El Caballero Country Club was designed by acclaimed golf architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The course has long stood as a challenging track boasting many of his signature elements – tight fairways, gentle doglegs and daunting green-side bunkers – on a layout that winds through modest hills and mature trees. In 2017, the club's management and board set out to modernize and improve the course, devoting $10 million to a comprehensive upgrade of the entire venue. All turf-grass was replaced by hybrid Bermuda. Along with native landscape, this turf is more drought, heat and disease tolerant, and is projected to use 30% less water. Golf course sustainability is a necessity across Southern California.
Concurrently, the course has been redesigned into a world-class experience tailored for modern players at all skill levels. Emphasizing a natural California look with beautiful yet drought-tolerant plants like bougainvillea, its improved aesthetic features smaller, better positioned bunkers with new white sand, softened slopes, and strategic tree removal to open up course vistas and highlight its native oak, olive, sycamore and other trees. Named Golf World Magazine's "Golf Architect of the Year," Rees Jones restored El Caballero's course to his father's vision with a modern spin. Rees focused on creating a golf experience which is more challenging for the better player and much more fair and rewarding for the average player.