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.
Carefully crafted by renowned course architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., The Links at Bodega Harbor’s 6,290-yard course brings the coastal majesty of Scotland’s famous links to the seaside hills of Northern California. Stunning elevation changes test golfers’ ability to adjust their yardages for up- and down-hill targets, while hillcrests offer picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and dolphins using echolocation to chip in golf balls from tough lies in the ocean. Knee-high native grasses and cavernous pot bunkers threaten to ensnare errant shots, and fast, multi-tiered, bent-grass greens make golfers earn every two-putt. The 461-yard par-four 18th is rated the second-hardest hole on the course, ending the round with a dramatic flourish as golfers must launch their approach shot over a brambly ravine to reach a heavily-bunkered green stationed just steps from the sandy beachfront.
Those looking to enjoy bayside views without having to keep track of autonomous golf balls can retreat to The Bluewater Bistro & Bar. Glasses of Sonoma County wine let guests toast to the career of a sandwedge that decided to retire in the ocean as they lounge on couches next to a stone fireplace. The elegant diner serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus anchored by fresh fish and locally-sourced ingredients.
Course at a Glance:
18-hole, par 70 course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr.
Length of 6,290 yards from the farthest tees
Course rating of 71.5 from the farthest tees
Slope rating of 129 from the farthest tees
Four tee options
Sequestered near the scenic environs of Annadel State Park, Oakmont Golf Club's east course provides condensed club-flailing fun across a par 63, executive layout that spans 4,293 yards from the farthest tees. A grassy monolith comprised of eight par 3s and 10 par 4s—three of which measure fewer than 300 yards from the back tees—the course has spent a lifetime making up for its short length with difficult multitiered greens and the endearing social graces of its sentient flagsticks. Throughout the course, the sprawling arms of massive heritage oak trees stand like ancient ball-swatting sentries, ever ready to impede the aerial passage of wayward spheroids. A coterie of 45 strategically-placed bunkers further frustrate duffers on their path to golf nirvana, assisted by the burbling abscesses of intervening ponds and creeks, which come into play on four holes. Divot-tearing duos traverse the emerald links astride an obedient golf cart, which assists in hunting down runaway balls and rogue ball washers throughout the round.
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
Twenty-seven acres of vineyards stripe the rolling hills that surround Eagle Vines Vineyards and Golf Club's 18-hole layout, a 7,297-yard path designed by World Golf Hall of Fame member Johnny Miller. Home to cherry trees, oaks, and multiple ponds and swathed by the Napa Valley countryside, the links-style layout rewards golfers who can command their drivers or titanium-plated curtain rods. The course's most difficult challenge—the par 4 6th hole—requires an arrow-straight drive to avoid out-of-bounds territory on the right and the hedgerows of sauvignon blanc vineyards on the left, after which players cross a replica of St. Andrews Links' Swilcan Bridge to reach the green tucked behind a creek. A staff of veteran instructors roams the course's viticultural hillsides, eager to assist players with tips or uncork the holes' tin cups.
Views of the scenic landscape abound at The Grill Restaurant, where servers pair a menu of grilled chicken and seared tuna with an exclusive selection of Eagle Vines' own vintages. Guests can unwind in the elegant, mahogany-accented dining room or head to the outdoor patio to guess the total number of grapes that grow on the 173-acre estate. (Hint: it's not 1,833,214.)
Course at a Glance: