October 19, 2021

NCGA Course Rating: The Highest and Lowest

NCGA Course Raters spend time traveling to courses throughout Northern California rating courses for our members.  A recent road trip really spoke to the diversity of golf courses we get to enjoy in our part of the world.

The team visited Furnace Creek GC, the world’s lowest elevation golf course at 214 feet below sea level, located in Death Valley.  That same week the team made the trek to Mammoth to Sierra Star GC – at a full mile and a half (8,000 feet) above sea level it is the highest-elevation golf course in California.

The team rises early to get the job done and according to Jim Cowan, NCGA Director of Governance the sunrises at Furnace Creek GC are pretty spectacular as the sun first hits the mountain peaks to the west and then descends to the valley floor where the course is located.   Palm and tamarisk trees frame the fairways and majestic mountains are visible from all areas of the course.  Playing and rating this course present unique challenges as you test your mettle against the low elevation and the low barometric pressure.

The rating team really has stayed focused at Sierra Star GC as they took in the rolling hills, the tree-lined fairways and some of the most breathtaking views of any course in North America.  They also have to pay attention to their calculations, the course sits at an elevation of about 8,000 ft., meaning your ball can fly a long way.

If you are interested in learning more about Course Rating and what it takes to join the team – please contact NCGA Assistant Director of Course Rating Jeremy Gray .

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