News Article | 10/1/2000

Natural Wonder

Los Angeles Lifestyle & Golf10/01/00


By Catherine LopezSometimes we need a break from our everyday routine and many of us find that break in a round of golf. But sometimes that isn’t enough. That course might be located near a major road or freeway, where the sounds of cars racing by remind you of the traffic you will sit in on your way home. The course may offer beautiful views of the city, but the site of those buildings only taunt you with the amount of work sitting on your desk. The beautiful homes lining the club you are playing are also gentle reminders of the responsibilities awaiting you at your own home. You wish you could get away for a peaceful round of golf without the reminders of daily life, but you haven’t the time for a weekend getaway.After five years of planning and nearly a year of construction, there is a golf club where you can “getaway” without driving a few hours to get there. Lost Canyons Golf Club (just thirty minutes from downtown Los Angeles and about an hour from Orange County) is one of the most serene golfing experiences in Southern California. There are views of White Face and the Santa Susana Mountains from all 36 holes. There are no views of the city, no homes in view, no sounds or sights of “civilization,” just a peaceful, but challenging round of golf.Lost Canyons Golf Club is the newest creation brought to life by master designer, Pete Dye and course consultant, Fred Couples, who have carved the two new championship public golf courses in the canyons of Simi Valley. Both courses, The Sky Course (opening this October) and The Shadow Course (opening in December) were designed using the natural layout of the land. When the course was built, little of the natural surroundings were disturbed. The elevated tees were found, not made. The trees are mature. The undulations are natural and bountiful. That’s one of the many qualities that makes Lost Canyons unique. Dye has said that “Lost Canyons may be the best site I have ever been given for golf.” The conditions and layout of the land could not be more ideal.Lost Canyons will set itself apart from other golf clubs in Los Angeles in many ways. The new high-end, daily fee club is priding itself on the service it will provide.“Our service will differentiate us from everyone else, Project Director/Director of Golf Jay Colliatie says. “Service will be the one true amenity we will sell.”Expect to receive the highest level of service and accommodations from the moment you arrive until your departure. One of the main attractions is the caddie service provided by CSI, Caddie Services, Inc. (the caddie service used at Augusta National and Pinehurst No.2).At Lost Canyons, your forecaddie unloads your bags from the car, gets you checked in, prepares your cart, replaces your ball marks and divots, orders and retrieves your lunch, aside from providing you with knowledgeable recommendations for your game and upon request, will read the green for you. The use of a forecaddie is uncommon at public, daily fee golf courses in Los Angeles. The help to ensure a consistent pace of play, excellent advice, and the consistent maintenance of the course is beneficial in keeping the courses in the best shape possible.“It’s a great experience for the golfer that comes out here to have a forecaddie with him who really knows what to do and what to expect,” Colliatie says. The forecaddie is provided at no additional charge. Their services are included in the green fees, which run $115 Monday-Thursday and $135 Friday through Sunday with twilight times in development. The forecaddie system is only the icing on the cake. The clubhouse is set to open the same day as the golf club. The pro shop will carry the best apparel and equipment. Every detail is being triple checked. The practice facility will feature a putting area that emulates the greens on the course instead of providing a flat putting surface, and is accompanied by a large chipping area. The driving range will have nine target greens reaching as far back as 400 yards and the balls used will be Nike balls. “Everything about Lost Canyons will be the best,” Colliatie says.The head professional at Lost Canyons is John McCook, who previously held positions at Ocean Trails and Pelican Hill, two upscale courses overlooking the ocean.“I am very excited to be here,” says McCook, who is in the process of hand selecting his professional staff. McCook is also gearing up for the Golf Academy will handle group, individual and junior lessons and ladies clinics,” he says.The courses comfortable stretch out over 1,700 acres of land, contributing greatly to the serene atmosphere and if it is a Pete Dye course, you know you are in for some interesting golf. “The golf course is not good, it’s great. It’s my opinion both courses will be in the Top 100.” Colliatie says. “I think it’s synonymous with Pebble Beach. I think it’s synonymous with PGA West. If we had an ocean in our backyard, there would be no comparison.” But who needs the ocean when the surroundings and topography of the land are so spectacular.With the Sky course measuring 7,235 yards from the back tees, McCook and Colliatie assure us it is a fun and enjoyable course for players of all levels. The course features five sets of tees (black, gold, white, copper and silver) and can bring the yardage down to just under 5,000 yards.The holes were named to reflect the surroundings or to reflect some historic significance. The No.2 hole, “Santa Susana,” a par 3 measuring 155 yards from the Silver Tees received its name because of the views of the mountains. This hole features one of the largest, multi-tiered greens on the course. When you reach this hole, your caddie may suggest you aim to the right of the flagstick to avoid three pot bunkers and steep hillside to the left of the green. The No. 6, “El Roblado,” a 380-yard par 4, received its name from “a nearby area where pioneers once relaxed on Sunday afternoons,” says Meg Mackenzie, Director of Marketing and Sales, who researched the history of the area. El Roblado doglegs left and is guarded by the Arroyo del Tapo and a long bunker on the left side of the broad, rolling fairway. The best approach for this hole would be for your tee shot to favor the right center of the fairway. There are mature eucalyptus trees that frame the green which is protected by bunkers to the left, right, and the rear.“Broken Arrow,” the No. 14, par 5 that measures 590-yards from the gold tees, plays into a prevailing wind. The tee shot is played from high above the wide landing area that is framed by large fairway bunkers on either side. This hole has a plateaued fairway; deep bunkers and an elevated green surrounded by a cluster of pot bunkers. Like many of the holes, this plays into the opening of a deep canyon. The only lake on the course is a five-acre reservoir that is also used a part of the irrigation system. The layout of Lost Canyons couldn’t be more perfect.Lost Canyons will always remain secluded. There will be a residential community built, but only 30 of the homes will offer golf-course views. Even the homes with the views won’t be intrusive because they will be situated high above the course. Lost Canyons will remain a golfers’ sanctuary, a place where golfers will want to get away. Mackenzie says there are plans to transform Lost Canyons into a resort that will maintain the tranquility of its surroundings.Lost Canyons is sure to be one of your favorite courses to play. “This is special. Everything about Lost Canyons is special.” Colliatie says. For now, the capping soil is preserving the greens awaiting your arrival.For more information on Lost Canyons, call (805) 522-4653 or log on to