It’s not what you’d expect to see while rolling down I-5, but right next to Rolling Hills Casino in Corning is Sevillano Links, an 18-hole golf course that brings to mind the layout and terrain of the game’s very first courses.
Like its name suggests, Sevillano is a links style course and one of only a few in this part of the country. To qualify as an honest-to-goodness links course, it would have to be in Scotland and situated on coastal strips of sandy land between the beaches and the inland farms.
Sevillano, however, certainly has all the other hallmarks of a links course, including a dearth of trees, a thick rough of native grasses, prevailing breezes and plenty of bunkers.
It’s close enough to an authentic links course to impress former Weaverville resident and avid golfer Burke Adrian, who recently traveled north from Fair Oaks to play Sevillano for the fourth time.
“A great thing is the design. You could be at Bandon Dunes and all that you’re missing is the ocean,” Burke said, referring to the popular links course in Oregon just south of Coos Bay. “It’s a true links course. You have prevailing winds that are fairly constant that bring out the links nature and the difficulty. It was a fairly calm day but we still had wind influences.”
Redding resident Stan Williamson, Burke’s playing partner, said the course offered some unique tests. “The challenging thing is the blind shots that go along with a links course. I believe No. 5 is a good example. As you stand on the tee block it is suggested that your target is a freeway billboard far in the distance. It’s not close to how it would set up in your mind, but if you trust it and hit for the billboard you found you ball in the middle of the fairway.”
Both golfers raved about the course’s condition. “The first impression is how lush and green everything was. The fairway lies were incredible and the greens were in great shape,” Williamson said.
“There are a lot of blind shots and hidden landing areas and the pin placements are really important. They have really large greens with undulations that will affect your club selection,” Burke said, noting that golfers could find themselves choosing from as many as four different clubs depending on the hole location and the amount of wind.
Sevillano is a John Daly signature course, and its design was influenced by the touring pro and British Open champion who’s well-known for his “grip it and rip it” style of play and the prodigious length of his golf shots. (Clive Clark and Michael Stark were the course architects.)
As a result, the course is seriously long and high handicappers should be careful when selecting which tees to play from. The options range from a jaw-dropping 7,823 yards from the John Daly tees to a much more manageable 5,364 yards from the Olive tees.
The friendly folks in the pro shop will be happy to guide golfers to the most suitable set of tees to help ensure a fun day on the course. A large and fully outfitted natural grass practice area and driving range is a great place to warm up and work out the kinks; golfers interested in taking their game to the next level should consider individual or group lessons from Jennelle Wroge, a Class A LPGA Professional.
For tee times, directions and other details, visit www.sevillanolinks.com or call (530) 528-4600.
Jon Lewis is a freelance writer living in Redding. He has more than 30 years experience writing for newspapers and magazines. Contact him at email@example.com.