Designed to incorporate sparsely populated groves of trees, Foothill Golf Course’s nine-hole, par-3 layout tests golfers' short to mid iron skills across 1,096 yards of holes that range from 100 to 155 yards. On certain nights, the course invites guests to tee up phosphorescent golf balls and pummel them into the darkness during rounds of glow golf. An indoor sitting room and an outdoor area lined with picnic tables await golfers after rounds, where they can enjoy beverages from the pro shop and speculate about which water hazard has eaten the most golf balls.
Course at a Glance:
In 1965, the twists and traps of Ancil Hoffman Golf Course were born from the brain of course architect William Francis Bell. Bell's approximately 200 course designs also include the South Course at Torrey Pines, a La Jolla course that was selected to host the U.S. Open in 2008. Ancil Hoffman is replete with watery views, including lateral water hazards on holes 1 and 10. Additionally, the Merle Priddy Memorial grass driving range runs next to the American River, offering golfers a place to perfect their swings using Nike practice balls. Practice facilities also include two large putting and chipping greens.
Led by PGA director of golf instruction Eric Pollard, the instructional programming at the course is based on a teaching method Pollard designed himself after years working with California golf instructors Eddie Merrins and Carl Welty. In addition to adult lessons, Ancil Hoffman Golf Course offers camps where juniors can develop their swings and grow into kilts made of the family tartan under the watch of a professional instructor.
Course at a Glance:
Bass Lake Golf Course's par-72 course challenges players of all skill levels with up to 5,939 scenic yards of rolling foothills, stubborn trees, and glittering lakes infested with hungry, hungry hippos. The course's 18 holes test golfers' finesse with short layouts—including the up-to-150-yard hole 10—and driving accuracy with lengthy layouts—such as the up-to-526-yard hole 1. Since taking ownership of the course in 2002, Alex and Sabrina Ho have enhanced the club with a 30-stall driving range, practice greens, a pro shop, and an onsite restaurant and bar.
Staffed by experienced professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of Golfing Robotics, GolfTec’s syndicate of golf training centers grooms games with a five-pronged approach enhanced by technological refinements. Score-shaving wisdom resonates within the walls of the indoor facilities, where certified personal coaches point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips to permanently improve their game from tee to green. By utilizing video swing analysis and motion-measurement software, instructors can assess pupils’ abilities with objective data and a fact-based tact superior to traditional hearsay-oriented coaching strategies. To further enhance performance, GolfTec offers club-fitting services to match each swing profile with its ideal set of sticks.
Antelope Greens Golf Course challenges experienced and novice players alike as its par-58 executive course draws them through up to 3,250 yards of landmarks, from an island green to a 70-yard downhill hole girded by bunkers and a creek. Rented golf carts zip through the sinuous landscape, dropping off golfers by their desired tees and taunting hitchhiking caddies. A course map offers an aerial view of the 18 holes, their landscape of watery obstacles, and an all-grass driving range where Groupon customers can exchange two tokens for 80 golf balls or a tarot reading.
In five decades as a golf-course architect, the late Robert Muir Graves put his stamp on more than 800 golf courses worldwide. His artistry is on full display at Cherry Island Golf Course, where he sculpted shapely fairways and greens into the scenic wetlands of Elverta. Throughout the course, Graves balanced holes pocked with streams and ponds with more straight-away tracks, where the only threat of water comes from the clouds and the open mouths of pelicans flying overhead. The course's hardest-rated hole, the par-4 seventh, is a titan of a hole. Though it only measures 391 yards from the tips, a pond runs from the right side of the fairway to the front of the green, imperiling golf balls on both tee shots and approaches.
Before testing their mettle on the links, golfers can get their timing down at a driving range with grass and artificial tees. The practice facility also encompasses two putting greens where golfers can get a feel for the speed of the putting surfaces without having to drive their cart onto the first green.
Course at a Glance: * Designed by Robert Muir Graves * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,494 yards from the tips * Course rating of 71.0 from the tips * Slope rating of 120 from the tips * Four tee options