Sacramento-area golf courses can’t get out from under water

The recent rain has Campus Commons Golf Course is under water again. The course was scheduled to reopen this weekend after being closed for a month.
The recent rain has Campus Commons Golf Course is under water again. The course was scheduled to reopen this weekend after being closed for a month. Courtesy of Campus Commons Golf Course

Most golf courses in the Sacramento area are soaked and unplayable.

Campus Commons is literally under water – again. Tuesday afternoon, Dry Creek was on the brink of its namesake creek overflowing onto its back nine – again.

Before the early week deluge, both courses were set to fully reopen this weekend after being closed for a month.

“You have to laugh; otherwise you would go crazy,” said Campus Commons owner/general manager Wendy Arinno.

Campus Commons was destined to flood again when water officials announced Monday that flow in the American River would be increased to 30,000 cubic feet per second. That’s the magic number for river water on the course, Arinno said.

Dry Creek owner/GM Chris Choe said he was praying the creek that runs through and alongside his Galt course doesn’t overflow again. Seven inches of rain in early January sent water over levees on Nos. 1, 9, 10, 12 and 18, he said.

18 World amateur golf ranking for Corey Pereira of Cameron Park

His grounds crew spent the past month clearing fallen trees and, with the course’s pump again operational, drying out the back nine. Another flood could mean another month of closure.

Choe said vultures looking for deals at online booking sites have created more problems. Paying as little as $10 to play the front nine with a cart, many have ignored repeated pleas and signs to keep carts on the path and have created muddy ruts.

“I turn my head for a minute and they’re driving everywhere,” he said. “I have had to kick many of them off. That’s what you get with that kind of clientele.”

Campus Commons lost eight trees, mostly cottonwoods, in the January flood. All nine greens looked remarkably good during a Sunday inspection. The flood-water sand left behind had been spread evenly and plied with grass seed over the past two weeks, work that could largely go for naught depending on how high the water rises this week. Flood water went completely across the course to the bike trail on the other side in January.

“If they let out 35,000 (cubic feet per second), we’re starting from scratch,” Arinno said.

College report

▪ Texas A&M junior Cameron Champ (Sacramento) is charging forward since overcoming back problems that sidelined him during his freshman season. He won for the first time as a collegian in the Fighting Illini Invitational in September, then won the Patriot All-America Invitational in December. His Patriot win came with an exemption into the Tour’s Air Capital Classic in Kansas in June.

▪ Washington senior Corey Pereira (Cameron Park) is No. 18 in the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Champ is 79th.

▪ Texas freshman Emilee Hoffman (Folsom) finished inside the top 15 in four of five fall tournaments.

You have to laugh; otherwise you would go crazy.

Wendy Arinno, Campus Commons owner/general manager, on the weather’s impact on her course

Worth repeating

In the First Tee of Greater Sacramento’s January newsletter, junior tour member Olivia Alcoran proved a worthy spotlight subject.

Readers learned that Alcoran, a sophomore at St. Francis High School, has been on the First Tee A/B honor roll for five years, that her dream foursome would include Lydia Ko, Michelle Wie and Danielle Kang, and that she plays the ukulele, piano and guitar.

But it was her answer to the question, “If you were granted three wishes, what would you ask for?” that really resonated. “World peace, the ability to speak every language, and to make every putt,” she said.

Tournaments on tap

▪ Almond Blossom best-ball (gross and net), Feb. 18-19, Arbuckle. Call 530-476-2470.

▪ Sacramento City Four-Ball, March 18-26, Bing Maloney. Register at

Et cetera

▪ Austin Smotherman (Loomis) qualified for the PGA Tour Latin America.

▪ The Northern California Golf Association will conduct a rules seminar March 10-12 at Valley Hi. Call 916-684-2120.

Steve Pajak: 916-326-5526, @Steve_Pajak