Sand Canyon residents have watched the changes at Robinson Ranch unfold over the last couple of years, anxiously awaiting its final transformation. It began with closure of the Mountain Course due to drought conditions. Then there were the fires, followed by floods.
Owner Steve Kim had the weighty decision to create a direction for the necessary redesign after half the holes on the Valley Course were burned in the Sand Fire. He and his team took a drought-friendly approach, choosing to build a “desert concept” style for the golf course. While designing the outdoors, the owner also redecorated the clubhouse, which now has crystal chandeliers and new furnishings in the Sycamore Bar & Grill.
And last month he changed the name. Robinson Ranch is now Sand Canyon Country Club.
“Everything is kind of changing after the fire and so much rain,” Kim said. “The fire caused us to close down. Now we are making it a 27-hole course.”
Sand Canyon Country Club will have three nine-hole courses—Mountain, Valley and Desert. Valley and Desert are open and the Mountain Course is still being constructed.
“To conserve water we’re doing a lot of things,” Kim said. “Like synthetic turf. And we’re making it a desert course.”
There are 30 spots on the driving range, which has synthetic turf, and will soon be covered by solar panels for additional shade.
“We got (the) permit and it’s being fabricated,” Kim said.
There are special promotions with various tee times, some as low as $35 per player, which are spelled out on the Sand Canyon Country Club website. Lessons and membership are offered also, and there are tournament packages available.
Indoors there were both physical changes and an effort to make the facility more community friendly, head golf pro Mark Kagaoan told Canyon Country Magazine in March. “We have the most beautiful clubhouse,” he said. “Some of the concerns were we were always closed because we were such a busy wedding and event venue.”
Steve Kim said that changes to the patio, including Plexiglas, mean the Sycamore Bar & Grill can remain open during most of the events held at the venue.
“Now we have a fireside patio, so it’s a separate room covered with glass,” Kim said. “Occasionally, unless it’s a big wedding, the restaurant will be open.”
Sand Canyon Country Club can hold functions with as many as 300 guests. There is live music on weekends and the Sycamore Bar & Grill holds events such as taco night and wine tasting.
Its final phase should take about two years. Kim is planning to expand the club to become a resort, complete with a 100-room hotel, a spa and tennis courts. The plans will be submitted soon for the project, he said, a vision he compares to the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.
But in the meantime, Kim’s message to locals is: “Just come in.” Even the name change is his way of communicating his desire to build a sense of community.
“He is a golfer, he loves golf. He wants this place to succeed,” Kagaoan said.
From Kim’s perspective, Canyon Country residents are invited to step up to the tee and become a part of the changing landscape at Sand Canyon Country Club — both inside and out.