Located up off of Highway 32, about 3 miles out side of Chico on the way to Chester, there is a hidden gem in the hills, Chico’s very own disc golf course. The Peregrine disc golf course has a magnificent view overlooking all of Chico and has 18 holes for all ranges of players. This beautiful course has something to offer for almost everyone, even if throwing the disc is not really “your thing”. The paths make for a good walk with a great view, and you will be sure to encounter any number of friendly players out having a good time. Disc golfing is essentially golf, but with Frisbees (discs) in place of balls and baskets instead of holes. The sport, while being around for over 50 years, has recently gained a lot more popularity. The increase in interest has prompted the construction of courses all over the United States and the world. It is played in over 40 countries around the globe, and is continuing to grow. In the U.S there is a professional league, which at the highest level can pay rather well, and at the lowest level is still a lot of fun. The course in Upper Bidwell Park is managed by the Chico Outsiders group, and has a laundry list of local basket sponsors who help keep the course up and running. Their mission is to play, to protect and to preserve, rather fitting if you ask me. I have played at the Peregrine course a handful of times and each one has been enjoyable. Just like any sport, each time you play, there is a different experience in store. When playing, loosing a disc to the course is almost inevitable, and while it can be frustrating at times, it is always worth the effort in the end. I encourage you to go out and give the course a try; it is really an experience worth having. To learn more about the park or disc golfing in general you can visit their website at www.chico-outsiders.com
Mt. Huff Golf Course- Crescent Mills, CA
Settled in beautiful Indian Valley, Mt.Huff Golf Course stands alone. It sits low in the valley with stunning views of the high rise peaks surrounding it, most notably Mt. Hough, whose jagged peak stands vaulted above the course. This nine hole course has a shorter yardage of 2,264 and a par of just 33, but be sure to go around twice. Don be fooled though; the greens are small and there is trouble around you. In recent years they have strategically placed sand traps to add another element to the course. The course is open and friendly for the high handicapper. For the low handicapper, it provides the choice to “go for it” on the par 4′s. Be wary though, good shots will be rewarded. Bad shots will leave difficult par saves. Be focused on hole 4. This short par 3 has a pond directly in front. So make sure if you miss, you miss long, right? Not so fast; off the back of the green is a steep slope into a valley. From this position you must hit up the slope onto a camel where the green has a strong down slope straight towards the pond in front. Its very easy to hit it in the pond from there; believe me I know. Mt. Huff is open year round, weather permitting, and is the only such course in the area. It has a nice driving range and practice green. The friendly staff inside the shop will set you up with everything you need, including a great lunch from the grill. Give them a call today at 284-6204. Ask them about their various upcoming tournaments. Be sure not to miss the Big 6 tournament where they set the course to the original 6 holes that were there, a truly unique way to play the course. My personal favorite is the weekly scramble. This takes place every Thursday night during the summer months beginning at 5 p.m. So if you’ve played here before, get out there again. If you havenʼt, come see what you’re missing.
Mt. Huff Golf Course
Mt. Huff Golf Course
Lake Almanor West
Lake Almanor West- Lake Almanor, CA
By Steve Thackeray
How often do you play nine holes and come away feeling like you’ve golfed a championship course? Welcome to Northern California’s best kept secret, Lake Almanor West! From the 1st tee to the 9th hole, this course will amaze you with its natural beauty and challenge. Designed by John F. Harbottle, III, ASGCA, Lake Almanor West golf course opened for business in 1975. Aaron Baker is the Pro Shop manager and makes you feel at home upon arrival. Chris Herrbach is the teaching professional and is available for lessons. I was fortunate enough to golf with Mark Olsen, a community member who lives within a wedge shot of the club house. I golfed like the hacker that I am and Mark showed me how a 60+ year old can golf like a seasoned pro, turning in a 37 for the round. I absolutely love this 3,105 yard, par 36 track. Edged by Lake Almanor and backed by Mt. Lassen, the course features sculpted fairways and manicured greens that are fun and challenging for all levels of play. After your round, relax with a cool beverage or a light meal at Almanor West Grill, right in the clubhouse or out on the screened-in porch. Watch out Lake Almanor West, the secret is out!
Lake Almanor West
Glen Whalen takes a few shots at the driving range.
Bailey Creek- Lake Almanor, CA
By Steve Cantwell
Bailey Creek…Where golf and customer service are above reproach.
Bailey Creek has become a traditional destination for an annual golfing vacation for myself and many of my fellow golfers. Each year we try to figure out a new location to try and we usually decide to go back there. The three hour drive from Sacramento is actually quite peaceful.
From the moment we check in at the Chalets (which are located overlooking the driving range), we are treated as though we are good friends of the community.
The men and women working in the proshop/ restaurant offer nothing short of the friendliest of demeanors. They really know how to treat their guests.
Now, about the GOLF! Oh,the golf. Bailey Creek offers a mountain golf getaway that is both a fair yet challenging track that can be appreciated by both the 5 handicap as well as the 20 handicap. The course can provide challenges if you dare feel too confident, or can be welcoming if you choose to play it safe. Sure, a couple of the par 5ʼs can be reached in two, but do you dare. Bailey Creek gives the golfer the option…and thatʼs part of the fun!
The greens at this course have never been less than immaculate. They are large with just enough undulations to make putting an entertaining challenge. But, do be careful. Be on the wrong side of a hole, and that birdie putt could very easily turn into a bogey! Again, all part of the fun!
From the lush fairways, to the huge pines lining fairways, Bailey Creek offers a truly exceptional mountain golf outing that has never failed to leave me or my fellow golfers excited to come back.
Diamond Mountain-Susanville, CA
By Steve Thackeray
Diamond Mountain Golf Club sits between Reno, Lassen Park and Lake Almanor, just off highway 395. Perched where high desert meets pine forest under the mountain for which it was named. Formerly known as Emerson Lake Golf Course, this course was recently renamed, redesigned and expanded to a full 18-holes. I played this course for the first time in early May of this year. The small journey from Quincy at 8:00 o’clock in the morning was spectacular. Driving around Lake Almanor and noting the 18″ of snow I was admittedly nervous about my decision to play so early in the year. Upon arrival my mind was put at ease when I saw the condition of the course. I was pleasantly greeted at the pro shop by General Manager, Dan Kowall. Dan gave me some quick tips about the layout and wished my cousin and I good luck.
The front “Emerson Nine” was built in 1967 on property donated by the Emerson family. The first holes are relatively open with slight changes in elevation, dog legs, and water hazards. With the wind blowing a bit, the opening 12 holes definitely have a links-style feel to it The tight layout has a defined cut of rough bordering its fairways, so shot accuracy is at a premium. Sand bunkers are also included in the design of every hole. Holes 3, 4, and 5 are beautifully placed around Emerson Lake so bring extra balls if you’re not good with a driver. The course personnel take pride in the course’s large, sloped greens, which are fast but soft in texture, so they should hold your shots. The back “Woodland Nine” was added along with a clubhouse in 2003, creating a challenging 6,417-yard layout. Holes 13 thru 18 are nestled at the base of Diamond Mountain and are lined with majestic tall pines. I’m a country boy so I really enjoyed the last six holes. There is something special about golfing amongst the tall timbers. Just off the 18th hole is the Clubhouse. This newer Clubhouse features a fully-stocked golf shop, restaurant and lounge, and a patio with views. Head Teaching Pro, Tim Mooney is also available for lessons. The practice facility sports 20 stations, target greens, a chipping green and an extensive putting green.
If your looking for a diverse course which surely offers an enjoyable challenge then book a tee time at Diamond Mountain. You’ll also be surprised how affordable it is to play this course, which will bring you back for more than one round! You’ll enjoy this part of California which is often underexposed but richly rewarding.
Quincy Optometrist John Friden shares a round of golf at Diamond Mountain golf Course in Susanville
Jeff Ricker of Susanville takes his shot on the 14th hole
The Dragon Is Back- Clio, CA
And It’s Being (Somewhat) Tamed
The Schomac Group of Tucson, AZ has purchased the The Dragon golf course at the Nakoma Golf Resort in the High Sierras of Plumas County. Staff has spent the past two months preparing the course, clubhouse and luxurious golf course villas for use. Robin Nelson, the course architect, has provided recommendations for some additional contouring and tree removal that retain The Dragon challenges while “softening” the course a bit to make it “friendlier” to a wider spectrum of players. The course scenery and more than seven miles of cart paths, as well as repaired greens and fairways, will be available to the public June 30th. Known only as Nakoma Golf Resort throughout five years of bankruptcy proceedings, feedback from the golfing community is that Schomac needs to breathe fire back into the Dragon and resurrect its world-wide reputation. So… the Dragon is on its way back, and it’s being (somewhat) tamed!
It will take several years of continuous maintenance to bring the course fully back to pristine condition. In recognition of this fact, the owner and his team have developed a set of introductory rates that acknowledge its temporary shortcomings while welcoming fans of the former Dragon who wish to see the significant improvements they Shop, fully-stocked bar and lounge, as well as a Grill with limited menu of snacks and sandwiches, will be available to hungry golfers and the many guests who visit just for the opportunity to revel in Frank Lloyd Wright patios, one with imposing views of stillsnowcapped mountains, will be open for diners and anyone wishing to quench their thirst in the fresh mountain air.
Also available will be the studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom Golf Course Villas. Designed by Wright apprentice Arnold Roy of Taliesin Architects and originally sold as timeshare units, the uniquely sited, geometric villas will be rented for nightly and weekly rates. Each features a multi-sided rock fireplace, kitchen, private outdoor Jacuzzi tub, propane barbeque and many other amenities in a round or octagonal floor plan. Whether inspired by the one-ofa- kind mountain course, the nearby hiking trails or the exquisite architecture, Nakoma promise every guest an unforgettable experience.
Schomac is also owner of the Feather River Inn. Although the inn and the cottages that surround it are still under construction, the 9-hole golf course is ready to play and in great condition. Dan West, Bob Klein and their team at Graeagle Meadows are managing that course this season and energetic golfers are invited to take advantage of the discounts offered to those who play either Nakoma’s or Graeagle Meadows’ 18 holes.
Golfers, particularly those with children, may also enjoy the lodging at Schomac miles up Highway 70 from the Feather River Inn and 15 miles from Nakoma. As with the Golf Course Villas at Nakoma, packages that feature both Long Valley family-friendly cabins and a few rounds of golf are available.
Introductory 2010 rates for 18 holes of memorable golf, including cart, are offered at $60 weekdays and $75 weekends (Friday – Saturday), with a premium package of goodies to entice players. Four players can strike a bargain at $220 ($55 each) on weekdays or $280 ($70 each) on weekends. Twilight rates, after 2pm, will be $40 on weekdays and $60 on weekends. Nine holes at the Feather River Inn will be especially affordable this season at a modest $20 on weekdays and $25 on weekends, and golfers can round the course twice for just $30 or $35. Learn more about rates and schedule a tee time by going to HYPERLINK “http://www.nakomagolfresort. com” www.nakomagolfresort.com for The Dragon or HYPERLINK http://www.playgraeagle.com www.playgraeagle.com for the Feather River Inn.
Photo by Joann Dost
Plumas Pines – Graeagle, CA
By Johnny Mansell
Plumas Pines is a haven for all levels of golfers. Set amongst the tall pines and on the banks of the wild and scenic Feather River, it has become my favorite golf destination since playing competitive high school golf and now playing recreationally and in the many charity tournaments that occur each year. The high level of service is unmatched and each employee works hard to provide the best possible time for each customer.
The course is always in top shape with the greens running true. The course has three different options to tee from. For the men they provide a set of blue tees and white. From the blues it plays to a yardage of 6421 at a course rating of 71.1 with a slope of 134. The more moderate white tees have a distance of 6004 with a rating of 69.3 and a slope of 127. For the ladies they provide the white tees and red. The white tees provide a course rating of 74.0 and a slope of 137. The red tees play to a distance of 5246 with a rating of 70.5 and a slope of 125. The front nine begins and ends up by the clubhouse. It meanders on the shores of the feather river providing you and your playing partners with plenty of picturesque photo opportunities. Water is definitely a factor on the first nine as there is water in play on every hole.
The back nine gives you some relief from the water but the tall pines that line every fairway provide a different obstacle. Bring your helmets because you never know where an errant shot might ricochet. The signature 13th provides for a scenic tee shot. This straight forward par 5 has players teeing off over a small pond and directly towards the huge mountain backdrop. Reachable for some in two it may be a hole to regain some strokes previously lost. Hit it straight or the pines lining each side might eat up your ball and create havoc. One of my personal favorites is the short par 3 15th. Playing at just 141yards from the white tees it doesnʼt seem like a tough hole. Just make sure you avoid the cedar tree placed right by the edge of the green right smack in the middle. The hole placement is usually to the right or left of the green providing a way around it. Just hope the greenskeeper didnʼt wake up on the wrong side of the bed and place the pin directly behind it.
For all levels of golfers Plumas Pines is a great golf destination. Providing the eyes with overwhelming beauty. I would highly recommend this course to anyone. Ask about their Play, Stay and Dine packages offering accommodations, golf, and dining, the perfect deal for a great getaway.
They also offer a Golf Academy to help sharpen your game. It includes 5 nights of lodging, 12 hours of golf instructions from the well qualified teachers, 3 rounds of golf, and 3 meals a day. Give head PGA professional Brandon Bowling a call today. Or go online at HYPERLINK “http://www.plumaspinesgolf.com” www.plumaspinesgolf.com. Maybe Iʼll see you out there because I will be sure to visit again soon, and as often as I can.
After the round be sure to stop in to Longboards Bar & Grill above the pro shop. Sit on the deck and further enjoy the views while you recap your round. Enjoy delectable dishes prepared by Executive Chef Sean Conry. The service is phenomenal and the dining is sure to please any palate.
Photo by Darby HayesPhoto by Darby Hayes
INTERVIEW WITH SCOTT MCCARRON
Host of the Reno Tahoe Open- Montreux Golf and Country Club, Reno, NV-July 12-18
By Steve Thackeray
Thanks to Scott for this Exclusive Mountain Valley Living Interview:
MVL: Congratulations on being named the Tournament host for this years Reno/Tahoe Open. How did this come to be and what is your connection with the RTO?
Scott: Thank you! I lived in Reno for eight years and I’ve been involved with the Reno/Tahoe Open as the “unofficial host” for a few years now. I’ve had quite a few of the players at my home during past tournaments and now I get the opportunity to be the official host. This year, Jana Smolts of the Reno/Tahoe Open extended the invitation to become the tournament host. I feel it is a real honor to be the only active PGA player hosting a tournament. I hope other players will follow suit and host tournaments, it’s good for golf.
MVL:You grew up in Northern California and have a summer home in Reno. How familiar are you with the Lake Almanor / Graeagle areas? Have you played any of these mountain courses?
Scott: While I was in high school my family vacationed in the Graeagle area during the summer. I loved visiting this area, spending my days golfing and fishing. I’ve played Graeagle Meadows, Plumas Pines, and Whitehawk Ranch on numerous occasions…they are all great courses. In fact, my Uncle Joe works as a players assistant at Whitehawk Ranch. My wifes family is from Reno and I am still summer resident.
MVL: I understand that you are one of the most liked golfers on Tour. What is your secret to staying humble?
Scott: Laughing…I have always enjoyed being on tour. It’s like being a rock star for a five hour window of time. After I get done playing golf and I’m away from the course, its fairly easy to go unrecognized. Earlier in my career I enjoyed some success on the course but I was still just Dad at home. Changing diapers will keep you humble. (I better check with Scotts wife, Jennifer, on this one.)
MVL: I see that you’ll be turning 45 in July of this year. Can you compete for a Major Championship at this stage in your career?
Scott: Yes, I feel that my game is as strong as ever. I just need to make the field and give myself a chance. (Scott finished T-7th at the Quail Hollow Championship, his best finish in 2010)
MVL: Due to your length off the tee you were very competitive at many Masters championships. If you are able to make it back into the field in the near future do you see yourself as still being competitive there and would that still be your best chance to win a major?
Scott: I’m not as long off the tee as I used to be but I’m currently close to the top in driving accuracy which gives me a fighting chance at any major. They key for me is to be in the field. I can’t win a tournament that I’m not in. (Scott just missed making the U.S Open by one stroke in the final qualifying round.) I’ve played well at the Masters in years past. In fact, I lead through 47 holes at the 1999 Masters. I look forward to playing well at all future tournaments.
MVL: As one of the first regular users of the long putter, do you see yourself as something of a pioneer in that area and would your career have been as successful without the long putter?
Scott: I don’t necessary consider myself a pioneer in using the long putter because there were quite a few players using it before me. I started using it in 1991 and it helped me regain my fire and love for the game. The long putter works for me because I practice at it. I’m not certain what success level I would have achieved without using the long putter.
MVL: The recent flap over the Ping Eye 2 wedge controversy brought you to the forefront of the sports world. Do you think it will stay in people’s mind whenever you are discussed in the future? Do you think it will become what you are remembered for more so than your accomplishments on the golf course during your career?
Scott: No, not at all. Most of the hype was created by the media. In fact, there were only a handful of golfers that even used pre 1991 PingEye clubs. By standing up and speaking my mind (which opinion is shared by the majority of PGA TOUR golfers) it helped the PGA TOUR , PING, and the USGA move quickly in making necessary changes to the current rules. These changes were able to take place in 35 days, which normally would take months if not years. I’m proud that I could help bring this issue to light and create a positive rule change.
MVL: What advice can you give kids that look up to you and aspire to become a professional athlete?
Scott: My advice to kids would be the same advice I give to my 13 and 15 year old daughters: Practice and Persistence. I love the following quote by Calvin Coolidge;“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.” — Calvin Coolidge
MVL: Any predictions for who the winner of this years RTO will be?
Scott: Well, it would be nice if I can do the same thing Tiger Woods did while hosting the 2009 AT&T National and win it. I would love to hand myself the winners Trophy… (laughing).