Before Manifest Destiny and the Gold Rush took hold, the land now occupied by Whitney Oaks Golf Club was home to the native Maidu culture's Nisenan. In 1857, George Whitney established Whitney Ranch after purchasing 320 acres of grazing land for his sheep. Exactly 140 years later?once all of Mr. Whitney's sheep had graduated college?Whitney's old ranch officially became Whitney Oaks Golf Club.
Owned and operated by the United Auburn Indian community, the club envelops rounds with thousands of majestic oaks and an abundance of well-placed bunkers. Large granite outcroppings make for tricky shots on certain holes, and the wetland-rich topography adds to the unpredictability of the layout. Prior to stepping foot on the course, golfers can also squeeze in some practice thanks to a 15-station driving range, putting green, and pitching area.
Course at a Glance * 18-hole, par 71 course * Total of 6,794 from the back tees * Five tees per hole * Slope of 140 * Rating of 74.0 * Scorecard
Inside Strikes Unlimited's cavernous entertainment complex, players send bowling balls hurtling down 50 gleaming lanes. Whether they're competing in a league or just enjoying the night with friends, bowlers can watch exciting plays on the center's bounty of flat-screen TVs and massive projection screens equipped with a cutting-edge sound system. Three nights a week, the lights dim, the black lights glimmer, and a DJ starts pumping beats for Glow Bowl, an event that blends the challenge of bowling with the excitement of the club.
Just around the corner from the crack of bowling pins, Halftime Bar and Grill fuels bowling and arcade games with juicy burgers made from certified Hereford-beef patties and frosty draft beers. Two massive projection screens and eight flat-screen TVs broadcast the big game, and pool tables offer a diversion from the bowling lanes. The dance floor pulses on Friday and Saturday nights, as live music ushers in a late-night menu. Trivia night and daily/nightly happy hours are among other weekly attractions.
Streets of London Pub harks back to traditional London pubs with ice-cold pints and ample coverage of rugby and soccer. On the menu of hearty English fare, fries in the witness-protection program call themselves "chips" and lay low under toppings such as gravy, cheese and beans, or cheese and bacon, or pair up with fish in a platter of classic fish 'n' chips. The bangers-and-mash meal allows thick, juicy sausages to snuggle up on a hill of mashed potatoes. Along with food, the pub dishes out events; diners can throw back Guinnesses during weekly pub quizzes, compete for everlasting fame during monthly bingo tournaments, or stop in for Pint Night to enjoy pints on the outdoor patio.
Executive chef Christopher Mathew Headding knows the value of patience. When shipments of marbled Midwestern beef arrive at Chops Steak, Seafood & Bar, he doesn't trim them right away. Instead, he and his kitchen team hang the meat, pull up seats, and intently watch for the next 28 days as natural enzymes break down any toughness and flavor density builds. Once the beef hits the perfect color and firmness, Christopher gets up and trims the top sirloin, new york strips, and other cuts of steak by hand.
Such attention to detail pervades Chops Steak, Seafood & Bar at both its Folsom and Sacramento locations. Besides the aged steaks—which also include fillets wet aged up to 21 days—Christopher's team works with high-quality seafood, such as chinook salmon, australian lobster, and alaskan king crab. To complement these dishes, bartenders serve a selection of wines and signature cocktails, such as the Saint Bernard with Absolut Ruby Red vodka and freshly squeezed grapefruit juice.
Re-imagined in 1999 as a haven for live music, Powerhouse Pub hosts multiple concerts weekly from such sell-out performers as Elvin Bishop, Pablo Cruise, The Drifters, The Coasters, Edwin McCain, Tracy Lawerence, and Little Big Town. As the sound of music wends through the labyrinth of bars and patios, guests dance and drink a variety of uncommon libations fetched from a rolling oak ladder. When the stages die down, the owners turn up the 15 televisions and digital projection screen to capture sports action such as Monday Night Football.
Every inch of Powerhouse Pub is intricately decorated. The walls drip with musical paraphernalia and texture, the fine-grained wood is lit by intricate glass chandeliers suspended above animal- and floral-print carpets. Plush, velvet-topped stools cozy up to every horizontal surface, but leave plenty of room for games of pool and, most importantly, dancing, the only known cure for the starving artist besides money.
At Churchill Arms Pub, flat-screen televisions proudly broadcast sports games, as on-lookers feast upon classic pub food and drink draft beers. The English-styled pub offers traditional pub meals such as fish and chips or bangers and mash while pro and college football games entertain visitors. Pizzas carry bounties of buffalo chicken or pepperoni, as patty melts team up with pub mac and cheese, to the chagrin of vegan men named Mac everywhere. Draft beers—such as Newcastle or Stella Artois—pour forth during events such as pub trivia or bingo, while jukebox tunes mingle with the sounds of balls clacking on a pool table.