Morgan Creek: A Family Affair
Long before the first ball was teed, the founders of Morgan Creek Golf & Country Club in Roseville envisioned a golf course unique to the region—a place where families would live and play and build a strong community. Today, more than three years since the first player split the fairway, Morgan Creek remains true to that vision with its distinctive European-flavored golf course in concert with an American family lifestyle.
Indeed, it’s near impossible to find a distinction between the seamless blend of golf and family at Morgan Creek. One goes hand-in-hand with and complements the other just as a child draws strength from a parent’s encouraging grasp on that first trip to the lesson tee. A peek at the country club’s website reveals an album of attractive photographs that capture the inseparable yin and yang of golf and family—family and golf.
“Ours is a unique approach in the country club world,” explained Ken Kelley, Morgan Creek general manager. “Golf is our most important asset and a serious part of what we do. We think the design, conditioning and improvements to our course demonstrate a world-class experience, but we’re also succeeding in offering a lifestyle and programs for families that sets us apart.”
The seemingly idyllic way of life at Morgan Creek works as well in practice as it does in theory. In addition to Kelley, other members of the management team who live at Morgan Creek with their families include two of the club developers, the membership director and Director of Golf Juli Hilton.
A former LPGA Tour player, Hilton bought at Morgan Creek before entertaining the thought of working there. She and her family moved from the Bay Area to seek a less hectic environment and a more affordable housing market. “We weren’t even looking for a golf course property,” she explained. “We liked the family package and the secure neighborhoods.”
Hilton subsequently decided to set aside tour golf and was offered the director of golf position. “I fell in love with the course,” she said. “It’s a player’s course where course management is very important. With our selection of tees and hole locations, you’ll rarely hit the same shot twice.”
At its foundation, Morgan Creek, is 546 acres of gently rolling terrain, majestic oaks and colorful wildflowers. The responsibility for sculpting the bare land was entrusted to internationally recognized golf course architect, Kyle Phillips. Paying due homage to the ancient lowland pastoral courses of England and Scotland, Phillips skillfully blended the existing heritage oaks and natural creek with his H.S. Colt-inspired Heathland design, to create a stunning course that rivals the finest clubs.
Morgan Creek is an 18-hole, par-72 championship course that measures more than 7,300 yards, making it the longest course in the Sacramento region. From the back tees the course offers enough challenge to satisfy those who play on a professional level. Four additional tees ranging from 6,900 to 5,500 yards provide a comfort level and a fair test for any player.
Length is not the only challenge players will face. Phillips, a student of the game and its master architects, makes use of split level fairways, “old world” bunkering, long grass fairway hollows, grass bunkers and other diversions, not the least of which is the breathtaking views down the fairways and back from the greens. Immaculately manicured tees and greens, spectacular uses of water elements and cart paths hidden from view from the tee add to the course’s dramatic visual appeal. The course is easily walkable, being relatively flat from tee to green.
Phillips, whose resume includes renowned courses in six countries including Kingsbarns Golf Links near St. Andrews, Scotland, Golf Eichenheim in Kitzbuhel, Austria and The Grove in London, England, says, “Morgan Creek has all the elements that make a great course including a variety of club selection, multiple lines of play for all handicaps and the opportunity for good shots to be rewarded. Even though most of the hazards are in full view of the first-time player, Morgan Creek is an intellectual course and the more that the members play it, the more they will come to know and appreciate the subtleties of its design.”
When work is completed on Morgan Creek’s 13,000-square-foot family recreation center, the facility will feature an aquatic center, fitness and aerobics, drop-in day care, a restaurant, a wood burning pizza oven and a gelato bar—all designed to make it a neighborhood gathering place and to help foster the sense of community. A complete clubhouse facility with all the conveniences is currently in the planning stage.
With approximately 75 of the 579 Morgan Creek community home sites remaining, buyers can choose from homes with living spaces ranging from 2,500 square feet to estate-sized on half-acre home sites overlooking a man-made lake. Priced from the mid $800,000s, the homes are being built by Lakemont Homes and JMC Homes. A number of custom home lots are available.
Michael Anitra is a sales agent for Lakemont Homes and a resident, as well. “This planned community with a variety of amenities is exactly what we were looking for,” he said. “Every night, we come home to a neighborhood where people know each other and look out for one another. It’s a good lifestyle we share with good friends.”
When complete, Morgan Creek’s membership will cap at 425. Currently, memberships are available starting at $41,000. Though private, the course is open to the public on Mondays. A green fee of $125 includes cart and range balls.
“We go out of our way to encourage our members with special activities for children, for adults and for families as a group.” Kelley said. “People are so busy today that by providing activities and services not just for the golfer but also for the family, it gives them opportunities to spend time together. I guess you could say our modern approach is not your ‘grandfather’s country club.’ Our focus on family includes grandchildren.”
Morgan Creek Golf & Country Club is located at Vineyard Road & Morgan Creek Lane in Roseville. For more information on Morgan Creek or any of its builders, call (916) 780-CLUB or visit www.morgancreekclub.com