Golfers can hone skills at Turkey Creek

By: Cecil Conley, Sports Editor
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An unseasonably warm Saturday morning was the ideal time for Bill Frazier to work on his golf game. Turkey Creek Golf Club was the ideal place for the Lincoln Hills Sun City resident to do just that. A polo shirt was more than enough for Frazier as he chipped one ball after another in the direction of the practice green. He joked that no one should be fooled into thinking he knows what he is doing. If he did, why would he need to work on his game? To be caught in the act of practicing may also mean Frazier will face ridicule the next time he goes out for a round with his buddies. If he is taking the time to hone his skills, it had better pay off, “I’m probably one of the best practice facility players you’ve ever seen,” Frazier quipped between swings. At least Frazier was not alone. Turkey Creek offers two-hour clinics on Saturday mornings for golfers who could use a tip or two and those who wonder why the ball appears to have a mind of its own. The clinics are a bargain at $10. Micki Miller made the drive from Rocklin to Turkey Creek last Saturday to participate in the clinic and straighten out her swing. She compared it to having the oil changed in her car every few months. “Everything can be wonderful and then it’s not,” she said. “You get into habits and need to be evaluated.” Ramon Gonzalez, Turkey Creek’s head professional, and his assistants are mechanics in that they repair techniques and heal bruised egos. John Scudder fine-tuned Miller’s swing last Saturday. “He was really nice,” Miller said after working with Scudder on the driving range. Scudder also worked with Camo Linker, who traveled from Cool in need of advice to fix his erratic swing. Frazier spent his time on the practice green above the driving range. There is ample room for golfers to practice chipping and putting. A bunker near the green allows for wedge work - and frustration. Turkey Creek has invested more than $20,000 to upgrade its practice facility. When the weather cooperates, golfers can tee off from grass on the driving range instead of using the synthetic mats. “We’re on the grass as much as we can,” said Gonzalez, who is also Turkey Creek’s golf operations manager. The practice facility remains a work in progress, said Gonzalez, who plans to have picnic tables near the practice green so parents can relax when their children are participating in youth events. “We have a full-purpose facility,” he added, “and we’ve worked to make it one of the best in the area.” The economy has not been kind to the golf business, but Turkey Creek on Highway 193 is making ends meet by catering to serious golfers and those who think an iron is only used to press their pants. “It’s a collar-shirt facility, but it’s a casual place,” Gonzalez said. “We’ve done well even with the economy.”