Founded by three Scandinavian families in 1977, Scandia Family Fun Center flings open its doors and invites families in for afternoons of youthful fantasy. Manicured hedges and lush green mounds dot the center’s challenging miniature golf course, while go-karts rumble past on the Stockholm Raceway. The sounds of splashing and laughter not only indicate the birth of a pirate, but also a gentle collision between Baltic Sea bumper boats, accompanied by the crack of speeding baseballs and softballs at the batting cages. The center’s Scandia Screamer lifts passengers 165 feet into the air before accelerating to speeds of 65 mph, while the Swedish Scrambler opts for a more amenable 25 mph. Visitors can also exercise their opposable thumbs at a fully-stocked arcade, visit Scandia's snack bar brimming with pizza, hot dogs, and churros.
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:
The path to a dependable golf swing starts at Natomas Golf Center, a full-service practice facility where golfers can fine-tune their game until midnight every day of the week. A fully-lit driving range with both mats and grass hitting areas fosters straighter drives, and covered hitting bays keep players safe from inclement weather or screaming eagles convinced that golf balls are their eggs. Golfers can also practice their touch with the putter on an 18-hole putting course and a practice green, or work on their feel around the pin at a chipping area with a practice bunker. To enhance their practice sessions, golfers can enlist an on-site instructor for a private lesson.
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:
When renowned course architects Billy Casper and Greg Nash were asked to design Timber Creek Golf Course, they envisioned a 27-hole golf destination that would stretch across 178 acres of rolling terrain. With fairways partitioned by 200-year-old heritage oak trees and 142 sand traps peppered across the course, the Timber Creek course presents an obstacle-laden 6,500-yard layout for clubbers of all abilities. Lakes and waterfalls also come into play on both the front nine of the 18-hole Timber Creek course and the nine-hole Sierra Pines course, adding scenic challenges and making the courses navigable by golf carts or golf bags that inflate into hovercrafts. A staff led by two PGA instructors presides over Timber Creek’s golf academy, where golfers can hone their tee-to-green skills in lessons and clinics. Days that start on the dew-kissed fairways can end at Timbers at the Lodge, where mahogany-hued wood paneling surrounds guests as they dine on beer-battered cod filets, veal marsala, new-york steaks, and more from an eclectic dinner menu.
The duo of 18-hole courses, Woodcreek Golf Club and Diamond Oaks Golf Course lie side by side, making it easy for guests to sneak in a double-header. The former, a par-72 track, unravels amongst mature oak trees and native wetlands, while the latter, a Ted Robinson-designed classic open since 1953, accommodates the skill spectrum with three sets of tees and straight fairways. Guests can fine-tune their games on the night-lit driving range and chipping green, or head to the pro shop to stock up on the latest golf gear, including drivers, designer shirts, and blow horns for waking up napping caddies.