Designed by Clark Glasson and built in 1961, Deep Cliff's 18 hole, par 60, executive course is nestled in the Cupertino foothills. A short course of 3,358 yards, Deep Cliff is recommended by many course reviewers as a good starting point for beginners.
Veteran golfers may look at Blackberry Farm Golf Course's seven par 3s and two par 4s and immediately think "piece of cake," but they may soon regret it. It's true that the overall length is very short at 1,544 yards, but if they're not dialed in with their short irons and putter, the round will still be a long one regardless of yardage. The fairways are narrow and the greens small, so accuracy is paramount. This makes the course a prime spot for polishing short game skills and building a smooth, reliable swing?something made much easier without the added pressure of extreme length.
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 equips its patrons with the physical skills and mental edge to succeed at the game of golf, and then nudges them toward the first tee of its 9-hole course. Beginners and scratch golfers alike can benefit from the establishment's game-improvement measures, whether treating themselves to range balls at the two-tier driving range or hitting up a Class A PGA Pro for lessons on driving, putting, and even course management. They can also benefit from some computer-aided assistance with Visual Golf, which employs video technology to let players see their own bad habits, chart a course for improvement, and demonstrate stoicism in the face of difficult lies.
When players are ready to unveil their retooled swings, they can tee up on the nine-hole course, which consists entirely of par 3s and 4s. The club also offers a twist on the game as a home for FootGolf, a combination of soccer and golf that involves kicking a regulation soccer ball into oversized holes on a shortened course.
Emerald Hills Golf Course strings together nine par 3 holes that test short-game proficiency as players use shorter irons to propel their golf balls through course's frequent elevation changes. The sixth hole presents opportunities for holes-in-one with a downhill tee shot of just 120 yards into a bowl-shaped green, easily replicated from a backyard deck into an inflatable swimming pool.
Golfers hoping to shave strokes off their scores can work under the tutelage of the course's certified teaching professional, Chris Raddie. Players can then practice Chris's corrective advice after a lesson or before a round on the two practice greens or midsize practice cage, which can double as a penalty box for prevaricating scorekeepers.
Course at a Glance: * 9-hole, par 27 course * Total length of 1,156 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 54.2 from the back tees * Course slope of 88 from the back tees * Two sets of tees per hole
Cinnabar Hills Golf Club is named after the rich, red ore mined from its hills in the 19th century. Its three 9-hole layouts?The Canyon, The Lake, and The Mountain?foreshadow the property's topographical variety. Elevation changes and scenic overlooks are a constant across this 27-hole complex sculpted into San Jose's southern foothills. The 9-hole layouts can be combined into six different 18-hole playing experiences, keeping the adventure fresh as players select from multiple tee boxes, putt on exceptional Northern California greens, and relish scenic views throughout the course. Oak trees fill the landscape and attract a diverse population of wildlife, including red-tail hawks known for preying on unsuspecting bunker rakes. The enchanting layout and location have helped the course garner numerous awards, including the title of Best Public Golf Course from the San Jose Mercury News, San Jose Magazine, Metro, and the Silicon Valley Concierge Association for many years in a row.
After rounds, golfers can refuel at the full-service restaurant and bar, or bask in the game's rich history at the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum. Full-size replicas of the four major championship trophies glisten in the display cases, along with a host of other golf artifacts.