Chuck Corica Golf Complex

Novato high school senior Miguel Delgado broke away from a four-way tie atop the leader board entering Sunday's final round to win the Alameda Commuters Tournament by three strokes.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your Alameda news in brief. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.

As a two-time performer at Carnegie Hall, former honors soloist for the Colorado and Stanford Suzuki Institute, and second-place winner of the 2014 American Protégé Competition for Piano and Strings, Alameda cellist Isabelle Brown-Lyden has the resume of a professional – and she’s just 12 years old. Brown-Lyden started playing when she was 4 and performing when she was 5.

Youth movement and low scores prevailed in Alameda Commuters golf action this past weekend. The Commuters tournament teed off Saturday at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex with 220 of the best amateur golfers in Northern California.

Thoughts of a drought may have been put on hold during this weekend's rainstorms. But now that the clouds have cleared, authorities are again urging Californians to conserve water.

Greenway Golf kicked off a $6.7 million overhaul of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex last week, which started with turf removal and grading at the Lucious Bateman driving range. Photos courtesy of Rose Agracewicz, Greenway Golf.

The Chuck Corica Golf Complex’s driving range closed on Monday – but that’s good news. Renovations at the 86-year-old municipal golf complex have begun.

Renovations at the Lucious Bateman Driving Range, which will take an estimated four to six weeks depending on weather, are the start of a planned $6.7 million facelift for the golf complex. The renovations are to include a makeover for the Mif Albright short course and a $5.1 million redesign of the Jack Clark South Course that will turn it into a links-style course.

“People are enthusiastic that this time has finally come,” said Ken Campbell, chief operating officer for Greenway Golf, Chuck Corica’s new manager. “It’s fun seeing that excitement and enthusiasm around the club.”

Alameda’s City Council moved a step closer to hiring a professional operator to take over the Chuck Corica Golf Complex on Tuesday night, voting unanimously to introduce an ordinance that would make it so. The council is expected to approve a deal with Greenway Golf next week.

“I am more than excited,” City Councilman Doug deHaan said after moving to introduce the ordinance authorizing the deal, which has been five years in the making.

When the City Council contemplates a long-term lease deal that would put the Chuck Corica Golf Complex in the hands of a private operator, they’ll tread on ground that has been well worn by other Bay Area cities – to mixed results.

The City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to negotiate with Greenway Golf for a long-term lease at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex. A lease could be negotiated in 45 days and sent to the council for its approval.

The decision caps five years' worth of efforts to assess needed improvements for the golf complex and to find a long-term private operator to help pay for them, a timeline dotted with countless late-night meetings and a trail of twists, turns and outright reversals that divided golfers and inspired a ballot measure that could put more control of city parkland into voters' hands.

A vote by Council on May 15 to make Greenway Golf the long-term operator of the Chuck Corica Golf Complex is a vote for the future.

As both the national golf experts hired by the city and the city’s own leaders have recognized, ensuring that the golf complex will survive and flourish requires more than just an infrastructure fix such as the one proposed by KemperSports. Rather, a complete redesign of the Jack Clark south course is needed to sustain and increase future golf revenues and to minimize future drainage problems. And this is exactly what Greenway proposes to do.

Bob Blomberg got his first invitation to play in the Alameda Commuters Golf Tournament at the tender age of 15.

“I was scared to death,” Blomberg recalls.

But Blomberg, an Alameda native who started golfing at age 3 at the instigation of his father, said he had a few good rounds at the end of that tournament, beating golfers he revered. He went on to win the tournament six times and is now on the committee that runs it.

“Participating is wonderful. But winning it is really special, at your home,” Blomberg said.