Golfers who have played Trinitas won't forget it.
Golfers who haven't have two weeks to create a memory.
The breathtaking course, forged out of a Calaveras County olive orchard and shrouded in mystique and controversy since its completion in 2007, is closing May 31.
"The sun is setting on Trinitas," owner/builder/designer Mike Nemee said Monday.
The Community Bank of San Joaquin controls the property, located 20 miles east of Stockton, after a foreclosure sale last month. After years of political disputes regarding the legality of the business the course was built in an agricultural preserve without permits shaky finances spelled its doom.
Emails announcing the course's closure have been forwarded throughout the golf community for days, most accompanied by a "how sad" sentiment.
Nemee said he plans to maintain Trinitas "at the highest standard through final day, through final putt."
For golfers interested in seeing the hourglass 17th green built over a creek or the 18th hole that anchored The Bee's recent toughest 18 holes project, greens fees are $39 weekdays and $49 weekends after 9 a.m. and include a cart.
"We'll be going out first-class," Nemee said.
U.S. Open qualifying
Can someone be playing too well for his own good?
That might be the case with Austin Smotherman.
The Loomis teenager was 3 under par through six holes at U.S. Open local qualifying Tuesday at Mayacama in Santa Rosa despite having not played the course.
On the 322-yard par-4 16th hole (Smotherman's seventh), his second shot rolled over the green and into a collection area.
From there, his first chip rolled back to his feet. Then, instead of playing safely to the middle of the green, he again went directly at the tucked pin. He knocked three balls past the hole and into the water.
He made a 12. He played the remaining 17 holes 5 under par. If he makes a double bogey on No. 16, he advances to the sectional stage.
"I should have hit my fourth shot to the middle of the green," he said. "It was me thinking I could hit any shot."
Of the six players advancing from local qualifying last week at Serrano, four were local: Cameron Rappleye (Elk Grove), Earl Cross (Grass Valley), Matt Hollinsead (Fair Oaks) and Vince Venard (Sacramento).
Venard birdied the last hole to get into a four-man playoff for the final three qualifying spots, then bested Donnie Baucom (Orangevale) on the fifth playoff hole to earn the final spot.
Ben Geyer (Arbuckle) advanced through local qualifying at Ruby Hill in Pleasanton.
Sectional qualifying is June 4 at Lake Merced. The U.S. Open is June 14-17 at the Olympic Club in San Francisco.
Dave Baskins won the Sacramento County Senior Men's Championship for the second year in a row last week at Ancil Hoffman. His two-round total of 6-under-par 138 was five shots better than Jim Knoll. Don Bowen beat Gary Guinn in a playoff for the county's super senior title.
The Sacramento County Women's Championship is June 2-3 at Ancil Hoffman. The deadline to sign up is May 26. Go to www.sacgolfcouncil.org for more information.
No more memberships
Memberships are a thing of the past at Sunset Whitney.
Nearly a year after buying the then-private Rocklin club and making it public but offering a limited number of annual memberships Charlie Gibson, the managing partner of the new ownership group, said the course is going 100 percent daily fee.
Trying to provide a private-club experience at a public course ultimately didn't serve either group, Gibson said.
"You can't sell steak and hot dogs in the same room," he said.
There about 120 annual memberships that won't be renewed, Gibson said. They expire July 1.
Whitney Oaks, Sierra View and Catta Verdera should benefit from Sunset Whitney's players intent on a membership experience.