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Cimarron Golf Course

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Built in 2002, the Cimarron Golf Resort is surrounded by the scenic San Jacinto Mountains in the Palm Springs area of the Southern California desert.  Known for faster greens and straight, narrow fairways, the Boulder course is an enjoyable time.  This course is a par 71 with a length of 6,858 yards from the back tees and 5,127 from the front.  The Pebble Course is a par 58 and can be finished in about three hours if playing in a foursome.  While it is a par 3, it does have regulation length holes with bunkers and hazards.  Both courses are designed by architect John Fought of ScottsdaleThe ideal time of year is from October through April to play this or other Palm Springs area courses – but – if you can handle the heat and a bit more noise in the off-season, having the place to yourself is a very nice experience.  This facility will be closed for about a month starting in September 2008.  At this time they will be beautifying the “wash area” that runs through the middle of the location.

The mountains and surrounding areas are very scenic and the course has a wide-open feel.  There are houses and roads nearby, but plenty of natural (and some manufactured) beauty to distract you from this fact. 

 

 

 

We really had a great time here.  First off, we hit the driving range.  The distances were a bit misleading since there was this big dip in the middle.  We discovered that this was a common theme throughout the long course.   

 

Like most desert courses, there was water available every three holes.  Not all had shade like this one and there was no food/drink cart when we played.  Because of the wash area through the middle of the facility, the restrooms are located near the beginning/end of the Boulder Course and there are a few sets of portables strategically placed throughout the rest of the course.

 

Following are pictures of a few of the holes on the Boulder Course.  Pictures under the marker go with that particular hole so that each one is a marker that tells you which hole we are looking at followed by one or two pictures from the tee.  Most are from the back but you can tell which are not. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I owned this hole!  The sixth is 502 yards from the back tees and 423 from the front. 

 

 

This is the seemingly innocent par 3 at the 17th that you hit from an elevated tee box over a pond.  Its more of a challenge than you might think but entirely doable.

Local residents cheer you on!  Or is this one laughing at me?  Hmm…

Oh yeah, this one is mocking me!

The Cimarron website describes the 18th hole as a par 5 that measures 569 yards from the back tees and 401 from the front.  Here they say you’ll need three solid shots to get to the green since there is prairie grass to the left and you’ll go up the side of a hill if you hit to the right. There isn’t too much trouble on the right, but you could end up with an awkward lie

Inside the pro shop.

This facility offers memberships, couples rates, and other specials.  Fees range from $19 – $99, depending on the time of year.  Check the website here for more information.

Let me just warn those of you who don’t realize just how oppressive the desert heat is in the summer again.  Please know that I have spent my life outdoors in the heat and wear protective clothing and sunblock for these rounds.  In addition, I carry more than enough water and some snacks with me.  I also use a cart of course, which is included many times in this area.  These are absolutely vital to a round in the desert.  Seriously.  Trust me on this one.

 

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Golfgal

    Aug 24, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    My husband and I played this course last Xmas and we loved it – reminded us so much of Scotland – very links-like – pot bunkers and all.

    I agree with zrockstar – good pace of play, nice folks, etc. But I didn’t have the same problem with the greens – playing in cool wetter weather, we didn’t have the concrete problem.

    The only thing I didn’t like was gas powered golf carts – too loud. They did say they were replacing them. I’d definitely play there again.

    I was actually planning on doing a course review on my blog, but you beat me to it 🙂

    Golfgal

  2. zrockstar

    Aug 21, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Played Cimarron with my wife a few weeks ago, and it was a nice course. Since it was her first time playing, we played the short course (17 par 3’s 1 par 4). It was really affordable since they have a special couples package. The range was nice, it was free and you could hit as many balls as you like. Even four par threes, the course was nice and challengin, with deep, deep bunkers and lots of hills. You really need to hit the greens in regulation here. My only dislike were the greens themselves. They were hard as concrete, but I did not find them to be fast. The greens were basically blots of hard grass and sand. Overall though, it was a great experience, and I would go back for sure. Also, everyone in the proshop is super nice, friendly and helpful. Oh, another nice thing is that when we played, there was nobody ahead or behind us for at least 4 holes!

  3. 63Brummie

    Aug 21, 2008 at 7:00 am

    I played this course about 6 years ago and loved it…
    Lost a 9 iron on the inward 9 but still had fun, still have my divot tool too.
    63Brummie

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Courses

Kingston Heath: The Hype is Real

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We touched ground late in the afternoon at Melbourne Airport and checked in very, very late at hotel Grand Hyatt. Don’t ask about our driving and navigating skills. It shouldn’t have taken us as long as we did. Even with GPS we failed miserably, but our dear friend had been so kind to arrange a room with a magnificent view on the 32nd floor for us.

(C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

The skyline in Melbourne was amazing, and what a vibrant, multicultural city Melbourne turned out to be when we later visited the streets to catch a late dinner. The next morning, we headed out to one of the finest golf courses that you can find Down Under: Kingston Heath. We had heard so many great things about this course, and to be honest we were a bit worried it almost was too hyped up. Luckily, there were no disappointments.

Early morning at Kingston Heath C) Jacob Sjöman.

Here’s the thing about Kingston Heath. You’re driving in the middle of a suburb in Melbourne and then suddenly you see the sign, “Kingston Heath.” Very shortly after the turn, you’re at the club. This is very different than the other golf courses we’ve visited on this trip Down Under, where we’ve had to drive for several miles to get from the front gates to the club house.

(C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

Nevertheless, this course and its wonderful turf danced in front of us from the very first minute of our arrival. With a perfect sunrise and a very picture friendly magic morning mist, we walked out on the course and captured a few photos. Well, hundreds to be honest. The shapes and details are so pure and well defined.

(C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

Kingston Heath was designed by Dan Soutar back in 1925 with help and guidance from the legendary golf architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie, who added to its excellent bunkering system. Dr. MacKenzie’s only design suggestion was to change Soutar’s 15th hole from a 222-yard par-4 (with a blind tee shot) to a par-3. Today, this hole is considered to be one the best par-3 holes Down Under, and I can understand why.

I am normally not a big fan of flat courses, but I will make a rare exception for Kingston Heath. It’s a course that’s both fun and puts your strategic skills to a serious test. Our experience is that you need to plan your shots carefully, and never forget to stay out of its deep bunkers. They’re not easy.

The bunker shapes are brilliant. (C) Jacob Sjöman.

Kingston Heath is not super long in distance, but it will still give you a tough test. You definitely need to be straight to earn a good score. If you are in Melbourne, this is the golf course I would recommend above all others.

Next up: Metropolitan. Stay tuned!

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Courses

Barnbougle Lost Farm: 20 Holes of Pure Joy

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Another early day in Tasmania, and we were exploring the Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw-design, Barnbougle Lost Farm. The course was completed in 2010, four years after the neighbor Barnbougle Dunes, resulting in much excitement in the world of golf upon opening.

Johan and I teed off at 10 a.m. to enjoy the course at our own pace in its full glory under clear blue skies. Barnbougle Lost Farm starts out quite easy, but it quickly turns into a true test of links golf. You will certainly need to bring some tactical and smart planning in order to get close to many of the pin positions.

The third hole is a prime example. With its sloping two-tiered green, it provides a fun challenge and makes you earn birdie — even if your tee and approach shots put you in a good position. This is one of the things I love about this course; it adds a welcome dimension to the game and something you probably don’t experience on most golf courses.

(C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

The 4th is an iconic signature hole called “Sals Point,” named after course owner Richard Sattler’s wife (she was hoping to build a summer home on the property before it was turned into a golf course). A strikingly beautiful par-3, this hole is short in distance but guarded with luring bunkers. When the prevailing northwesterly wind comes howling in from the ocean, the hole will leave you exposed and pulling out one of your long irons for the tee shot. We left No. 4 with two bogeys with a strong desire for revenge.

Later in the round, we notice our scorecard had a hole numbered “13A” just after the 13th. We then noticed there was also an “18A.” That’s because Barnbougle Lost Farm offers golfers 20 holes. The designers believed that 13A was “too good to leave out” of the main routing, and 18A acts as a final betting hole to help decide a winner if you’re left all square. And yes, we played both 13A and 18A.

I need to say I liked Lost Farm for many reasons; it feels fresh and has some quirky holes including the 5th and the breathtaking 4th. The fact that it balks tradition with 20 holes is something I love. It also feels like an (almost) flawless course, and you will find new things to enjoy every time you play it.

The big question after trying both courses at Barnbougle is which course I liked best. I would go for Barnbougle Dunes in front of Barnbougle Lost Farm, mostly because I felt it was more fun and offered a bigger variation on how to play the holes. Both courses are great, however, offering really fun golf. And as I wrote in the first part of this Barnbougle-story, this is a top destination to visit and something you definitely need to experience with your golf friends if you can. It’s a golfing heaven.

Next course up: Kingston Heath in Melbourne.

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Courses

Barnbougle Dunes: World Class Golf

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We arrived to Launceston Airport in Tasmania just before sunset. Located on the Northeast Coast of Australia’s island state, Tasmania, Barnbougle is almost as far from Sweden as it gets… yet it immediately felt like home when we arrived.

Launceston Airport, Tasmania. (C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

The drive from the airport was just over an hour, taking us through deep forests and rolling hills before we arrived to Barnbougle Golf Resort, which consists of two courses — The Dunes and Lost Farm — a lodge, two restaurants, a sports bar and a spa. Unfortunately, it was pitch black outside and we couldn’t see much of the two courses on our arrival. I would like to add that both Johan and I were extremely excited about visiting this golf mecca. We later enjoyed a tasty dinner at the Barnbougle Lost Farm Restaurant before we called it a day.

The locals at Barnbougle Dunes. (C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

The next day, we woke up early and got out to The Dunes Course as very first guests out. Well, to be quite honest, we weren’t actually the first out. There were a few locals — Wallabies, lots of them — already out on the course. The natural landscape at Barnbougle is fantastic and my cameras almost overheated with the photo opportunities. After two intense hours of recording videos and producing photos both from ground, we headed back to Lost Farm for a wonderful breakfast (and view). After our breakfast, it was time to try our luck.

“Tom’s Little Devil.” Hole No.7 at Barnbougle Dunes. (C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

Before describing our experience playing the courses, I would like to mention about Richard Sattler, a potato farmer and owner of Barnbougle. In the early 2000’s, Richard was introduced to U.S. golfing visionary Mike Keiser, who had heard about his amazing stretch of farmland in Tasmania and came down to visit. Mike convinced Richard that Barnbougle (which at that stage was a potato farm and still grows potatoes and raises cattle today) might be perfect for creating a top quality golf course.

After an introduction to well renowned golf architect Tom Doak and the formation of a partnership with former Australian golf pro and golf architect Mike Clayton, the development of the Barnbougle Dunes Course commenced.

The walk between the 4th and 5th holes. (C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

Featuring large bunkers dotted between fun rolling fairways shaped from the coastal dunes, Barnbougle Dunes offers the golfer some tough challenges, in particular on the first nine. This is indeed a course that will entertain all kinds of golfers.

After our round, we looked back at some fantastic highlights such as playing the iconic 7th hole, a short par-3 called ”Tom’s Little Devil,” as well as the beautiful par-4 15th. We were just two big walking smiles sitting there in the restaurant to be honest. Lets also not forget one of the biggest (and deepest) bunkers I’ve seen at the 4th hole. The name of the bunker is “Jaws.” Good times!

As a small surprise for Johan, I had arranged a meeting after our round with Richard Sattler. Richard, ever the farmer, entered the car parking just in front of the clubhouse in a white pick-up van with a big smile un his face. We talked to Richard for almost 30 minutes. He is an extremely humble man and left such a warm impression on us. Richard explained the Barnbougle story: how it all began and the property today.

To me, this is a high-end golf destination offering something very unique with two world-class courses in Barnbougle Dunes and Barnbougle Lost Farm, both ranked in the top-100 greatest golf courses by Golf Digest and Golf Magazine (U.S.). With the courses located just next to each other, it’s probably one of the best golf resorts you can find down under and a golf resort that I would like bring my hardcore golfing friends to visit. Everything here is exceptional with the resort providing spacious rooms, comfy beds, good food and spectacular views.

(C) Jacob Sjöman. jacob@sjomanart.com

Barnbougle Dunes is a real treat to play for any golfer and will leave you with a sweet golfing memory. Compared to the golf courses available on the more remote King Island, Barnbougle is accessible (given Tasmania is connected by better flight connections) and the hospitality and service at is much more refined.

The golf resort is one of the absolute best I’ve been to. I can also highly recommend playing Barnbougle Dunes; I had great fun and you can play it in many ways. Tomorrow, we will be playing and experiencing the other course at Barnbougle: Barnbougle Lost Farm, a Bill Coore/Ben Crenshaw course with 20 (!) holes.

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19th Hole

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