The Saticoy Club: One of SoCal's most acclaimed and challenging courses
Southern California has changed greatly over the past 100 years. But one thing has remained constant: a golf club in Ventura County that is as fresh and relevant today as it was back in the day when luminaries such as Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Babe Didrickson Zaharias traversed its fairways and greens.
That club is The Saticoy Club, a jewel in the crown of Golden State golf, and a course that has both a rich history and an exciting present. It’s a club that is attractive to those who enjoy the service and amenities that any respectable private club must offer, but also one that tests and sharpens your golf game.
The course opened in 1921 as the Ventura Country Club. The designers were the legendary George C. Thomas and William P. Bell, who also designed Riviera Country Club and the North Course at Los Angeles Country Club, among others. The course became a centerpiece for the development of the county, and in the 1940s Crosby brought some pals to the property for a tournament designed to benefit the local military.
In 1946, the name changed to the Saticoy Country Club (it most recently changed to The Saticoy Club) and in 1964 a new course was built designed by William F. Bell (the son of the original course’s co-designer), with a clubhouse envisioned by Fred Hummel, who would eventually become California’s State Architect.
Never one to rest on its historical laurels, The Saticoy Club has regularly renovated its property. Notable architects Roger Muir Graves and Tom Doak have participated in redefinitions and, most recently, John Harbottle in 2005 created the classic bay-style capes of bunkers that exist today. In 2016, the 6,985-yard, par-72 course had all of its fairways converted to hybrid Bermuda grass, which is both drought tolerant and a pristine playing surface.
Long history short: The Saticoy Club remains one of the most acclaimed, and challenging private clubs in the state. The fairways are undulating where you rarely find an even lie. The greens are severely sloping and fast, which challenges players at every level. The bunkering is beautiful and treacherous.
Though the course can be intimidating, it’s also about a dozen miles from the ocean and from the higher elevations the views can be remarkable.
The first tee shot on hole No. 1 sets the tone for the day. It is an elevated tee with out of bounds on the left and right. The view overlooks the Channel Islands and is beautiful any time of the day. Hole No. 14 is awe-inspiring as you look down the winding fairway with a 100-foot deep canyon all the way up the left side of the hole.
While the course and the always mild weather on this part of the California coast are big draws, there are plenty of other amenities at The Saticoy Club. The Pit is a world-class short-game practice area, there are two putting greens, a swimming pool with dining services and a fitness center.
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Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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