Lake Chabot Golf Course clubhouse sustains massive damage from fire

A devastating fire in the Oakland hills early Tuesday morning nearly wiped out the Lake Chabot Golf Course clubhouse. 

Oakland Fire Department Station 28 responded as soon as the alarm came in, in the middle of the night. The fire started about 12:30 a.m.

Oakland Fire Dept. Public Information Officer Michael Hunt said there were no injuries, but most of the building was engulfed and over 40 firefighters worked to put out the raging flames.

The clubhouse entryway, kitchen, bar, indoor and outdoor dining room all suffered extensive damage. There was no damage to the golf course or any vegetation around the building.

Once the sun came up, the smell of charred wood and debris permeated the entire entranceway to the clubhouse, scorched trophies melted in a case next to the front door. Both the indoor bar and restaurant, as well as the entire kitchen and outdoor patio were destroyed by the fire.

The Mediterranean-style architecture with its redwood beams and ceramic tile roof couldn’t withstand the heat of the flames, and by daylight the debris of smoking and charred ruins had patrons and staff mourning the loss of this public course.

The Lake Chabot Golf Course is owned by the City of Oakland, and operated by Touchstone Golf which manages operations and employs about thirty staff.

Although the Pro Shop didn’t catch fire, smoke damage destroyed all the merchandise, according to Bodhi Young, the Assistant General Manager.  

Young shared the 18-hole course is celebrating its 100th year and is still planning to hold a celebration later in the year.

The Lake Chabot Golf Course has been challenging golfers for decades with its changing elevations and the only par 6 hole west of the Mississippi.

Dave Killingsworth and Clarence Traywick walked around the building and surveyed the damage. Both are volunteer leaders who run the Junior Golf Academy, the only free youth program in the Bay Area that teaches kids how to golf.

Traywick shared, ‘We’ve lost everything! Shoes, uniforms, computers, clubs, we had a t-shirt printer – that’s all gone! We have nothing to offer any new kids who join because we don’t have any shoes, clubs or equipment they need to get started.

Traywick shared they’re hoping the golfing community and others will help them replace the equipment for the Youth Golf Academy, sharing they’re putting together a ‘GoFundMe’ page for replacing equipment.

Killingsworth has been a volunteer with the program for over twenty years and shared… "We’ve lost a lot of memories, including pictures and memorabilia from previous cohorts of youth golfers.

KTVU's Mark Richardson contributed to this report. 

Alice Wertz is a freelance enterprise reporter with KTVU. Send story tips to Follow on Twitter: @alicestake