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SPORTS WEEKEND

Southland Focus

January 16, 1998|SHAV GLICK, 17 handicap.

A weekly look at golf courses open to the public in Southern California.

Borrego Springs Country Club

Address: 1112 Tilting T Drive, Borrego Springs.

Phone: 760-767-3330.

Green fees: $49-59, including cart.

The facility: Southern California's newest public golf course opened Jan. 2 but is in remarkably good playing condition. Designed by Cary Bickler of San Diego, the course and adjacent hotel are the centerpiece of a 1,150-acre resort community being developed near the 600,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

The 6,569-yard course, rather modest by today's macho standards, offers an interesting test for the good and the not-so-good. There are four tee settings that can reduce yardage to 4,754 from forward tees, but four lakes present trouble for all.

The good: Bickler has designed some sturdy tests, despite the relative shortness of the course: Back-to-back par fours of 425 and 459 yards and a par three of 255 yards. To compensate, there is one par four of only 295 yards, but it calls for a 225-yard carry over one of the lakes if you want to go for the green. An unusual concept is a 19th hole, a 145-yard "warmup" to check your tempo and your putting stroke before teeing off on No. 1.

The bad: It's a long drive, even if you live in Aguanga, Julian or Indio. Located in eastern San Diego County, Borrego Springs is 170 miles southeast of Los Angeles, 90 miles south of Palm Springs and 85 miles northeast of San Diego.

The score: The desert scenery, with 8,000-foot mountain peaks in the background, is so magnificent, it can make even a scuffed chip or a three-putt endurable. Well, almost.

*

Overall rating Three balls.

* One ball: No-frills golf.

** Two balls: Worth an occasional round.

*** Three balls: Like shooting four strokes under your handicap.

**** Four balls: Where the golf gods play.

*--*

Hole Back Tees Middle Tees Par Front Tees 1 329 289 4 218 2 518 475 5 401 3 255 236 3 149 4 507 486 5 408 5 367 323 4 283 6 142 118 3 88 7 425 396 4 236 8 459 426 4 366 9 330 301 4 249 Out 3,332 3,050 36 2,398 10 437 412 4 331 11 555 515 5 403 12 219 192 3 110 13 381 338 4 262 14 407 362 4 279 15 197 182 3 130 16 295 287 4 243 17 366 348 4 290 18 380 366 4 308 In 3,237 3,002 35 2,356 Total 6,569 6,3052 71 4,754

*--*

Rating/Slope: Back--70.4/117, Middle--67.6/112, Front--66.7/104

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