Rams Hill secured ample irrigation water from 6 native wells – none of which are overdrawn. New seed was planted and Rams Hill invested in pure and perfect bentgrass greens. The native trees that survived without irrigation became celebrated centerpieces of the course.
Legendary architect and golf course designer Tom Fazio heartily embraced the blank canvas he was offered, “Golf courses should reflect the natural beauty of their environments…Rams Hill is one of the most amazing pieces of desert real estate I have ever been able to design.”
Tod Leonard, of the San Diego Union-Tribune said it best, when he wrote the following about the rebirth of Rams Hill:
The $22 million golf course was spectacular in every way – a beautiful, playable challenge. There were old-growth pine trees sprinkled among cactus and desert scrub brush. The holes rolled up and down in the hills, and the golf was fun, not tricked up – the bane of many desert courses. The views and scenery were as good as anything you get in the Coachella Valley…it’s a thrill to report that the golf course is back, once again named Rams Hill.
And this time, it’s a public course, so all golfers will have a chance to get a crack at a very special track.
“I’m standing here looking out at the first fairway and 18th green, and it’s gorgeous,” head pro Rick Sprouse, the former director of golf at the Borrego Springs Resort, said on the phone last week.
It’s in pristine condition now.
When Tod Leonard asked Bill Berkley about the commitment to restore Rams Hill to the premiere course that it is today, Berkley replied, “It’s just a very, very special place. If you play golf here, especially at dusk, and you look up at the shadows on the mountains, it’s such a beautiful backdrop. When I leave San Diego, I want to get out of the city and put that in my rear view mirror. Borrego gives you that. It’s those things, combined with a fabulous golf course that I think is one of the best in San Diego County.”