With the impending rain which at higher elevations like Apple Mountain Golf Course east of Placer could mean snow, we revamped our golfing schedule and opted to play and review one of Club Corp Managements most popular California courses, Turkey Creek Golf Club in Lincoln. On what was a day more apt to be associated with our home area on Vancouver Island, it was cool, grey and then eventually rainy, but we were poised to play this unique lay out.
Through the good graces of our day 8 host Catta Vedera GM Jeff Wilson, a tee time was arranged for us to play at 11:20. We met Rob Ferreira, General Manager, in the Pro Shop and after a quick introduction to Tim the starter, based behind the Pro Shop counter, Rob, Myra and I chatted briefly. Rob needed not emphasize the fact that the course was overly dry and lacking that soon to be green lush look and we emphasized that it was the experience of the day, the layout and design style which was our main focal point.
Major kudos to course designer Golf Architect Brad Bell who is certainly putting his stamp on golf course design in Northern California. In this case he made incredible usage of one of the most prominent features, the massive outcroppings of boulders strewn throughout the landscape.
The course itself is more than challenging to be sure and from the blue tees on this cool day the Par 5’s were all beasts in their own right. I loved the simplicity and old school straightaway look of the Par 5 17th, an elevated tee with an avenue of oak trees all the way to the green. After going 285 off the tee, I thought maybe this would be the hole I would be on in two and have a run at eagle. No way Jose and again the course was the victor. The real beauty of this sport, you are often competing against nature, grass, trees, water, sand and boulders.
The mixture of dog leg Par 4’s, well-guarded Par 3’s like the 3rd and 14th and the aforementioned Par 5’s combined with numerous blind holes and blind approach shots meant for Myra and me that we have to play it again. I would suggest this to all golfers. If you are travelling here book it twice, it’s worth it in every way.
The forecasted rain forced Myra to bundle up, put her rain cover on her bag and be my caddy and spectate for the last 7 holes. I didn’t want to rob myself of finishing the round and not so much for how I was scoring, but more akin to having to experience all the holes and this great course. The GPS on the power cart was a benefit for me as it had an early warning system for player safety in alerting you that the upcoming hole or shot was a blind one. It also was integral in seeing an aerial view of hazards and how the hole was shaped.
The greens were deceptively fast and very smooth, so my only excuse perhaps for not shooting lower than 88 was reducing my 17 – 2 putts and 1 – 3 putts. I am typically a really solid putter and hover around a respectable 29 putts per round average. Hitting that target would have shaved 8 shots off the round and with that in mind I don’t feel I lost the war, but just maybe the battle.
The 18th with the rain coming down, meant no effective photo could be taken, is an unbelievable finishing hole, requiring a well-placed tee shot as there are two water hazards to negotiate.
During the round Rob, upon my earlier request, introduced us to Golf Course Superintendent Michael Kaveney. Michael, with 33 successful years in the industry, is the man in charge of keeping up the maintenance and reputation of this highly rated Northern California Brad Bell design.
They are a formidable team, keeping the course rolling at Turkey Creek. After the round we sipped hot chocolate and tea in the bar to warm up our chilly bodies. While neither Rob or Michael were around to thank, we are very grateful to have played it in spite of a bit of Canadian weather.