Auburn's DarkHorse Golf Club was sold last month to the Asian Pacific Group, a Chinese investment firm based in Irvine.
The sale is most likely positive news for area players.
"(The buyer is) committed to doing some good things," said Rod Metzler, who owns Empire Golf, which will continue to manage and maintain the course.
Metzler is preparing a budget for a permanent clubhouse, completing two on-course restrooms and bunker renovation. There is no timeline on the capital improvements, he said.
DarkHorse, in the Sierra Nevada foothills about 50 miles east of Sacramento, has operated with a temporary clubhouse and on-course portable toilets since opening in 2002. It has only a beer and wine license.
The ability to host 120 players for dinner in conjunction with golf is "what's missing right now," Metzler said.
Asian Pacific, which reportedly paid $1.7 million for DarkHorse, did not buy any of the surrounding residential property. It bought the course from Owens Financial Group, which took it over in 2007 after its developers, Ed Fralick and his son, Chad, defaulted.
Asian Pacific also purchased Sunridge in Carson City, Nev., last month.
49ers bad for business
Area courses were deserted Sunday afternoon while the 49ers, in a game that started at noon, rallied to beat the Atlanta Falcons and advance to the Super Bowl.
Brent Cohen, the manager of Turkey Creek, could see the lack of activity coming on the course's mostly empty tee sheet, so he did two things:
Sent an email blast Sunday morning offering a free round with a paying one after 11 a.m.
Rooted against the 49ers.
The email offer generated four free rounds, Cohen said. Rooting against the 49ers was more futile.
"I'm a fan of my golf course," he said.
Super Bowl Sunday is usually a big golf day, and while morning shotgun starts shouldn't be affected too badly by the 49ers' participation in the game that starts at 3 p.m., that afternoon figures to provide a lot of alone time on area courses.
"If you don't care about the Super Bowl, that afternoon is a great time to play good courses cheap," Cohen said. "Just look for the deals."
Champ is second
Sacramento's Cameron Champ tied for second Monday in the American Junior Golf Association's Puerto Rico Open. Miami's Jorge Garcia won, earning a spot in the PGA Tour's Puerto Rico Open in March.
Champ is the sixth-ranked junior boy in America in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings. Cameron Park's Corey Pereira is No. 14.
Mark your calendars
Arbuckle's Almond Blossom best-ball tourney is Feb. 23-24. Fantastic greens surrounded by blooming almond orchards and gracious hosts it's the most fun you can have three-putting between Sacramento and Bandon Dunes. Call (530) 476-2470 to sign up.
The Sacramento City Four-Ball at Bing Maloney is March 16-24 (over two weekends). Details can be found at www.sacgolfcouncil.org.