One of the best places in Chico to learn the intricacies of golf was the Sunset Hills Golf course. Located on Garner Lane getween highway 99 and the Esplanade, the nine-hole 3-par course was the perfect place for the beginner. That’s where I contracted the disease known as GOLF.
From the driving range to the putting green, Sunset Hills had it all. Even a little kitchen where a golfer could grab a cold beer after a round, or a coffee roll and coffee depending on the time of day. Even supplies for a golfer, from gloves to balls to clubs.
Then something happened a few years ago. The course became dilapidated, overgrown with weeds to the point where all that was left was an unkempt driving range and a mere three holes which nobody wanted to play. The reason of course, was the probability that Walmart would buy the site to build its new super center. The course fell into disrepair. It was so sad.
Sunset Hills became pretty much like a ghost town compared to it’s heyday. Most beginner golfers eased over to Skypark, those that became good golfers became regulars at Bidwell, and an occasional prodigy, perhaps Tuscan Ridge.
I went to Skypark on Friday and counted eleven golfers waiting to tee off. So, I went over to what used to be Sunset Hills to get in some swing work on the driving range. To my surprise, Sunset Hills was like the Phoenix rising from the ashes. Watson Dobbs, manager (and golf pro) had spent months breathing new life into the course. Backbreaking work for one man, dedicated to the sport of golf.
All nine holes had been renewed, the driving range ready for all who need some work on their swing. The putting green, eager to challenge those who need the challenge. (Remember the ol’ saying…drive for show, putt for dough?)
Sunset Hills is back in business!! The greens have yet to fully mature, but for beginners, it’s the best place to learn and practice the sport, from driving, to short irons, to putting. It’ll probably be another month before the greens have matured, but for those that want to become infected with the sport of golf, Sunset Hills is the place for it to happen. IT’S BACK!!