Pruneridge Golf Club, 400 N. Saratoga Ave., Santa Clara, has gotten a makeover during the past year. The nine-hole golf course complex is benefitting from an influx of resources and attention from its new management company, Touchstone Golf, which took over the club June 1, 2016.
On a June morning a year later in 2017, golfers practiced their drives from the mats at the renovated hitting range. A unique challenge is to hit and ring an original Mission bell–like the ones that once lined El Camino Real–that stands tall 150 yards out.
The covered, two-level hitting bay sports a fresh coat of paint and inspirational quotes pertaining to golf–and life–on the club house wall behind the bay.
“The more I practice, the luckier I get,” by South African golfer Gary Player, is the favorite quote of Michelle Driver, Pruneridge Golf Club’s appropriately named general manager, also from South Africa.
“The new management company brought more expertise and more experience to the club,” said Driver, who has been at Pruneridge for 10 years.
In other facility improvements, the four-acre, dirt driving range was sodded with drought-tolerant Bermuda grass kept green with reclaimed water from the City of Santa Clara. Dim night lighting was upgraded to add brightness. Trees were trimmed, and the overall grounds maintenance was improved.
“We saw tremendous potential to enhance Pruneridge’s reputation as a community asset,” said Mark Luthman, Executive Vice President & COO of Touchstone Golf. “It’s this beautiful jewel right in the middle of Silicon Valley.”
Luthman, from San Jose, got his start in golf at Pruneridge Golf Club. When he was nine, his dad brought him there to play his first game. Flash forward to May 2017. Luthman brought his eight-year-old son, Eddie, to the course to play his own first round of golf.
“Our vision is for non-golfers, as well as golfers, to come here and enjoy free time,” said Luthman.
Snacks, breakfast and lunch are available at St. Andrews Grill. The next club improvement, already in the design stage, is a new indoor grill looking out at the barbecue patio.
“People enjoy sitting outside on the patio and having a beer,” said Driver. “The gardens are pretty. Come relax and enjoy the pleasant, family environment.”
June 6, the all-women Tuesday Toppers had lunch on the patio after their weekly round of golf on the U-shaped course. Santa Clara resident Arlene Rusche, a long-time Tuesday Topper, hasn’t been playing golf lately but still comes to socialize.
“Golf is such a social event. You play with four and come in and have lunch with others,” said Rusche, adding, “Carts would help older people.”
“Golfing here is like a walk in the park. Even if you’re a really good golfer, it’s a nice walk,” said Rusche. “You see squirrels and birds. It’s very quiet other than San Tomas traffic.”
Pruneridge Golf Club, which borders San Tomas Expressway on one side, has two putting greens, a grass (as well as the mat) driving range, a pro shop, five pro instructors, TV monitors for swing analysis, golf club fitting and repair services, loaner clubs, programs for all ages and skill levels and, said Luthman, reasonable fees.
The junior program offers summer golf camps June 27-30, July 11-14, July 25-28 and August 1-4. Footgolf (a combination of soccer and golf) can be played 2-3 p.m. daily.
“Some sports can be intimidating for those with no experience because of the equipment and jargon,” said Luthman. “We are the opposite of that. Here, everybody will be welcomed with open arms. We’ll point them in the right direction and help them.”
“We do everything to encourage people to play,” said Driver.
Visit www.pruneridgegolfclub.com or call (408) 248-4424 for information.
Touchstone Golf, a nation-wide golf course management company overseeing 34 courses, also manages the courses at Shoreline (Mountain View), the Presidio (San Francisco), Lake Chabot (Oakland) and Redwood Canyon (Castro Valley).