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Temecula Valley Golf Courses Help Save the Planet

Wednesday, February 14, 2024 11:00 AM by Norma Marlowe

Temecula Valley is a popular golf destination because of its beautiful landscapes, pleasant weather, and unique variety of courses that offer year-round challenges and opportunities for golfers at every level. Golf participation is on the rise, and its overall reach is estimated at 123 million people in 2023 – whether watching, playing, or interacting with the game. That’s up 30 percent since 2016, according to the National Golf Federation.

Two popular Temecula Valley courses, Journey at Pechanga and Temecula Creek Golf Club, have earned awards and accolades not only for being among the best in the country, but for operating with sustainability in mind. As a result, millions of gallons of water are saved, historical artifacts are preserved, and wildlife, butterflies, and other pollinators keep the ecosystem thriving.
"These courses offer not only epic scenery and a world-class golf experience; they are carefully managed with the environment in mind,” said Scott A. Wilson, President and CEO of Visit Temecula Valley “Golfers can play with purpose, knowing they are supporting organizations that are dedicated to preserving the beauty of our destination for generations to come."

Journey at Pechanga, an 18-hole championship golf course designed by Arthur Hills and Steve Forrest, was recently honored by NBC’s GolfPass Users & Reviewers as the Best Public California Golf Course in California. Built into the hillsides surrounding Pechanga Resort Casino, it is well-known for stunning views of the surrounding mountains, vineyards, and valleys. 

In terms of sustainability, Journey at Pechanga is one of the most ecologically and culturally sensitive courses in the country. Guests will see replica “kiicha” or houses, artifacts, and historical markers giving them a clear sense of the land on which they play. The operations team utilizes the most ecologically friendly practices available in modern golf course management. The terrain operates with 30 percent less grass than the California average and water used in irrigating the course is reclaimed and recycled, much of it from its two lakes. The fairways feature 100 percent Bermuda grass, which requires significantly less water.

Along with the Temecula Creek Inn, the Temecula Creek Golf Club won the California Lodging and Hotel Association’s “Good Earth Keeping” Award for their efforts in conservation through the last year. It has also earned a coveted “Places to Play” rating from Golf Digest. This course features three nine-hole layouts situated amongst the beautiful rolling hills and vineyards of Temecula Valley.

As part of its efforts in conservation, the Temecula Creek Golf Club recently redesigned 8,000 square feet in three separate areas of the golf course into Monarch butterfly habitats that include local wildflowers and milkweed. They removed 2.58 acres of turf and 12 Rainbird 700 series rotors (sprinklers), saving more than 6.5 million gallons of water per year. Just off the tee box of Hole 1 of the Oaks Course is the Temecula Creek Inn Chef’s Garden. One acre of produce and herbs is harvested for use in the restaurant and at their many catered events.

Author: Norma Marlowe