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Patio area

The Country Club plans to expand its patio with an 80-by-210-foot extension in this area. Click the photo to see a side-by-side – the way it is now and the way it will be.

Rancho Murieta Country Club is planning to greatly expand its popular patio area, adding almost 17,000 square feet as a venue for weddings, corporate parties and a wide range of member events. Construction could begin as soon as next week and be complete, it’s hoped, in about a month.

If all goes according to plan, it will get a proper breaking in at a July 27 community event being planned by the club, with a day of games and food and an evening of entertainment on the expanded patio, with a musical act for the adults and outdoor movies for the kids.

“I think people are going to be excited about the things we’re going to bring to the table,” Mike Martel, club president, said of the expansion.

The patio project, which is estimated to cost about $15,000, looks to be the biggest improvement in club amenities since the Parasol Room was remodeled in 2001.

The expansion, 210 by 80 feet, would stretch from the current patio out to the hill that backstops the ninth green. The plans say the new patio won’t be bordered by a wall, at least at the outset, and unlike the present patio, it won’t be paved; instead, plans call for a carpet of low-growing grass underfoot, tight like a putting green. (Among ideas being considered: Using the new patio for croquet and bocce.)

Club President Mike Martel and General Manager Ron Svien go through plans in part of the area that would become a new patio. (Click for larger image)

When he talks about the possibilities, Martel goes quickly to the perfect weather on most summer nights in Rancho Murieta and the idea of dining and having a cocktail, enjoying musical entertainment. For the community event in July, he envisions the band performing from the patio edge at the back of the ninth green.

Patio events sold out last summer, disappointing some members, General Manager Ron Svien said. “Now, that’s going to be a whole different story,” he said.

How many people would this expanded patio arrangement hold? Martel wasn’t certain, but depending on the seating it could be 250 to 300, he said.

The project would eliminate the cart path intersection outside the current patio and create a cul-de-sac so users of the practice green, which won’t be impacted, have a place to park their carts.

Svien said the plans are being drawn up by course architect Damian Pascuzzo of Pascuzzo/Pate Golf Design of El Dorado Hills. This will be Pascuzzo’s third time fashioning an event center of this type, Svien said.

“It’s obvious that we need a venue for weddings and special events ... to bring the Country Club into 2020,” Martel said. “We have to offer things that are not traditional attached to the Country Club. It’s not golf and tennis. There’s pickleball, there’s weddings, there’s concerts, there’s all kinds of things.”

Svien sees it being used in the daytime in summer too, with tents offering shade for now.

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