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Ridge Creek Golf Course in Dinuba

May 28, 2015 02:40PM ● Published by Brandi Barnett

Tee Time

June 2015
By Jordan Venema
Photos: Christy Canafax

The course is new and remote enough that valley golfers might overlook Dinuba’s Ridge Creek Golf Course, but odds are, during hot summer months, this municipal course will prove an oasis in the desert.
   
That’s because Ridge Creek plays more like a championship than municipal course, and happens to be the only course in six surrounding counties that offers championship tees. “It has the feel of a country club, but it’s 100  percent accessible,” explains Rosa Areduin, the sales and marketing director at Ridge Creek. “We’re also the longest golf course in the surrounding six counties, and have one of the longest par fives in the state of California.”
    
Areduin refers to the 653-yard 15th hole, which is appropriately named Tragedy. Technically, the name refers to a variety of plum, not the emotional state of its golfers. “That’s another unique thing about Ridge Creek,” Areduin says. “We definitely honor our roots. The front nine are all named after grapes native to our area, and the back nine are reminiscent of other fruit” – Emperor, Thompson, Alberta and Valencia, to name a few.
   
The course also boasts a 25-acre practice facility, “one of the biggest west of the Rockies,” says Areduin. There’s a 360-degree driving range, two greens, chipping areas, a fairway, “so even if you’re not on the course, you can get your passes in.”
   
If Ridge Creek plays like a championship course, that’s probably because it was designed by a champion: two-time PGA Tour winner John Fought. The city of Dinuba personally picked the Scottsdale-based architect to design a course incorporating native elements.
   
Fought’s design yielded a visually stunning, low-maintenance course that accentuates a view of the Sierra Nevadas. “We are a Heathland-themed course, reminiscent of the St. Andrews courses,” Areduin says. “There’s little trees, little water, and the challenges on the course are rough fescue and deep bunkers, some as deep as six or seven feet.”
   
In terms of water conservation, Dinuba’s decision to design a Heathland-themed course proved prophetic. “It was the brain child of the management team back in 2006. The issue was too much wastewater.” So the city built a course whose water supply comes from neighboring wastewater plant. “All that unused water down the drains comes out to Ridge Creek,” says Areduin, “all 250 acres of the course and range.”
   
With California in the midst of a historically severe drought, and Gov. Jerry Brown mandating water agencies reduce use by 25 percent, golf courses will likely bear the brunt. And since the average golf course can use up to a million gallons of water a week, sourcing wastewater seems a natural next step for golf courses, especially as reservoirs drop to record lows.
   
According to Areduin, it’s still rare for golf courses to source wastewater, but the idea is become more prevalent in the industry. “For the city of Dinuba, it was a forward-thinking idea.”
   
The wastewater plant is near the course, but it’s out of sight and out of scent. “The water is treated so it doesn’t create any funk for our guests,” says Areduin.
   
When other courses start browning, Ridge Creek’s greens will remain green. So in all likelihood, Ridge Creek could see more traffic. And considering other amenities, that wouldn’t be a surprise.
   
The clubhouse, Three Finger Jack, is also an award-winning restaurant. “We offer American cuisine, and recently our paper awarded us best fine dining and best steak house,” says Areduin. They also cater and host events, “something as small as a bridal shower or up to a 250-person reception.” Naturally, there’s plenty of golfing happening, too. “A whole lot of charity-focused tournaments,” Areduin says.
   
Areduin also points out that most courses have eight-minute increments between tee times, whereas Ridge Creek has 10-minute increments. “Pace of play helps create the experience on the golf course,” she says.
   
And the course offers something money can’t buy: the assurance that teeing off isn’t also draining one of California’s most precious resources, which during this drought translates to a guilt-free golfing experience. 

Ridge Creek Golf Course • 3018 Ridge Creek Dr., Dinuba
(559) 591-2254 • www.golfridgecreek.com
Monday-Sunday 7 am-5 pm
Three Finger Jacks Restaurant & Bar •  (559) 591-7064,
Sunday-Wednesday  7 am-8 pm, Thursday-Saturday 7 am-9 pm
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