Golf News Magazine09/01/00LOST CANYONS GOLF CLUB A LEGEND IN THE MAKING The Coachella Valley is usually the golfing destination of choice for many traveling vacationers. Noted golf architect Pete Dye turned the tables and has given Coachella Valley’s local and visiting golfers 36 reasons to leave the area for a golfing experience like nothing they have ever had before with the soon-to-be-opened Lost Canyons Golf Club, located 30 minutes northwest of downtown Los Angeles.Carved out of the hills and valleys below the majestic Santa Susana Mountains on a portion of historic Big Sky Ranch, Los Canyons is the home of two spectacular 18-hole layouts, the sky course, scheduled to open in October and the Shadow Course, opening in December. Each course measures about 7,000 yards from the back tees. PGA tour star Fred couples is a consultant on the project.Most Dye-designed courses share similar characteristics, including extensive use of railroad ties, deep pot bunkers and man-made lakes. PGA West was created from nothing but barren desert. The TPC Stadium course was shaped out of a marshy landfill. Ocean Trails was built on wasteland overlooking the Pacific Ocean.Landmark national presented Dye with a challenge he had yet to face. No other course, heretofore, that Dye was involved with gave him the unique hurdles he had to overcome in designing Lost Canyons. He had to design golf course without disturbing a large amount of the environment. By Dye’s estimates, 1.2 million cubic feet of land was moved in the construction of both courses. In constructing the average upscale golf course. It is not unusual for 10 million cubic feet or more of dirt to be displaced. The land on which Lost Canyons sits provided Dye with the perfect canvas on which to design what he says is “the crown jewel” of all his courses. Those are strong words coming from someone who does not like to compare his courses. “The ambience and everything around it is already here,” said Dye on a recent visit to Lost Canyons. “You don’t have to create anything here. You just have to make it playable as possible. The challenge is already here. The Man upstairs is responsible for this one.”When Lost Canyons opens, golfers will be treated to amenities usually reserved for members of the most exclusive country clubs, including a 11,000 square foot ranch-style clubhouse with a fully-stocked pro shop, grill, men’s and ladies’ locker rooms, intimate bar and executive conference rooms, state-of-the art practice facility that will rival the best in the world and a forecaddie program that will assist golfers from the moment they step out of their cars until they leave the property. Green fees will range from $115-$130, with discounted rates for junior and senior golfers.“This is going to be a special place,” says Jay Colliatie, project director and director of golf, and former director of golf at PGA West. “Our goal is to provide people with the same service and treatment one would get as a member of a top-quality golf club. Everything will be first-class.”John McCook has been hired as the club’s head professional. He was formerly the head pro at Ocean Trails (another Dye course), Pelican Hill golf Club in Newport Beach, Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage.“Lost Canyons will be an ideal venue for Los Angeles-area corporations to hold golf outing and tournaments,” says Meg Mackenzie, Lost Canyons’ marketing director, who previously served at PGA West and La Quinta Resort and Club. “Our facilities are perfect for such events, and the courses speak for themselves.”A big challenge for golfers at Lost Canyons will be to stay focused and not to get too caught up in the beauty of the surrounding area.“I think golf courses should be unfair and very difficult,” Dye said. “I feel when you build a golf course, you try to make it so someone can at least play it, but on the other, if it’s not challenging and doesn’t have a few pot bunkers they can’t get out of, they’re not going to come back.”For tee time reservations and further information so you can experience the beauty and the challenges of Lost Canyons, call (805) 522-GOLF , or log on to www.lostcanyons.com.