The postcardable Fremont Hills and Central Park's Lake Elizabeth act as inspiring backdrops for Fremont Park Golf and Practice Center's wide-open driving range and verdant 9-hole, par-32 course. In addition to puttering around the course and navigating its bunkers, water hazards, and packs of feral groundskeepers, dedicated swingers can head to the driving range to impress swooning geometry teachers with their perfect golf trajectories. With 18 matted stalls and more than 20 grass tees, the range makes it easy to fire off a constant volley of dimpled grapeshot into the stratosphere.
• 18 holes of golf for two (up to a $39 value/person) • A cart rental (a $15 value/person) • Two small buckets of driving-range balls (a $5 value each) • Lunch for two, which includes a sandwich or hot dog, a side order, and a fountain drink at the Skywest Bar & Grill (up to a $12.49 value/person)
After digging up divots as a player on the California Golf Tour and Golden State Tour, golf pro Leigh Ochinero decided to share his passion for the sport by mentoring aspiring golfers. He coached players on everything from improving their short game to developing sound course strategy, and even spent time presiding over golf-instruction company Golf on the Move. Now, he leads GolfSmarts, drawing upon nearly 24 years of teaching experience as he combines traditional hands-on instruction and the modern technology of video analysis. He also invites pupils to join him for playing lessons that test whether or not newly learned skills can stand up to the pressure of a real course's hazards, design quirks, and ball-eating golf carts.
Pruneridge Golf Club’s nine-hole par 30 course features few obstacles and just two holes longer than 300 yards so that golfers can concentrate on making solid contact with the ball and enjoying their round instead of worrying about extreme distance or hazards such as “Sink Holes Probable” signs. Meanwhile, range balls spray from both levels of a two-tier driving range with 44 stalls, and Class A PGA professionals dole out advice throughout indoor and outdoor lessons. During these sessions, Visual Golf stop motion video technology helps golfers see their own bad habits and instructors make recommendations on how students could improve.
Set amid a stretch of hilly terrain, Canyon Lakes Golf Course's 18-hole course offers a player-friendly layout with scenic views of Mount Diablo and the San Ramon Valley. Throughout the course, towering pine trees and treacherous sand traps constrict the fairways, eager to ensnare errant golf balls or 7-iron medal detectors looking for buried treasure. When not taking on the challenges of the undulating course, golfers can head to Canyon Lakes' adobe-style clubhouse, which serves lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every day and breakfast from 6:45 a.m. to noon on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Named as a favorite golf range in 2009 by Golf Digest, Mariners Point offers 64 well-manicured practice stalls, including natural grass and a challenging 9-hole, par 3 course. The double-decker driving range features on-site professionals, high-quality range balls, and power tees that automatically tee up the ball. Use the range card to purchase driving ammunition in small ($7 for 60 balls), medium ($11 for 105 balls), or large ($13 for 165 balls) baskets. Golfers receive 10 additional balls for visiting the range before 11 a.m. on weekdays. Clearly defined target greens and easy-to-read yardage markers make for far easier practice than aiming for the blowholes of passing belugas. When it’s game time, players can hit the course for a round of golf. Drivers, putters, and severely confused baseball players are treated to breathtaking San Francisco Bay views from each of the nine greens.