After more than three years renovating, Ty Warner’s vision is ready for its close up — and its spectacular
In its 101-year history, the Montecito Country Club has certainly experienced change, with renovations both big and small.
Nothing, however, compares to Ty Warner’s latest vision that comes to life today, when the club opens after more than three and a half years of a massive renovation project. It’s a makeover that includes a brand new Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course, a state-of-the-art fitness room, a restaurant and indoor-outdoor bar area that is nothing short of magnificent, and the main entrance, which is called The Great Room. It features rare Persian, hand-woven carpets covering the long-planked, old-growth oak floors.
Montecito Club also has four Rebound Ace championship tennis courts that are surrounded by ivy fences.
If there is something Mr. Warner didn’t think of when he recreated the historic venue — now known as the Montecito Club — it would probably come as a surprise to many. It’s elegant in every way. It’s a creative gem that also includes a Dolby Atmos movie theater, complete with 22 plum velvet reclining chairs. There is a bowling alley and first-class ballroom that could easily play host to most weddings and private functions.
Today, more than a decade after Mr. Warner had the vision for his new club, and after three and a half years of construction, it will open to the membership.
“It’s been a very exciting project since the start,” said Greg Villeneuve, who has overseen Mr. Warner’s local golf properties — which include Sandpiper and Rancho San Marcos — for many years. “We have an amazing membership base, and the investment Mr. Warner has put into the club is truly spectacular.
“Everyone who is here, from the project team to the new staff we have onboard, are very excited. Montecito Club is a primary club with most of our members living five to 10 miles away, and most primary clubs don’t offer this many exciting amenities.”
The golf course, which once hosted the likes of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby and scores of Major League Baseball greats who competed in charity tournaments, is a completely different layout.
It’s the creation of the Golden Bear.
“My goal was to create the best country club in the world,” Mr. Warner said in a statement. “The Montecito Club honors the legacy of the property and the game of golf while imparting a new, luxury standard that caters to multi-generations.
“This is a place where members can pursue individual passions and interests, and also connect with family members and friends in engaging, meaningful ways. We have combined the best of the best,” Mr. Warner concluded.
After winning a PGA Tour-record 18 major tournaments — including six Masters’ titles — Mr. Nicklaus has been one of the top golf course designers in the world.
He will address the Montecito Club membership on Saturday. Several of the members will tee off today, and those attending the appearance by Mr. Nicklaus on Saturday will have the opportunity to ask questions of the Hall of Famer.
“It’s going to be just like belonging to a new club, and getting a chance to hear Jack Nicklaus speak on Saturday will be an honor,” said Chris Gregoire, who has been a member for 33 years. “I’m looking forward to the new pool complex, the new gym, a world-class restaurant, a world-class golf course, and so much more.”
As for the golf course being a Jack Nicklaus’ design, Mr. Gregoire admits that he can’t wait to see the work of art today.
“Personally, every Jack Nicklaus’ course that I’ve ever played has been spectacular,” Mr. Gregoire said. “From what I can tell from the beautiful views the course and the club offer from many vantage points in Santa Barbara, I can honestly tell you that it will have been worth the wait.”
The golf course is an 18-hole, par-71 design that is 6,540 yards, and includes Monterey Cypress, Live Oak and Sycamore trees.
It has T1 Bentgrass greens, Santa Ana Bermuda grass fairways and tees, Augusta-white bunkers, Bandera Bermuda grass rough, Riparian grasses, as well as wetlands and wildflowers in native areas.
“Mr. Nicklaus was very involved throughout the entire project,” Mr. Villeneuve said, “and I am very confident the members will enjoy the golf course.”
Kelly Campbell, Montecito Club’s Membership and Communications Director, says memberships are available, including the Connoisseur Membership.
“The Connoisseur Membership is a full-golf membership at Montecito Club and a full membership at Coral Casino Beach and Cabana Club,” Mrs. Campbell said.
For more information on memberships, contact Kelly Campbell at (805) 395-8904, or email to email@example.com.