RANCHO SANTA FE — In what seems like a throwback to when women were struggling for equal rights, a new bar in the Veranda Room that would serve both genders is on the drawing board.
As a result, the men-only Vaquero Lounge Bar in the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club will be closed and used only for special events.
Steve Nordstrom, the general manager of the club, approached the Association at its May 6 meeting for $75,000 to design, build and outfit the proposed Players Clubhouse Veranda Room Bar.
This expense has been approved by the Golf Club board of governors in the 2010-2011 budget, but they want to start the project immediately, Nordstrom said.
He told the board that the original design of the Veranda Room included a bar, which was to serve both men and woman.
As the design evolved, it was decided that a permanent bar was unnecessary for the amount of use it would see and a portable bar was installed in its place.
This left the Vaquero Bar in the men’s locker room as the only permanent bar in the clubhouse.
Soon after the Players Clubhouse opened, the club determined that the existence of the Vaquero Bar, which served only male members, was unfair to the female members of the club. Subsequently, the board of governors opened the Vaquero Lounge to all members when the Vaquero Lounge Bar was open for service.
“This arrangement proved to be uncomfortable to both genders,” Nordstrom said.
The board realized another solution should be pursued.
So, they decided to build a bar in the Veranda Room for everyone.
“Here you have a fabulous bar (that will be closed),” Association Director Tim Sullivan said. “What a colossal waste of money.”
Nordstrom acknowledged that the situation is awkward.
“It’s not good business,” he said. “It’s a political decision.”
“We’ll just have to bite the bullet, pay the cost and do whatever is necessary to fix it,” Director Tom Lang said.
The original course was built in 1927 by Max Behr and was the original site of the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament. It is owned by the Association and has been operated by a board of governors since 1987.