Coming into its own |

Coming into its own

Keith Jiron

If you’re one of the many area golfers who’ve enjoyed time spent at DarkHorse Golf Club since its opening in late 2002, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

The south county golf course, which was named the No.3 Golf Digest’s Best New Affordable Public Course in 2003 as well as one of Golf Magazine’s Top Ten New Courses the year before, has big plans for the next year or so.

For those new to the sport, help is on the way.

DarkHorse, which currently offers professional instruction, open its very own academy in late June for those duffers of all ages who wish to elevate their game to the next level – or just keep the ball on the fairway.

“Our academy will offer 25 new grass-tee hitting stations with target greens and two short-game areas,” DarkHorse assistant professional John Uhte said. “With this new area, we will replicate every possible scenario golfers could find themselves in on the course.”

“It’s also nestled among the oak trees, with plenty of shade. (It’s breezy) and that’s going to help keep golfers cool in the summer heat,” Uhte added.

Next up will be the construction of a terraced amphitheater for various events, including a planned evening concert series, to be completed by summer’s end.

The final jewel in the crown will be the permanent clubhouse, which is scheduled to be completed by May 2005.

The 30,000-square-foot complex, which will be situated on a bluff overlooking the Lake of the Pines, will house the pro shop as well as a cafe, a restaurant and a conference center.

“We’re looking to start construction in the fall, and depending on the weather, (hoping to complete) it by May 2005.” Uhte said.

While DarkHorse’s biggest plans won’t reach fruition until the future, Uhte said the various local and national golf publications , which have singled DarkHorse out as one of the best times a person could spend while on spikes, can’t be wrong

“We’re certainly on schedule as far as the accolades we’ve received. (We’ve been voted) the third best public golf course in Northern California. Every time I say that I get goosebumps. That’s just an incredible testament to the course and its design,” Uhte said. ” We’ve got as much a course as people care to take a bite of.

“It’s as challenging as they want it to be”

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