Paradise Valley next Glorious golf project?

By David R. Holland, Senior Writer


With more than 100 golf courses now sprinkling the Coachella Valley from Palm Springs to Indio and environmentalists even buying land in an effort to preserve sensitive wilderness areas, developers are dreaming bigger in the California desert.

Glorious Land Company, a developer based in Industry, Calif., has its eye on a 2,323-acre piece of property about 15 miles east of Coachella, situated between Joshua Tree National Park and the Mecca Hills Wilderness.

The massive plan calls for an 800-acre golf resort with "several" golf courses and a golf academy. It could also include 10,000 housing units, shopping center, restaurants, business center, parks, community center and a concert hall. Golf tourists could stay at an 89-acre international resort with timeshare units and hotels.

No doubt the proposed project will draw big opposition from environmentalists who believe wildlife is being squeezed throughout the desert and barren hillsides of Riverside County. The Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy and other groups recently completed a $26 million purchase of the proposed Joshua Hills development site north of Palm Desert.

Dublin Ranch breaks mold

Just when you thought the trend was to build new golf courses that push the 8,000-yard barrier, Dublin Ranch Golf Club, the center of a new upscale East Bay Area residential community, is a Robert Trent Jones II design that is short and sweet -- only 4,800 yards.

Dublin Ranch It is composed of eleven par-3 holes, two par-5s and five par-4s at par 63. Even with that lack of length, the course includes five tee boxes on each hole and the tiered greens average 7,000-square feet, providing plenty of shot-making opportunities. Forty-five bunkers are dotted throughout, but there are no water hazards. Tall fescue lines the fairways making golf ball hunters happy.

Dublin Ranch Golf Course is located at 5900 Signal Hill Drive, Dublin. The pro shop phone number is (925) 556-7040. It's located minutes from Interstate 580 and Interstate 680, not far from The Golf Club at Wente Vineyards to the south and Poppy Ridge to the east.

Golf booming at Mather

Mather Golf Course

For many who make the military their chosen career, the closing of an Army post or Air Force base is not a happy time. But there's good news on the grounds of the old Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento County. The golf course was saved and there's a plan for 36,000 more new homes near the layout.

The county spent $4.4 million to purchase the 18-hole course from the U.S. Air Force in 1994 and last year the course actually made almost a half million dollars.

Sacramento County, which also runs Ancil Hoffman and Cherry Island courses, reinvests revenues generated by the golf facilities, and every day players at Mather like the playing conditions of the course. Future plans include a new irrigation system, remodeled greens and clubhouse improvements.

Pleasanton Callippe Preserve Golf Course

When you build a golf course in California you learn early in the planning stages what "critter" is indigenous to the area. Environmentalists won't let you forget. In Pleasanton, at the Callippe Preserve Golf Course, it was a butterfly.

This J. Michael Poellot design has been in the development stage since the 1980s. It's a 145-acre site in an area called Happy Valley that has a year-around playing climate.

Callippe Preserve Golf Course includes flat and rolling land, surrounded by undeveloped hillsides, open space, views of Mount Diablo and the Pleasanton ridge lands, and stands of sturdy oaks.

Steinbach weighs in on physical differences

Debbie Steinbach

LPGA Pro Debbie Steinbach, based out of La Quinta, has always thought golf instruction was presented from the male perspective. That's why she released a three-part DVD series to help women golfers.

In Venus on the Fundamentals of Golf, Steinbach presents her signature lessons, such as "The Y Factor," and "The Boob Factor" to bridge the instructional gender gap and help women improve their golf game.

Steinbach says Venus on the Fundamentals of Golf gives women golfers the confidence they need to enjoy and use the game for relaxation and fun or as a business-networking tool. "Men play golf to conquer the game and women play for recreation and relationships," Steinbach added. "I wanted it to have plenty of information, but purposely made it fast paced and fun which is the reason I do anything."

Order your DVD set at www.venusgolf.com or www.womenoncourse.net for $19.95 each or $49.95 for the set of three DVDs.

This and that

The First Tee of Monterey County has a home -- Twin Creeks Golf Course in Salinas. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation will operate The First Tee at Twin Creeks.

DeLaveaga Golf Course Buenaventura Golf Course in Ventura is getting an $18 million renovation by golf course architect Forrest Richardson. And nearby Olivas Park Golf Course, which is handling the Buenaventura regulars during construction, is next for a facelift as soon as Buenaventura reopens.

DeLaveaga Golf Course in Santa Cruz is going from par 72 to par 70 after a $2.5 million bond course improvement. An example of change is in the 18th, formerly a 475-yard par 5. It will be shortened to a 425-yard par 4. A new 18th green will be built near the lake located on the right side of the fairway.

The Indio Municipal Golf Course is getting a $5 million facelift. Municipal bonds will drive this update of the 40-year-old course from a par-3 18 into an executive 18 through the addition of some par-4 holes on a neighboring 13 acres. The project also involves a new clubhouse and maintenance facility.

David R. Holland is an award-winning senior writer for TravelGolf.com and author of The Colorado Golf Bible (www.coloradogolfbible.com).

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Senior Writer

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter at @David_R_Holland.


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