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 Post subject: The Ridge at Trinitas, Valley Springs, CA (pictures loaded)
PostPosted: November 30th, 2009, 3:31 pm 
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Joined: October 19th, 2009, 8:52 am
Posts: 4054
Location: Central Valley, CA
Trinitas golf course (The Ridge at Trinitas) is a course that was built originally for the owner of the property and built by the owner. He started off by building three holes and then did another three and then kept on going. He got too far in to have it a course that only he would play and came up with the grand scheme to open the course for tournament play and to include a bottle of olive oil made from the olive trees on the property in the price. He also wants to build a day-spa and hotel with bungalows for people to stay in since lodging nearby is scarce.

The owners are fighting with the county because they failed to get permits when building the course and then when they went to get a loan to build the rest of the infrastructure, a county rep was with them telling the bank that it would be no problem getting approvals. Since then, they have not received any of those approvals and the bank has foreclosed on the property only to have the owners claim bankrupcy to get protection from the course and property of being sold out from under them. The owners have filed a lawsuit against the county for unspecified damages and hope to get full approval for the course to operate as an official golf course as well as build the rest of the structures they want to build. Who knows when this will end.

I played this course back in June and then again this past weekend. In June, I thought my camera was broken so I didn't get any pictures of the course. This time around, I got pictures from every tee box and some others as well. I will post the pictures later.

So, the course. Well, I woke up Saturday morning and there was a cold, stiff breeze at my house. At the course it was even stronger and I knew we were in for a tough day. It was a tournament with 69 players, probably the most the course has ever had on it on a single day. We started on hole 16, which is a tame par 4 with a creek in front of the green. It looked like the tee boxes and fairways were going dormant, but the rough was still alive and strong, so when I post the pictures, you will see that.
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The second hole for us was the par 3 #17 that from the whites played 120 yards, but because of the wind, it was actually playing almost 150 as my pitching wedge never sniffed the putting surface. The green on #17 is the only one in the world (that they know of) that has a river going under the green. The green is actually a bridge....
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Hole 18 is a par 5 with a ravine that is about 250 yards out from the white tees that you can't see because of the downhill slope. From there, you have 250+ yards to clear, but you are now going uphill to a crazy green that I am guessing will someday need to be re-done as it's just too crazy. If you set a ball down on the left edge of the green, it will roll down to the right side of the green, some 100 feet down the hill before stopping.
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The story of the day was the wind. It was brutal. The greens at this course are fast, but with this wind, they were brutal. Mike Nemee designed the course to be difficult and it lived up to it. We had 2 foot putts that had 2 feet of break and if you missed it, you were 5 feet past the hole....
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Hole 1 is a par 4 with a slight dogleg right that then has you hitting an uphill approach to the green. I hit what I thought was a perfect shot to the green only to have it come up short on the fringe. A chip to 10 feet short of the hole had the ball roll back almost as far as it just went with my chip because of the slope of the green and the speed of them combined.
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Hole 2 is a par 4 that is short at 310 yards from the whites, but following the natural terrain, it has a landing area about 200 yards out and downhill and then goes across a small creek and then goes uphill from there. The green is protected on the left by a big bunker and the green is fast, really fast. This is one of the greens where there was a 2 foot break on a 2 foot putt.
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Next is the par 3 signature hole, which is 120 yards but all downhill to a green that has water short of it that wraps around to the left. If you go long and chip onto the back of the green, the ball won't stop until it's all the way at the front of the green, so you need to be carefull where you miss. Oh, and Saturday, we had wind to deal with. I hit a PW (my 140 yard club) that came up short of the water.
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Hole 4 is a dogleg right and if you decide to cut off the dogleg, you need to choose wisely which club you hit and commit to it. The landing area that is straight ahead is only 200 yards and is easy enough to hit, but who wants to take the safe route? If you go the safe route, you will have 150 in to the green but if you cut off the dogleg and hit it properly, you will have a 50 yard chip to the green. A large waste bunker attempts to catch ball that are hit long of the landing area, but won't catch the long ones and you will find yourself in the long grass searching.
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Hole 5 is a dogleg right with a creek that is 200 yards out. The hole is rather short with long hitters being able to get to within 30 yards of the green if going for it. The penalty for a miss-hit to the right means tree trouble and long grass (snakes in the summer).
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Hole 6 is a par 3 with a green that is large front-to-back, but not very wide and a water hazard left of the green.
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Hole 7 is another target golf hole. I hit my 4 iron to the middle of the fairway, 150 from the green. If you hit your ball right, you will get close to the ravine which is in between you and the green as it's a dogleg right. If you are gutsy, you can try to hit the green in one, but good luck, it's blind and there is lots of trouble in the way.
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Hole 8 is a straightforward par 4 that narrows down toward the end and if you are on the left side of the fairway, the trees will affect your approach shot, so be far enough back to get up and over them.
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Hole 9 is a par 5 with a slight dogleg right at the end of it and the tee shot has O.B. the whole way down on the right and a big waste bunker on the right side of the fairway that might catch an errant ball and keep it in-bounds. As you get closer to the green, the fairway narrows and you have to carry the ball into a narrow green and trees on the left. If you are 200+ out for your second (or third) shot, don't attempt going for it unless you are really accurate.
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Hole 10 is a dogleg left with a large waste bunker area on the right side that isn't in play on the tee shot except for the really long hitters. The fairway narrows before the green and the bunkers near the green are deep as is the rough.
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Hole 11 is a short par 4 that some may be tempted to reach off the tee, but to do so requires an accurate tee shot that draws (for right handers) around trees and brush. The safer play is to hit a 250 yard shot to the middle of the fairway to clear the small river and hit your short approach in from there. The green runs away from you, making going for it from the tee even more difficult as if you hit the green, you may find your ball in the hazard behind the green.
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Hole 12 is a brute. It is a 400+ yard par 4 that plays into the prevailing wind. Your tee shot will come up shorter than you think because of the wind and if you are lucky enough to be in range to hit the green in two, expect to hit at least an extra club as you will be hitting to an elevated green that is well protected by deep bunkers and a false front.
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Hole 13 is also a brute, but for different reasons. It's a dogleg left par 5 with a landing area that you can only see a portion of and then it runs away from you and right. You then hit to a second fairway that is over a ravine and is fairly narrow with a brutal bunker on the left that you need to avoid. From there, you are hitting up the hill to a green that is probably 40 feet above the fairway, so bring enough club. If not, you are in the bunker. In my case, the wind was right into my face for the approach and I just didn't commit enough and only went 2 clubs more than I needed and came up short in the bunker.
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Hole 14 is a nice little par 3 that was playing straight into the wind and measures 150, but was playing 180+. I hit a 180 club and came up short and plugged in the bunker on the right. If you come up too far short on the right, you will be in the hazard and if you are playing further back from the black or yellow tees, you might have had to hit driver to get there.
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Hole 15 is a beautiful tee shot from an elevated tee over the water with the left side of the fairway being closer to you but it's easy to get to the right side of the fairway as the hole is not all that long. If you hit to the middle of the fairway, there is a tree that you might have an issue with and some people may be tempted again to try to get there in one. there is a small creek before the green, but it won't come into play for many people.
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All of the greens are super fast on this course and chipping up to one sometimes means landing the ball short unless you are far enough to be able to get spin on the ball. This time around though, the spin wasn't doing much to slow the ball on shorter shots as the greens were firm and fast!

Overall, it's a challenging course that is slightly quirky, but a lot of fun!


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 Post subject: Re: The Ridge at Trinitas, Valley Springs, CA (pictures loaded)
PostPosted: December 5th, 2009, 4:38 pm 
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Joined: October 19th, 2009, 8:52 am
Posts: 4054
Location: Central Valley, CA
Here is a bad video of the 2nd hole's green and the wind:
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And one from the tee box on hole 3:
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 Post subject: Re: The Ridge at Trinitas, Valley Springs, CA (pictures loaded)
PostPosted: December 5th, 2009, 5:54 pm 
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Joined: October 18th, 2009, 7:26 pm
Posts: 2694
Location: Eugene, OR
That par 3 must be daunting with all that wind and water short. 15 also looks like a bit of an intimidating shot as well.

Dave


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 Post subject: Re: The Ridge at Trinitas, Valley Springs, CA (pictures loaded)
PostPosted: December 5th, 2009, 6:09 pm 
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Joined: October 19th, 2009, 8:52 am
Posts: 4054
Location: Central Valley, CA
Yes, with the wind we had, #3 is a hard shot. Hitting a 140 club that probably only went 105 downhill is intimidating.

#15 isn't as bad since it's not all that far to clear the water. I hit a 5 wood and was up near the first bunker on the left side.


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 Post subject: Re: The Ridge at Trinitas, Valley Springs, CA (pictures loaded)
PostPosted: December 6th, 2009, 4:34 am 
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Joined: October 17th, 2009, 9:28 am
Posts: 617
Great pics! I love looking at pictures like this when the course is pretty much dormant. It puts the minds eye to work to ulock the hidden garden of eden!


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