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Lincoln Hills – Orchard Course Review “Prospecting for Golf”

A day after being only two of a small handful of golfers at the outstanding Winchester Country Club, Myra and I pulled into Lincoln Hills Golf Club to join the massive throng of golfers on site to play one of the two 18-hole golf courses within the Del Webb Sun City residential development.

Looking down the fairway on the beautiful 567 yard Par 5 2nd hole.

Managed under the banner of Billy Casper Golf everything about this facility smacks of efficiency and professionalism. The parking lot, something I rarely mention, was laid out with parallel rows of covered parking spots.

Scores of brightly cleaned white electric power carts were lined up next to the clubhouse and after checking in and sharing pleasantries with General Manager Tony Marino and members of his very proficient team, we selected a cart and off to the car we went. We loaded up and then proceeded as directed to the range where we greeted by Bob, the Starter, who to say the least was a busy fellow. He was organizing golfers and sending them out on time with the aplomb of a Chicago O’Hare Airport Air Traffic Controller. With the amount of golf we have been playing lately, hitting a bunch of balls was not necessary.   While Myra practiced putting, I said hi to a few of the guys on the range. I watched Vinny V pure shot after shot in preparation of his Monday skins game and then introduced myself to Bob Niger who like many is pursuing his dreams of playing professionally on the pro tour, for him The Champions Tour. I am pulling for him and hope his cancer battle is behind him and he can now focus on making cuts and cashing some cheques too. Bob’s a real class guy and has many, many good golfing years ahead of him.

The approach view to the second green.

We headed to the first tee of the Orchard Course and what for many might have been a cold California day which was just fine for us – a light breeze and the sun beaming brightly.

The first hole was a gentle flat Par 4, one of the bright spots of the many Del Webb courses that cater to an older demographic of residents as well as the general public.

Myra teeing off from a unique elevated tee box on the Par 4 3rd hole.

The twosome that we were to play with caught up to us on the third tee. Although golfing on this enjoyable layout in Northern California on a pleasant sunny day would normally highlight our day, it was playing the final 16 holes with Nelson and Kevin that really was. Not only were they friendly and played a decent game, they were very respectful and supportive of Myra and her game. Much to her benefit, their personable manner allowed her to really relax and focus. It was more than evident when the only par scored on the difficult 5th hole was marked next to her name.

Kevin showing great short game form pitching onto the green.

The course had a gentle, rolling landscape and the most prevalent feature and defense were the numerous areas of marshland which required carrying or in many cases avoidance. The bunkers had beautiful, fluffy, powdery, white sand and from the blue tees and with the wind kicking up there were some pretty tough holes to negotiate. The greens were generous in size and of particular note was the Par 4 15th, sprawling off the tee at 442 yds. into the wind it was a beautiful beast of a hole.

Look close at Nelson’s bunker shot floating through the air onto the 17th green.

The finishing hole is a great way to end with the marsh to the left of the green – two good shots were a must to be on in regulation. All 4 of us had highlight reel moments, Kevin birding the Par 4 9th with a sand save from 150 yards out.  Myra repeated her best of the four with a 2 putt par on the par 3 11th and I managed my own sand save birdie almost holing out for eagle on the Par 5 10th. Nelson made the third look too easy with a tap in for par on the 3rd hole.

It’s painfully obvious why this facility has such a loyal following and on the fun factor it garnered a gold medal.86 is nothing to write home about but I will take it, playing the Par 5’s in 1 under is rewarding and a 2 par round and score of 108 is good going for my little dynamo and favorite golf partner.

A truly sparkling finishing hole.

The boys were mid 90’s so we all had glowing moments and were equally thankful that this challenging and often frustrating game called golf brought us all together. It reminds me of the guy who says to his buddy at the end of 18 holes, “You know Ted I don’t know why I play this stupid, frigging game” and his buddy says “Yea ,Joe, tell me about it. Same time tomorrow?”

Which reminds me, Myra and I get to do it all over again at the lovely Lincoln Hills tomorrow, but this time on The Hills Course at the same time of 10:51 AM.

www.lincolnhillsgolfclub.com

Call 916 543 9200

 

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Bill Flower

Bill Flower is a passionate golfer and lover of the game who lives on Vancouver Island in Parksville, BC. He has played the game since the age of 10 and has spent many years in the golf business ranging from full time teaching pro to part time professional caddy, golf tour operator and golf writer. He loves to travel with his wife Myra up and down the west coast of the US playing and reviewing golf courses of all styles.

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