On the heels of a community-driven selection process and unanimous Council approval, the City has partnered with Touchstone Golf LLC to protect, preserve, and revitalize Mill Valley’s historic and beloved 9-hole municipal Golf Course. Touchstone Golf is planning long-sought improvements that will fit well into the residential neighborhood and quiet natural environment, while improving playability, raising revenues, and enhancing the experience for golfers and non-golfers alike. Touchstone Golf has managed and operated golf courses for 17 years and currently operates 21 golf courses in California, including 11 owned by municipalities or other government entities.
“We look forward to enhancing the guest experience at the Mill Valley Golf Course by improving the golf course and expanding the food and beverage offerings. Mark Luthman, President of Touchstone Golf said. “The course has been a community jewel for 103 years and its future as a valued amenity for Mill Valley residents is bright.”
Here is an update on some of the improvements planned and in the works:
Physical Repairs and Upgrades
- Touchstone Golf plans to clean and paint the exterior of the Pro Shop after already cleaning and painting the interior and to create an expanded patio area for small group gatherings. There are also plans being developed for an expanded putting green further away from the Pro Shop.
- Touchstone Golf plans to move some existing seating and garbage/recycling areas to reduce noise to neighbors.
- Touchstone Golf has begun rebuilding most of the tee boxes on the course and plans to repair or replace some fences to shield cart and equipment storage areas from view.
- The City and Touchstone Golf are also evaluating additional infrastructure investments, including improved drainage and irrigation.
New Food Service
- Touchstone Golf has acquired a small commercial kitchen trailer, tastefully branded and wrapped to match the Pro Shop, which will be placed near the first tee.
- Golfers and other guests can enjoy a variety of food items such as breakfast burritos, burgers, sandwiches, and other food items that are typically sold at golf courses.
- The trailer has self-contained propane and will be connected to the property’s electric systems, and will not rely on a generator.
New Beverage Service
- Similar to most golf courses in the area, Touchstone Golf plans to offer a selection of non-alcoholic and alcoholic beverages and has applied for a liquor license. The Golf Course had a beer and wine license under the previous vendor.
- Beverages will be served as a “grab and go” service provided by the Pro Shop attendant for guests to take to the patio area. There are no plans for a “bar”.
Enhanced Experiences for Golfers and Non-Golfers
- Touchstone Golf plans to operate the course according to seasonal sunlight hours: dawn to dusk, with the pro-shop stopping beverage service before dark.
- There will be light atmospheric music in the Pro Shop audible only to the patio area.
“We are proud of the partnership with Touchstone Golf, the management agreement we developed together, and the many improvements in the works,” Director of Arts and Recreation Sean McGrew said.
“The agreement provides very clear guidance around customer relations, liquor licenses, compliance with local laws and codes, and operating hours,” he added. “We will carefully supervise the improvement plans and we are confident that all actions will be made in adherence to our existing agreement for the betterment of the community and the Golf Course. We look forward to future opportunities for everyone to join us in creating a stellar recreation facility that everyone can enjoy.”
The City has a track record of many successful public/private partnerships which provide mechanisms to secure private investment for revitalization efforts. The City plans to support infrastructure improvements with a combination of public and private funds with an overall goal of $1.7m over the next five years. The City will provide $825,000 in support with an initial contribution of $325,000, followed by an additional $500,000 over the five year agreement. Touchstone Golf has pledged a $50,000 contribution to support improvements to the Pro Shop, food and beverage service, outdoor gathering spaces, and artificial tee refurbishment.
Private support will account for the remaining $700,000, with $275,000 already donated and an additional $220,000 pledged..
Interested in donating? Click here.
Public Engagement and Input
The goal for all involved is to work together to create a Golf Course that is accessible, affordable, inclusive, environmentally responsible, multi-purpose, and financially stable.
As Touchstone Golf plans on making the improvements listed above, they have engaged members of the Mill Valley City Council, Parks and Recreation Commission, City Staff, members of the Mill Valley Golf Club and the Mill Valley Friends of Parks and Recreation. Plans to gain input from the broader community are ongoing, and are an important part of the process to ensure that the Golf Course meets the needs of our community and visitors.