A New View on Valley Golf | RecordCourier.com

A New View on Valley Golf

by Chuck Smock, Staff Writer

Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch is scheduled to open to the public Saturday, Aug. 1, but the course is already playing to rave reviews.

Randy Shannon, general manager and director of golf for the Valley’s newest course, said several private groups of 20 to 100 golfers have played Sierra Nevada since June. Those golfers were asked to take part in a survey that included questions about Sierra Nevada’s Western theme, the layout and design of the course, service and value.

“The response has been overwhelming,” Shannon said. “It’s been incredible. Most of the players said we are equal to, or better than, any golf course in the entire region.

“I think people are going to be surprised with what we have here.”

The Sierra Nevada course was scheduled to open June 1, but bad weather last spring and some extra time devoted to finding the best possible landscaping contractor pushed the public debut back two months.

“We want to make sure we’re 100 percent when we open on Aug. 1,” Shannon explained.

Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch will blend a feeling of the Old West with high technology and a golf layout that promises to be among the most spectacular in the West.

All 18 holes offer panoramic views of the Valley and the mountains, Shannon said. There is 365 feet of change in elevation over the course, but only two holes play uphill. Three holes play downhill and 13 play parallel to the hillside. Each hole has five tee boxes, giving golfers the option of playing the layout from a total distance of 7,358 yards to 5,129 yards.

“On a lot of courses, you remember two or three holes,” Shannon said. “Here, there are so many great holes it’s hard to single out one or two. We really have 18 great holes.”

All of the carts at Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch feature Par View, a global positioning system that provides information about each hole, lets the pro shop to track each cart on the course, and even makes it possible for golfers to order lunch at the turn. Par View can also be used during tournaments to let players know where they are on the leader board at all times.

Par View displays a complete view of each hole when the cart reaches the tee box. If there is a bunker in play, the system provides yardage to the front of the trap as well as the distance needed to carry it. When the cart is stopped in the fairway, Par View tells the golfer how far his or her tee shot traveled and the distance to the middle of the green.

An electronic scoreboard appears on the screen at the end of each hole, allowing the golfers to enter their score.

On the ninth and 18th tees, a computer prompt asks the golfers if they are hungry. If they answer yes, a menu screen will appear. Players then punch in their orders, which will be delivered when they finish playing the hole.

“Par View is the most up-to-date system out there,” Shannon said. “It’s the best.”

Fees at course will range from $115 for weekend play in the summer peak season to $40 for twilight rounds in the spring and fall. Prices include green fee, cart fee and practice fees.

“We’re anticipating quite a bit of our business during the peak season to be coming down from Lake Tahoe,” said Shannon, who added that Sierra Nevada has designed a membership program with several options that will make playing the course more affordable for Valley residents.

Shannon, who has been a Professional Golf Association member for 13 years, joined the Sierra Nevada Golf Ranch staff March 1. This will be the third golf course he has opened.

Shannon spent the last five years at Broken Top Club in Bend, Ore., and before that he spent seven years as the head golf pro at Kapalua Golf Club on Maui, where he opened the Plantation Course. He and his wife, Burlene, have two sons, Logan, 10, and Lance, 9.

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