Golf Course Knowledge

The following inquiry submitted by Steve Guderian, BOD Member

I am looking to hear back from the Somersett Community on the following:

  • Who Owns Canyon Nine Golf Course?
  • Who governs the Somersett Golf Country Club, SGCC?
  • And what does the SGCC do for the community?

I have been doing my research into this but I would really like to hear what the community has to say about these things.

Steve Guderian
SOA Secretary

4 thoughts on “Golf Course Knowledge

  1. Here is a somewhat biased response to you questions.

    The Canyon Nine is owned by the SOA and is managed by them as well. You may have seen the notes from the board that they recently awarded the contract for maintenance of this course to a new vendor. Somersett Golf and Country Club has had the maintenance contract for the last decade or so. I will be interesting to see if this new vendor, who no experience with golf course maintenance, will keep the course is as good shape as it ahs been for the last several years.

    The SGCC is a separate entity entirely and is owned by the equity members of the club. The land of the course is owned by the SOA and the SGCC operates with a long term lease for the land. The land where the club house and other structures are located is independently owned by SGCC.

    What does SGCC do for the community may depend on who you talk to. Somersett was designed and a golf community and as such the course is the predominate feature for the most part. Of course, when it was designed, the number of homes was anticipated to be around 2400 or so. However, over the years Sierra Canyon was expanded from a target of about 600 to what appears to be twice that number and of course the rest of Somersett was expanded as well to a total of close to 4000 or more homes.

    Over the years, SGCC has tried different programs to attempt to incorporate the community in its activities. This somewhat mandator within the lease agreement with the SOA as well. So some of the things that are provided include
    * access to the private golf course with reduced rates for all residents
    * access to the driving range (back tees are always available) at no cost
    * access to the bocce ball courts at no cost
    * access to the Somersett Grill bar and restaurant for all residents and the Grill will allow account billing with an aggrement
    * there are several community events including the concert on the driving range, a community bar-b-que and others.
    * SGCC supports several volunteer activities including food bank, clothing and food collections for those in need, and many others

    The biased point of view is that the SGCC adds significantly to the values of living here which are reflected in home values and other things.

    Hope this helps.

    Terry Retter

  2. Terry

    I basically concur with your comments above.

    On the Canyon 9 maintenance however, I have always wondered why we had to spend around $360K per year to maintain a “very small” golf course to Championship Standards. As this is an amenity, the $60K revenues from the public (not just Somersett residents) is a drop in the bucket. So 3100 dues paying members are paying an $8 a month subsidy! And we are all still paying a to buy this amenity…

    My fear is that by not allowing the SGCC to maintain the C9 we may well, coupled with the $500K bill they will owe us to repair their rockery walls that collapsed, drive them into bankruptcy. Quite frankly our community has failed to plan for this contingency … so our dues – per Tony Fakonas when he was BOD President – may be raised for all by $60/month.

    When we moved here in 2006, we were told that the planned community size was ~3700 units (its in the PUD). Somersett was promoted as a golfing community, so living in a gated (secure) upper-scale community was desirable to us… I am not sure when Terry moved here…

    As far as adding value to our properties, I would draw folks attention to the Arrowcreek property value study done 2 years ago by UNR which, showed that on-golf course lots had a negative value -4% and there was no measurable added value (or loss) for the other lots. What we do have here, compared to Arrowcreek, by being surrounded by our great Sierra Nevada vistas (Carson Range (Mt Rose), Verdi Peak, Crystal Peak and Mt Peavine) is far better ambience!

    My biased view is that our desert mountainous vistas trump Championship grass. As Terry correctly states, the SGCC does add to our community, enhancing highly desirable social memes.


    1. Minor numbers – maybe – however, Sierra Canyon is part of the original Somersett PUD and was to be 856 units (divided among 10 Villages). When the builder, Pulte, saw real estate booming, he created a separate PUD of his own by the name of Sierra Canyon II for 356 units (divided among 5 more Villages). Those Villages were subsequently annexed into Sierra Canyon which now comprises 1,212 units in Villages 1-15.

      As has been pointed out: for all owners in greater Somersett approximately $8.00 of their monthly dues goes to help pay back the loan Somersett took out for the land of the private golf course. The background of that is too long and too completed to go into here, at least by this author. Needless to say, it was controversial at the time and still is.

      The private course and club house have lots of positives and negatives depending on one’s point-of-view.

      The numbers that Sierra Canyon owners need to keep an eye on are those that relate to their recreational center, i.e. the Aspen Lodge. It was built for the original 856 units and now there are 356 more. Lodge expansion and its costs leading to increased dues and/or a special assessment could be on the horizon. At least owners will vote!

      I know the number of visits to the Lodge for what purpose is tracked. However, there is no breakdown as to the percentage of residents (owners and renters) who use it daily; a few times a week; once a week; a few times a month; rarely; or never. As statisticians know, numbers can tell different stories depending on what the “number people” want them to show/prove. Lodge usage could be by the few many times over. “Real good” numbers need to be known before owners are asked to vote to pay for physical Lodge improvements/expansion. As many say, when an event is “full” why not hold it twice instead of making “the room larger.”

      Lodge classes that participants pay for have popularity that wanes over time and are always under threat of cancellation. Why not allow Somersett/The Vue/The Village residents to join them with the understanding that when full and a Sierra Canyon resident wants in one of the non-Sierra Canyon residents has to drop out (last in first out)? Non-Sierra Canyon residents would not be allowed to use the gym or pool.

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