The mounded terrain and cavernous bunkers of Riverbend Golf Club's 18-hole, 7,374-yard course recall the windswept terrain of golf's original Scottish links. The distant peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains peek over the course's sparse population of valley oak trees, adding scenic flair to an environmentally friendly layout that houses egrets, herons, hawks, and winged divot tools. Both the front and back nine play to dramatic conclusions, as the 9th and 18th holes are the first and second most difficult on the course, respectively. The course strictly enforces a dress code, so players should dress in a collared shirt and leave behind jeans and hard-spiked stilettos, or and they can peruse the fully stocked pro shop for club-appropriate garb and new gear.
Pristine fairways gently rise and fall across 6,664 yards of undulating terrain at Pajaro Valley Golf Club's 18-hole course. Located a mere Goliath's drive from the Pacific Ocean, golfers can smell the crisp sea air and hear the hushed whispers of heist-planning pelicans throughout the picturesque par 72, once the verdant kingdom of 1930s golf legend Olin Dutra. The club’s E-Z-Go golf carts ferry about the arsenal of woods and irons needed to triumph over the transition from shorter par 3s and 4s to the lengthy fairways at the 1st, 4th, 15th, and 17th holes, all par 5.
After looping the horticultural haven, golfers can retreat to the club's full-service restaurant, where frothy beers and hamburgers refuel weary bodies and famished 9-irons. Spiky-shoed journeymen can place their order ahead of time at the 9th or 18th tees, ensuring their meal will be ready for them at the turn or shortly after the round.
Practice is only beneficial if a player is disciplined. In other words, sloppy practice produces sloppy performance on the course, while true gains are only realized by concerted effort and repetition. The same goes for practice facilities: lots of experience hitting off of dirt or putting on shag carpeting isn't going to do much good when it comes to playing on a well-tended course.
Recognizing this, Pacific Golf Centers tends to its 9.5 acres with the same precision and care as would an exclusive country club. It keeps its 15 grass tees laser leveled at 5/16" and equips 17 of its 43 synthetic tees with TrackTee monitors, which provide immediate feedback on shot parameters such as ball speed and overall distance. Three putting greens, meanwhile, let players get their fill of practice rolls and no-look chips, and teaching pro Bruce Vieira is always ready to step in when players are in need of some extra help. Once hooks have been straightened and iron accuracy calibrated, players should head into the Tap House for a well-deserved beer while enjoying sports programming on HD televisions.
Years ago, the tule elk roamed the lands surrounding Stockton, bellowing "Fore!" during the rutting season and carving golf holes into the untamed earth with its antlers. Named in honor of that majestic creature, the Elkhorn Golf Club maintains 18 holes on immaculately manicured, generally level grounds. Golfers conquer Tyee 007 bentgrass greens?the same used by US Open site The Olympic Club?which can be mowed low and quick, and roll true and smooth. After a round or two, parties can pile into the Elkhorn Grill for pub fare paired with a frosty craft beer.