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HSV Balboa Project

by Cheri Nelson, September 8, 2019

The Balboa Project

The Balboa Project sounds like a movie title. Usually a science fiction film, but in this case, it’s more a comedy of errors type film and yet no one is laughing. 

History of the Project

The Balboa Golf Course and Balboa Clubhouse were originally developed in the late 1980s by our developer Mr. Cooper. Some say the clubhouse was built cheaply. I don’t know since I wasn’t here then, but what is known is that for the last 14 years there has been a push to renovate the course. Money was actually set aside to do so, but as so often happens with governmental entities, the money was appropriated and used on another project.  So here we are, 14 years later, still trying to decide what to do.


At the August Board of Directors meeting, we were presented with a proposal by our CEO and staff for how to move forward with the renovations of both the clubhouse and the course.  Per their recommendations, we need to quickly confirm the proposal and move forward with killing all the grass on the course.  This needs to be done immediately before the grass goes dormant for the winter, and then proceed with the replacement of the irrigation. Then next spring, reseed with expensive bentgrass.   Sounds wonderful, beautiful when finished. But there are a couple of problems with doing this extensive renovation now. We must at the same time decide to either tear down the current facility, replacing it with a much smaller venue, or try to renovate the current facility. Not only is there an exorbitant cost for this project, but we would also likely be losing the use of one of our premier courses at the worst possible time.  

Balboa Clubhouse and Cart Barn Slideshow

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Balboa Clubhouse Restoration Project 1
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Villagers’ Concerns

I don’t believe anyone is against renovating the Balboa Clubhouse and Course.  Much like the swimming pool project, what concerns most of the Villagers is how we will pay for such an expensive project, roughly 7 million dollars. Another significant concern would be that next year 2020 is the celebration of the Village being in existence for 50 years.   Do we really want to take one of our premier courses offline at a time when we want to promote the Village and our golf courses?

Alternative Solutions

Why not make this a 2-year or even a 3-year project?  Over the fall of this year we could determine the structural integrity of the clubhouse and replace the cart paths throughout the course, and in the winter of 2020 do the new roof and painting inside and out, if the facility is determined to be structurally sound.   Then after our 50th-year celebration, in the fall of 2020 and winter of 2021, we could kill off the grass and complete the irrigation replacement.  We could even extend the renovations over 2 seasons by doing the front 9 holes the first year, and the back 9 holes the following season, thus allowing play to continue on the course creating at least some revenue.  I for one would not want this building torn down if it is structurally sound and could be saved.  We would then have the opportunity to consider many innovative ways to use the upper floor.  We wouldn’t be draining our coffers as significantly by spreading the work over an extended period of time, thus reducing the concerns of the Villagers who have to actually pay for this project.

Balboa Course Slideshow

HSV Balboa Golf Course Restoration 1
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by Cheri Nelson, September 8, 2019

Photography by Joe Dowden

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