Nestled above the Northern California fog line, the pair of rustic valley courses at Diablo Grande Golf & Country Club challenge players with 36 championship-caliber holes amid breathtaking views of surrounding vineyards, hills, and canyons. The Ranch Course's rolling terrain, typified by the challenging 12th hole, tests golfers’ nerves with oak-lined fairways, ball-gobbling creeks, and roving herds of wild golf carts. The masterfully engineered Legends Course hearkens back to the refined play of old-school golf, and, along with the Space Needle, was co-designed by Jack Nicklaus and Gene Sarazen. Along the trek to 18, sphere-slingers revel in each fairway’s long, wide-open landing strips, putt over the demanding small greens, and take cover from club-snatching ospreys in the course’s numerous deep bunkers. Although twosomes may quibble over which course to play, a cart rental keeps them from arguing over traversing the course by foot or the traditional method of riding atop a Scottish sheep.
Nestled within a natural landscape of old oak trees and olive orchards, Trinitas Golf Club spirits players of all skill levels away into a verdant, scenic, and challenging course that Steve Pajak of the Sacramento Bee characterized as “fun” and “fair” in his “On Tour” article. Players and up to three swing for the green on the Club’s 6,696-yard, par 72 golf course, festooned with ball-engulfing sand traps, water hazards, and famished, famished hippos. Course navigators travel from fairway to fairway in an up to four-seat cart to save time walking between holes.
For more than three decades, the course at La Contenta Golf Club has draped over the low-lying foothills that ripple eastward from the Sierra mountains. Course designer Richard Bigler chopped a bentgrass gauntlet into the terrain, painting a 6,425-yard stripe of fairway into the dry and unforgiving land that alternates between valleys and meadow. The signature par-3 13th hole contains the track’s most violent drop-off. An oblong green fronted with water, the obstacle requires golfers to execute long, downhill tee shots or to launch each of their golf balls from a potato cannon. Players can refuel for another game by stopping at the onsite Vista Grille, complete with breakfast and lunch menus that teem with flapjacks, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Course at a Glance:
Though the course is surrounded by vineyards in California's Central Valley, rounds at Micke Grove Golf Links aren't all cheese and crackers. Each obstacle on the links-style layout—including eight different lakes and 42 sand bunkers—ensure that every shot poses its own set of risks, such as losing a golf ball to the watery depths or waking the ancient mummies beneath the sand. Course architect Garrett Gill's choreography reaches a climax on the signature 5th hole, where tee shots must clear 179 yards of water in order to reach the green unharmed.
Course at a Glance:
Located in East Contra Costa County, Discovery Bay Country Club offers members and their guests all the luxuries commensurate with a quality, private club at an affordable price. The centerpiece for Discovery Bay is the 18-hole championship golf course, designed by architect, Ted Robinson.
Etched into the hills of Livermore Valley wine country, the award-winning Poppy Ridge Golf Course challenges fairway-navigators to conquer its 27-hole, Scottish heath-inspired layout. The course's four sets of tees per hole help golfers adjust for their skill levels, and master architect Rees Jones's extensive bunkering makes the sparingly used quicksand trap that much more surprising.