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|Westwinds Golf Course in Victorville, Calif., gives golfers breathtaking views of the surrounding desert landscape. (GolfPublisher.com)|
VICTORVILLE, CALIF. -- There are two municipal courses in the High Desert town of Victorville in Southern California. One is Green Tree Golf Course, which is seen by many a traveler on the North side of Interstate 15. The other is Westwinds Golf Course, which is hidden from sight some 10 miles from the freeway in what was once an Air Force base.
But while Westwinds is hidden away and hosts on average 18,000 rounds per year, there are plenty of players in the area who think its location is just about perfect.
"I'm kind of glad it's tucked out here, not where everyone can see it," said Victorville's Mike Armijo. "They really treat you great out here."
Good service is but one of the charms of West Winds, a nine-hole course that can be played to 6,495 yards from multiple tee settings, along with a maximum slope rating of 121. Of course, that's before the wind takes over its namesake.
"Try to go there when it's not too windy," said Wendell Molina of Apple Valley. "Because let me tell you, that place can live up to its name."
Such is the way of life for golfers in this neck of the woods, however. It's desert country and come early afternoon or so, the wind will start howling, which will either help or hinder your game at Westwinds.
"When the wind kicks up, it's a totally different course," said Armijo. "When you get that wind behind you on some of these holes, look out."
Looking out is always a good idea at Westwinds, where likely the best feature is the sprawling views of the desert landscape the course provides, particularly on hole No. 4, where the elevated tee box gives a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
There's a lot to like about Westwinds that makes it a worthy play. The course is kept in good condition, they have solid practice facilities, the people behind the counter treat you right, and the play is challenging enough for all but the best golfers.
Set in a growing area, Westwinds seems like the type of course that is ready to mature into a full 18-hole run, and it has the surrounding room to do so, but right now it's just a matter of priorities for the city said Director of Golf Janey Lynch.
"It's kind of a hidden surprise. Typically you hear about a nine-hole course and think it will be easy," said Lynch. "They are planning eventually to put another nine holes out there. But right now, it's really a matter of economics."
So it's likely you'll see an additional nine onto this course that opened in 1996, it just might take some time.
The scenery is spectacular at Westwinds, make no mistake. But on of the issues the course is awaiting help on is the fact that it was built in the middle of an Air Force base, and is currently surrounded by dilapidated housing throughout. Think it can be annoying playing golf surrounded by homes? It's somewhat worse when those homes are vacant, caved in and a real blight. The City of Victorville is hoping to attract a developer to the area to rectify that situation.
But that should b no reason to keep you away, especially with green fees in the $20 region, including a cart. Westwinds will give you plenty of chances to pull out your driver, give you great views of the surrounding desert, and give you a challenging play. All you have to do is find it to enjoy.
November 20, 2006
William K. Wolfrum keeps one eye on the PGA Tour and another watching golf vacation hotspots and letting travelers in on the best place to vacation. You can follow him on Twitter @Wolfrum.
Any opinions expressed above are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of the management.
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