California New Attractions
Tucked away Nipomo recently unveiled Monarch Dunes Golf Club, an 18 hole course
for those who live to play. Not only are the golf options growing for Central
Coast residents, tourists who played Black Lake down the road a short distance,
have another reason to visit, and will likely add another day to their golf
vacation. With some of the finest putting surfaces of any greens youu've ever
seen, architect Damian Pascuzzo (with help from Steve Pate), sculpted an 18 hole
golf course that's an exciting day of play for all skill levels. Surrounded by
windswept dunes and eucalyptus trees, it is billed as a links-style course, and
it's set atop a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean.
Some of the unique features of this "Old
Course", the first 18 of 45 holes to eventually be constructed, are greens that
use Velvet Bentgrass commonly seen on East Coast courses. Velvet Bentgrass
is the result of a long term improvement program developed by Dr. Richard
Skogley at the University of Rhode Island. It combines the low maintenance
aspects of older velvets with a dark green color, and good seed yields, offering
the finest-textured, densest bentgrass ideal for putting surfaces. Performing
well under conditions of acid soils, low fertility, and low maintenance, it can
be cut as low as 3/32 inch. Those who have played the new course report that the
putting surfaces are swift and true. Players will have the option to run the
ball rather than being forced to carry it in the air, something you'll
appreciate when you experience the afternoon winds on the Nipomo Mesa. With
fescue grass fairways that are fast and firm, your ball may fly gracefully like
a butterfly on the monarch course but it won't necessarily stop on a dime.
Nipomo is approximately 80 miles north of
Santa Barbara, bordering Santa Maria in one of the fastest growing regions of
California. Still maintaining the look and feel of the country, you'll drive
past orchards and farms to arrive at Monarch Dunes Golf Club.
The course layout ranges from a
4,702-yard, par-71 layout from the women’s tees to a whopping 6,810-yard,
par-71. Pascuzzo said the concept behind course design is to be generous to the
golfer in the fairways, while making you work on the greens. Damian Pascuzzo
served as President of the American Society of Golf Course Architects in
2001-2002 and has designed courses in Massachusetts, Washington, Nevada,
and California as well as redesigning well-known golf courses in Japan, Canada
and many states throughout the U.S.
“The Challenge,” a nine-hole course with
seven par 3s and two par 4s, is scheduled to open in Summer 2007. Monarch
Dunes is open daily from 7:30 a.m. till twilight. Green fees range from $40 to
90 (approx.) Information and reservations: (805) 343-9459; monarchdunes.com.