The Golf For Her magazine has started a new series called “Setting Up Golf Courses For Success.” You can follow the series here. LPGA Pro Stacie Lewis, pictured here, wrote the Foreword for the article. She is an advocate for making the game fun for everyone – for the excellent golfers and for the new golfers. Stacie’s goal is to grow the game by making it more fun for the new woman golfer.
Sierra View Country Club, not to be left behind, has been working with a golf course architect and an internal committee of members to evaluate, hole by hole, where changes could be made to make the course more attractive to mid-to-high handicap players, without diminishing the challenge for low handicap players.
Here are just a few of the architect’s recommendations:
Hole 3 – Take out the fairway bunker on the right. All it does is penalize the high handicap player.
Hole 5 – Take out the pot bunker in the middle. It makes no sense and again, is an impediment to the high handicap player. Low handicappers don’t even know it’s there!
Hole 6 – Mow the fairway cut on the right side to give the short hitters more of a chance to have their tee shot land on the fairway rather than in the rough. (This is already under way.)
Hole 12 – Add a forward tee approximately 115 yards from the green. Sweet!
Hole 17 – Rework the green-side bunker to be more forgiving and playable.
Those are just a few of the recommendations. Over time, as the committee evaluates each recommendation and puts a price on the cost of the change, we’ll start seeing things happening on the fairways. New tee boxes, for example, are costly. Equipment has to be brought in for providing proper fill for drainage and for laser leveling. Sod is costly, about $2.50 a square foot. And it can be disruptive, taking two to three weeks to complete. But the cheers you will hear from the short hitters when the #12 tee box is complete will resound all over the course.
As of the first week of June, Sierra View Country Club announced a wonderful 60 day program you can tell all your friends about. It’s a 60 Day Trial Membership designed to give an individual or family a real taste of the country club experience. Included are:
Unlimited use of the pool
Unlimited use of the tennis courts
TWELVE 18 hole rounds of golf on our exquisite, walkable golf course (or ride if you wish)
One 9 hole twilight golf event including dinner (tons and tons of no-pressure fun)
One additional dinner for two (yum)
A mentor to guide you through the introductory period
The cost of this Trial Membership, which is only $485, will cover the first month’s membership, if the individual or family decides to join Sierra View Country Club. And why wouldn’t they?
Tell your friends, too, that Sierra View is undergoing renovation, so if you bring your friends to visit the Club, you’ll have to say, “Pardon Our Dust”! The first phase of renovations should be done some time in July, and there should be little, if any, disruption. And don’t forget to remind your friends that Sierra View is still the best value among the golf clubs in the Sacramento Tri-County Area.
“Golf takes too long to play,” my neighbor said to me this past weekend when I invited him to take advantage of a guest pass I’m holding. And his point of view is supported by thousands of golfers around the world. A study commissioned just recently by R&A received over 56,000 responses from golfers representing 122 countries. Of those who responded, 60% said they would enjoy golf more if it didn’t take so much time out of their day.
Before my husband and I joined a private country club, we, too, believed that golf took too much time to play. Then, encouraged by another neighbor, we joined Sierra View, which destroyed that notion. Here’s an example: last Thursday, my husband and I went to Sierra View and played nine holes at 3:30 in the afternoon. We walked on. We didn’t schedule it in advance. We did it on a whim. It took one hour and a half. And we walked, which means we got our “steps” in that day! Could we do that at a public course? Absolutely not.
Another example is this: On Memorial Day, we scheduled 18 holes of golf with good friends who are also members. At the turn, we wistfully gazed over to the fire pit area of the patio at Sierra View and said, “What the heck. Let’s say nine was enough. Let’s order a drink, sit out here in this scrumptious weather, and call it a round of golf.”
What’s my point? My point is that if you belong to a private Country Club, and there are ones you can join in the greater Sacramento area, golf doesn’t have to take too much time to play. Just like the Golf Superintendent’s annual survey determined, “let’s play nine” should be the game’s new mantra. And since most public courses charge you for a full round of 18 holes whether you play all 18 or not, it could pencil out for you to join a private golf club where you can play nine or two or four or eighteen or twentyseven or whatever number fits into your day.