In 1959, Bob and Jean Sanford and their four children could be found tending to livestock and avocado trees on the site that Casserly Golf Course now rests. But six years later, the family took the ranch into a different direction, and Bob and his three sons laid an irrigation system and began to sculpt the earth into a 9-hole, par-three golf course, which they opened in 1966. Today, Bob and Jean's son Rod runs the course, which offers two distinct sets of tees so golfers can play an 18-hole round without having to erase their memory in-between nines. The original barn still stands as a relic of the course's half-century history.
An acclaimed public golf course voted by Golf Digest's readers among the top 45 in the country in 2009, Cinnabar Hills contains vast expanses of well-tended turf and is unmarred by any nearby houses or fire stations. Three challenging nine-hole courses designed by John Harbottle III present vistas so green you'll need to adjust the white balance on your eyes. The rolling hills will make you feel like you're hitting your ball through a hobbit subdivision, while the majestic oaks lining the fairways play home to the club's signature red-tail hawks. As you shank and slice your way through the course's natural slopes and diabolical hazards, be sure to steer your rental cart off-course to the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum, which hoards precious PGA championship trophies, an original copy of Humphrey Bogart's Dark Laws of Golf, and Arnold Palmer encased in carbonite. Golfers must reserve their tee time at least five days in advance. Cinnabar Hills Golf Club's rates fluctuate depending on the day of the week and the time.
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.
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.
Pruneridge Golf Club’s nine-hole par 30 course features few obstacles and just two holes longer than 300 yards so that golfers can concentrate on making solid contact with the ball and enjoying their round instead of worrying about extreme distance or hazards such as “Sink Holes Probable” signs. Meanwhile, range balls spray from both levels of a two-tier driving range with 44 stalls, and Class A PGA professionals dole out advice throughout indoor and outdoor lessons. During these sessions, Visual Golf stop motion video technology helps golfers see their own bad habits and instructors make recommendations on how students could improve.
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.