It just takes one visit to Sevillano Links to appreciate the qualities that make it a wonderful course to play for both novice and professional golfers.
“There are not many courses like it in the United States,” said Donna Komar, General Manager. “To fly above Sevillano Links is amazing because the course is so expansive, and you can see the beauty of its undulating greens surrounded by native grasses. There are beautiful natural ponds at the far end of the course, and the undisturbed terrain surrounding the course is home to diverse wildlife and birds.”
Sevillano Links at Rolling Hills Casino is a John Daly Signature, 18-hole championship golf course. Named a “Best New Golf Course” by Golfweek magazine, it is one of the few, true links style courses in the Western United States.
A links is the oldest style of golf course and is the most popular style of course in Scotland, where the game originated. Undulating greens with no trees are a characteristic of Links style courses. “There aren’t trees to hit, but there are fairway bunkers and other things to worry about,” said Komar.
Just outside of the Sevillano Links clubhouse is an exceptional practice facility for developing and fine tuning putting, chipping and driving skills. “Even if a person isn’t going to play a round of golf, they can come and practice and enjoy the day,” said Komar.
Sevillano Links is especially beautiful in the spring, when wild flowers are blooming. However, the taller grasses surrounding the course in the spring make balls a little harder to find when they roll off the greens. “Many of our heavy hitting golfers find the course easier to play in the summer and autumn after the flowers have died,” said Komar. “We plan to add sand barriers in a few areas to catch those balls.” According to Komar, the sand barriers will help protect the terrain as well as make it easier for golfers.
While the terrain surrounding the course is known for its natural beauty, the greens enjoy a reputation for being lush and well manicured. “There are several types of grasses planted on the course to accommodate the area’s climate and keep it green year round,” said Komar. “And our grounds keeping staff are incredibly meticulous. We don’t have a weed anywhere on the course.”
“We are the best place to have tournaments,” boasts Komar. “We have a championship course right next to Rolling Hills Casino and Carlino’s Event Center, but it’s our customer service that makes the biggest difference.“
“We provide the same level of customer service whether it is the first year of a tournament or the fifth year, and whether there are 20 people or 144. If a group wants a banquet in conjunction with their tournament, we will work closely with Carlino’s Event Center staff to ensure the entire day goes smoothly. We’ll make bag tags and take care of other details as needed. Our valets will take the participants to their carts; show them where to start, and even point out where the difficulties are for each hole. We will do what it takes to make the event comfortable and fun.”
When a group is interested in hosting a tournament at Sevillano Links, they receive a packet of information that includes information about how to put on a successful tournament, even if the organizer has never played golf. The packet includes a timeline for what to do and when to do it. It provides cost guidelines and advice on how to make the tournament more profitable with special contests.
“We try to provide realistic expectations about costs as well as an idea about how much to charge for things like team and ad sponsorships,” said Komar. “Mulligans, putting contests, poker runs, and out driving the pro are all popular ways to raise extra money,” she added.
“The most important part of organizing a tournament is the marketing,” said Komar. “The biggest mistake we see new tournament organizers make is not devoting enough time into recruiting teams, and then being disappointed because they didn’t have enough teams to break even. Most tournaments are very successful, but the organizers must be proactive. They must know who their customers are, and go out and get them whether it’s calling and knocking on doors, face booking or advertising. We will promote the tournament on our website or with backlit posters in our facility, but it’s the organizers’ job to bring in the teams.
Sevillano Links is a five-par championship course, with moveable t boxes. This makes it possible for tournament organizers to offer a level of difficulty that matches the golfing ability of the majority of participants. “If a group is mostly novice golfers, we will suggest closer t boxes. That way the tournament will be the most successful for the group, and they will want to come back next year,” said Komar.
Tournaments aren’t just to raise money. Businesses are using them for customer and employee appreciation. Sevillano Links is also the home course for Chico State University and Corning High School.
“We love to see new golfers here, and our PGA and LPGA pros Ron Kuwata and Jennelle Wroge give lessons and clinics to help golfers of every age and every skill level,” said Komar. “We have junior clinics in the summer, and our Annual Girls Club event is a fantastic introduction to golf for women.”
Komar would like to see more women play golf. “There aren’t as many women golfers here as I’d like to see,” said Komar. “This is a very woman friendly golf course especially as the director, accountant, Food and Beverage manager, shop buyer, and first assistant are all women.”
“Women are an untapped resource for new markets in golf. “More women are in business and golf is a good tool for business,” she asserted.
Sevillano Links has an active women’s golf club led by Jennelle Wroge. “Janelle schedules a variety of events for the club including golf clinics followed by wine and cheese tasting,” said Komar
A typical game of golf lasts about 4.5 hours, and golfers often get hungry while playing. They can call the clubhouse and order a sandwich to be delivered. Or they can get a bite to eat when they return. The clubhouse has a little bar area as well as a well-stocked pro shop with golf apparel, supplies, and clubs.
For those investing in clubs, Komar recommends taking the time to get fitted first.
“In all honesty, I don’t think there is anything that affects your golf game more than having the right clubs for your height, size and swings. Since getting fitted for new clubs myself, I can tell the difference in my own golf game.”
“If you are going to play golf, even if you are a beginner, you want golf clubs that fit you,” continued Komar. “Clubs cost the same whether you get fitted or not, so why not let our pros help you choose the right clubs for you. Plus there is no tax charged at Sevillano Links”
In addition to clubs, the Sevillano Links golf shop has a nice selection of golf apparel as looking good on the course is an important part of the game.
Sevillano Links has a casual dress code that is both relaxed and business-friendly. Collard shirts are required. Cowell and turtleneck long sleeve sweaters are permissible, but tank tops and t-shirts are not. Skorts and jeans are also allowed. “Most golf courses have dress codes,” explained Komar. “The purpose of a dress code is so that people feel comfortable in their attire wherever they play, and they can comfortably focus on their game of golf.”
Winter rates just went into effect at Sevillano Links, although the weather doesn’t seem to deter golfers looking for a good game. “Even when it’s going to rain, its beautiful here,” explains Komar pointing out that it is often cold and damp in Scotland where the game originated. Sevillano Links offers covered carts for rainy days for those who want to warm up and stay dry between swings.
“This time of year is very popular with snowbirds. They stay at our RV Park and play a little golf before heading south.” There are RV Park discounts for those who play at Sevillano Links. The hotels also offer play and stay packages.
Many of the snowbirds as well as locals take advantage of the Senior Day discounts at both the casino and the golf course. “Right now, it only costs $40 to play golf on a Tuesday or Thursday if you are over 50 years of age, and a lot of golfers eat at the Buffet before playing golf,” said Komar. The casino offers 50% senior discount on Buffet meals on Senior Days.
Golf isn’t the only reason travelers stop at Rolling Hills Casino and Resort. “This is a great place to stay,” said Komar. “A lot of our customers like to gamble a little. There are three outstanding restaurants, a Traveler’s Center, RV Park, and two very nice hotels. There’s a hunting and fishing club behind us. It’s a good home base for sight seeing, and the casino has three restaurants,
“Most of our golfers are like me: They enjoy golf; don’t get to play as much as they like; and they like to be challenged a little,” said Komar. “For me and for golfers of every level, Sevillano Links is a fantastic place to play golf.”