Washoe Creek Golf Course challenges golfers of all stripes with two distinct, scaled-down, nine-hole courses sculpted into the hillsides of southwest Cotati. Cleaved through brambly native grasses and cattail-lined waterways, the emerald links challenge clubbers with topsy-turvy fairways and smug flagsticks that were formerly Olympic javelins. Clubbers hoping to mold their short game or net their first hole-in-one can rip divots at the nine-hole, par 3 course, and those looking for a more multifaceted golf experience can loop the longer links of the executive course, which earned its name due to the naturally sprouting cubicles that line its fairways.
The grounds of Napa Golf Course may not be used to grow wine grapes, but they do produce their own form of refreshment. The 18-hole, par 72 layout gives golfers a breath of fresh, scenic air as they drive, chip, and putt their way through rolling hills, mature oaks and pines, and waterways. The water hazards seldom come into play?except in the event of a big miss?but the trees are a fixture on nearly every hole. The towering arbors pinch the fairways throughout the round, but the most menacing of them all stands on the 10th hole, where a giant oak is planted right in the middle of the fairway.
A driving range hosts pre-round swing rehearsals?a worthy investment, as the first and third holes are two of the course's most difficult tracks. Golfers can also practice putting, chipping, and using flagsticks for semaphore at a 10,000 square-foot practice green.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Length of 6,704 yards from the tips * Course rating of 72.7 from the tips * Slope rating of 131 from the tips * Four tee options * Scorecard
Staff Size: 50+ people
Average Duration of Visit: 4+ hours
Parking: Parking lot
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Recommended Age Group: All ages
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
The 8th hole, a 198-yard par three (from the back tees), has been rated by Golf Digest magazine as one of the Most Fun Holes in America. Additionally, our golf shop was ranked as one of the 100 Best Golf Shops in America by Golf Shop Operations magazine.
What special training do you or your staff have?
I have over 30 years experience in golf-course operations and management. Additionally, we have other PGA golf professionals and apprentices on staff with years of experience in golf operations and instruction. Our food and beverage management team also has years of experience and expertise in culinary skills, as well as golf-course-restaurant and banquet operations.
I'm a first-timer. How do you get me ready for the experience?
We have PGA teaching professionals on staff who can help you with private or group golf instruction.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our full-service golf course and banquet facility specializes in delivering first-class service and upscale food offerings for all type of banquet events, including golf-tournament awards luncheons or dinners, wedding ceremonies and receptions, quincea?eras, birthday parties, business luncheons, private dinner parties, etc.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par 72 course * Total length of 6,948 yards from the back tees * Course rating of 73.6 from the back tees * Course slope of 137 from the back tees * Four sets of tees per hole * Scorecard
Mare Island Golf Club, whose 1892 founding makes it one of the oldest courses in the country, attracts golfers with breathtaking island scenery. Built near old Marine barracks, the course?which wasn't expanded into an 18-hole layout until 2000?originally sported sand greens, dry fairways, and a cast of unusual inhabitants including a Marine lieutenant's horse, who was drawn to the grounds by career aspirations of becoming a golf cart.
Today, the par-70 course begins with nine traditional, tree-lined holes before opening up on the back nine with a links-style layout designed by renowned Pacific Rim architect Robin Nelson. As golfers swing toward distant greens, views of San Pablo Bay and?on a clear day?the Golden Gate Bridge appear from certain vantages and sand-trap oases.
To perfect a backswing or spell out a marriage proposal with golf balls, players head to the 225-yard driving range with a bucket of balls. Patrons should arrive at least 20 minutes before tee times and can grab a bite in the restaurant or look for one of the 10 ammunition bunkers scattered throughout the course, which serve as a reminder of its connection to the military during World War I and II.
Golf legend Arnold Palmer, known in the cleated world as the King and winner of the PGA Tour's Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as a member of the World Golf Hall of Fame, designed the undulating ryegrass fairways at Hiddenbrooke Golf Club. Ranked as one of Golf Digest’s Readers’ Choice Top 50 Public Courses in 2009, the course unfolds scenic views of rolling hills as players give their balls detailed directions, hand them compasses and trail mix, and send them hiking toward the pin. The 12th hole’s pin challenges orbs with one of the toughest locations on the course, and eight sand bunkers guard three sides of the 18th hole’s green. After working up a sweat, swingers can remove their gloves and Kevlar vests and celebrate or commiserate their score at The Grille, where diners gaze out over the greens while munching sandwiches and quaffing beer.
Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,678 yards * Course rating of 72.8 * Slope rating of 142 * 25 hitting stations at driving range * See helpful course map and notes
Measuring in at an imposing 673 yards, the 18th hole at Lake Chabot Golf Course seems, at first glance, like an act of course-design cruelty. There's a catch, though: it's a par 6. The extra stroke, combined with the hole's all-downhill orientation, turns the titanic track into a surprising birdie opportunity.
This final hole caps a breathtaking four-hole finishing sequence that rides the high ground, offering gorgeous vistas without sacrificing course play. At 259 yards, the 15th hole dazzles with tee-box views of San Francisco, Oakland, and the Bay Bridge, but its greatest gift to golfers is a high-risk chance to drive the green (pro tip: keep your driver in the bag; there's less room than you think).
Alongside the championship course, Lake Chabot unfurls a 9-hole, par-3 layout for golfers seeking a shorter round. Shaded by towering trees, the course arcs over the same elevation changes that shape its 18-hole counterpart. Before rounds at either layout, it's not a bad idea to warm up at the driving range and putting green. The Spanish-style clubhouse is also home to the Chabot Cafe, where guests can replenish and enjoy sandwiches artfully skewered with golf tees.
Championship Course at a Glance: * 18-hole, par-72 course * Length of 6,006 yards from the tips * Course rating of 69.5 from the tips * Slope rating of 124 from the tips * Three tee options available