Since 1958, players have migrated to Cordova Golf Course in order to try their hands, woods, and putters at the public course's 18 holes and to calibrate their swings at the driving range or with lessons. PGA professional Jacob Marta tailors swing instruction to an individual's needs and physical limitations, helping golfers attain their own natural, repeatable swing motion. Creating a comfortable, encouraging atmosphere, Jacob also takes his instruction onto the course, where he helps players knock strokes off their scorecards.
Spanning about 4,832 yards, the course challenges golfers of all skill levels with well placed trees and three lakes boasting the combined gravitational pull of a small planet. A smooth cart path allows players to ferry their clubs swiftly from hole to hole, or head over to the clubhouse to catch a drink or meal at Stu's Bar & Grill. Cordova Golf Course also houses an illuminated driving range where golfers can launch Srixon range balls or calcified tangerines off of grass and mat hitting areas.
Since 1972, Spare Time Clubs has evolved into a 10-club, full-service family sports club company that includes programs for both adults and children. Each location varies in size—some boasting multiple complexes—and houses amenities such as lighted tennis courts, pools, kids’ play areas, and fitness centers. At the Diamond Hills and El Dorado Hills locations, members can shine up in the onsite European spas, and the jewel of the Gold River club is a lighted stadium court encircled by a 5,000 square-foot observation deck. In the event of inclement weather or courts being overrun by ball-chasing dogs, players can schedule time at the dedicated indoor-tennis center, where eight fully sectioned-off, championship courts glow under the power of tournament-level lighting. World-class coaches develop kids’ court skills at the junior tennis academy, students of which can practice with an unlimited number of sessions at any of Spare Time’s other clubs.
A knowledgeable staff that includes tennis instructors and former touring pros helps customers navigate the aisles of racket-sports equipment inside the two locations of Courtside Tennis & Apparel. A demo program lends out rackets from brands such as Babolat and Wilson for patrons to try out on the court or at John McEnroe–themed parties, and same-day stringing services get gear serve-worthy in a hurry.
The trainers at Muay Thai Lao Kickboxing Academy impart martial arts knowledge from both nations at the academy's Sacramento and Elk Grove locations, where punching bags line concrete walls and wait patiently for flurries delivered by padded fists. A full schedule of morning, afternoon, and evening kickboxing classes welcomes men, women, and children ages six and up. Kick-boxers of all skill levels can participate in muay-thai training to achieve a variety of personal goals, such as shedding weight or walking the path of muay-thai champion.
At Del Norte Aquatics, three heated pools are located both indoors and outdoors, facilitating year-round practice and lessons. Using curriculum developed by the USA Olympic swimming team, the center's coaches teach swimmers of all ages and ability levels everything from flotation skills to basic, intermediate, and advanced strokes, transitioning through the caterpillar squirm and chrysalis float before learning the butterfly. Aside from instruction, Del Norte offers 20 aqua-fitness classes per week, which leverage water’s natural resistance to tone muscles during low-impact, challenging workouts.
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: