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Speaking of checklist courses, this was my second stop Friday afternoon. Nobody out there other than my buddy ppark81, who was finishing up as I got started. I zipped around super quickly. Price for 9 holes with cart was a ridiculous $40!

Conditions pretty comparable to Mt. Huff, as in mediocre at best. Pretty scruffy and shaggy all around. Greens here were super soft and super shaggy. Everything just looked run down throughout the course that I am surprised they keep in business. The nearby Feather River Inn 9-hole course did close in recent years and I wouldn't be surprised to hear this one gets shut down at some point, though it seemed the little cabin resort it's part of is doing fine.

Nothing too interesting about the layout. Flat and pretty open with just some long native grass areas around the edges to give you some sense of direction. In an area with some great golf courses, this is not one of them.
Played here Saturday around 11:00. Arrived at a bad time as they had a little member tourney going on, but got out soon enough and played with a twosome behind the members. The members were playing the original 6-hole layout that combines a few current holes, so that helped move things along when we got to play the "tweener" new holes. About 1.5 hours to finish. $12 walking rate.

Conditions were mediocre. Tee to green was adequate with a bit of everything that was maintained reasonably. Some good lies and some terrible spots. Bunkers a bit unkempt, but OK sand. Greens were shaggy, bumpy and very slow. Course is very scruffy all around and that's kind of what you expect for an obscure rural course like this.

Layout is pretty flat and mostly forgiving. The new greens they added in to make this a 9-hole layout at some point are oddly placed and you can see how the original 6 were laid out in a more natural routing. Nice little valley setting with mountains in the background, but flat overall terrain on the course. The greens are tiny and severely sloped/undulated, so they are definitely tricky. Just another random little checklist course for me!
Last but not least on this trip was historic Orinda CC. Napa Valley CC pretty well blew me away, but Orinda might have taken it another step further. This is an incredible course that is very unique, beautiful, fun and challenging. We had purchased this round in a charity auction. We played as a threesome and were joined by a member who really told us everything about the course and made sure to point out all the trouble on every single hole! : ) It was pretty busy out here when we teed off around 2:20 and we enjoyed a relaxed pace of around 4 hours.

Conditions here were also fantastic on every level. Everything was lush, green and beautifully maintained. Only minor issue was that the fairways were maybe a tad bit fluffy and didn't provide much roll-out. That said, you wouldn't want this course to play too firm (other than a few holes) because it would hurt you more than it would help you in most places. Greens were firm and fast. Bunkers were absolutely perfect with white sand.

This is such a cool course and you know you are playing something special the moment you arrive and see the 4-story clubhouse built into the hillside. The course goes out and back, only returning to the clubhouse after 18. It's very hilly. At times it is very tight and target oriented. At other times, it's surprisingly wide open. However, your approach angles to the greens are very important and you really have to play the slopes a lot here. A lot of fairways connect with one another and the rugged bunkering is so cool looking. I was reminded of great courses like Pasatiempo, Hacienda and Cal Club at various times throughout the round. The layout definitely has some quirks as you can expect with any older Bay Area course, but that just adds to the charm of Orinda. I highly, highly recommend playing here if you ever have a chance (hint: they do NCGA member outings here pretty much every year).
Played here Friday morning at 9:00 with ppark81 and two other friends. One of them happens to be a social member here which allows him to play the course a few times a year, and we were able to join as guests for $103 (riding rate). We played behind the morning member groups that started at 8:00 and enjoyed a nice relaxed 4-hour pace.

The course was in excellent condition all the way through. Tee boxes, fairways and rough were all lush and nicely maintained. Bunkers were fantastic. Greens were beautiful—just receptive enough and rolling smooth at medium/fast speeds. We got pretty friendly normal green speeds, though it was easy to tell they can get these running as fast as they want for tournaments.

I really loved this course all the way through. It's two very distinctive nines as the front is over 100 years old (not counting some renovations throughout the years) and the back is around 20 years old. Both sides are beautiful and challenging in their own ways. The front is hilly and very target oriented with some super sharp doglegs and tiny greens with plenty of natural slope. It is a very beautiful "green" look with lots of mature trees. The back nine opens up some without such sharp angles. It is surrounded by crusty old oak trees, boulders and golden hills. The greens on this side are much bigger and more undulated, and the fairways are way more forgiving. This side also has some great changes in elevation, highlighted by the stunning elevated view of the valley from the 12th tee box. This course is just awesome and the people at the club were nice, so I would highly recommend if you ever have an opportunity to play here!
Played out here early Friday morning by myself. They technically open up at 7:00, but they were nice enough to let me walk ahead and pay afterward. Played through some maintenance and sprinklers, but otherwise the timing worked out the way I needed to get to my next tee time. $28 walking rate a little steep for a 9-holer, but it is the Napa Valley.

The course was in decent condition. It was very soggy after some overnight rain and the sprinklers running. Everything was fairly lush and green throughout with different grasses and some weed patches in play. Overall, kind of scruffy. Though admittedly most holes hadn't been mown yet. Greens were soft and receptive and in solid shape. Again, a few slower than others because they hadn't been mown yet, but no worries. Bunkers were decent.

This is a solid 9-hole course in the Napa Valley with a few interesting holes, but a mostly straightforward layout. Nice pleasant setting and nice clubhouse. Probably more appealing to the casual golfer on a wine tasting trip than a serious golfer who will prefer one of the nicer courses in the area. Overall a fine little course that's a bit overpriced because of its location.
This was another obscure short course I played on Thursday as I went all over the place. The course wasn't very busy on a hot and windy afternoon. It was $19 with a cart for 9 holes. The cart and the simple back-and-forth flat layout allowed me to skip around a little and avoid the handful of groups that were out on the course, so it was a nice quick round.

Conditions here were actually pretty good. Everything was fairly lush and well-maintained from tee to green. The greens were also nice, holding shots well and rolling smooth at medium speeds. I wasn't in any bunkers, but they also appeared decent.

Pretty standard old 9-hole par-36 layout (with different tees for front/back nine play) in kind of a flat farmland area. No real distinct qualities, but it's another friendly local course along the I-5. Certainly, you will opt to play Rolling Hills if you are looking for great golf in this stretch of the NorCal plains, but Glenn is there if you really need to scratch the itch.
This was our warm-up round on Thursday morning before Wilcox Oaks. rgm2525, ppark81 and I started around 6:00 and finished quickly as the only ones out there so early. The new owner knew we were coming for a quick dawn patrol round and greeted us in the parking lot as we arrived. Super nice guy who is putting a lot of time, money and effort into resurrecting this little old course. Price was $22.50 with a cart.

Conditions from tee to green were decent. Tee boxes were fine enough and the fairways were good enough for the most part. They were running the sprinklers and we had to play around them often, so that was an added challenge. Rough inconsistently cut, but fairly lush throughout. The few bunkers there are need a lot of work. The greens were very shaggy and slow, more like the fairways we played at some of the country clubs this week. However, they are putting work into them and he warned us they wouldn't be very good after such a wet winter and all the work they are doing.

This course actually closed for some time, so the new owner came in. They completely revamped the little restaurant/pro shop and it looked nice inside. He has also been working hard on the course to get it playable again. The 9-hole layout is pretty basic and there isn't anything too interesting here, but I like seeing any courses come back to life after some very tough years and I'm sure it will be good for locals to have their little home course back.
This ended up being my last course played on Thursday even though it wasn't intended to be as I was swooping around back into Napa from the northward path. I drove by here and saw it was wide open. It's a course I've always wanted to play, so I stopped in and played a super quick round by myself. $38 with a cart for a twilight rate.

Conditions were pretty good here overall. Fairways, tees and rough were all pretty lush and in nice shape throughout. Greens were receptive and rolling well at medium speeds. Bunkers were also in pretty solid shape.

Hidden Valley Lake is a borderline hidden gem and "hidden" is definitely apt given a very remote location. It's the only 18-hole course for miles and miles, so that also adds some appeal to the weary traveler who happens to be in this region. The front nine is pretty good, but nothing that exciting. However, the back nine offers up a really distinctive and fun stretch where you go into the hills, canyons and oak trees for a handful of awesome holes culminating in the par-4 15th with a super elevated tee shot and kind of a blind dogleg right fairway. What a spectacular view, though it is not a comfortable tee shot and definitely not a "grip it and rip it" drive (positional lay-up for most). I would easily recommend this course to anyone who happens to be in this neck of the woods.
I ended up playing here on Thursday afternoon as I rambled around to some different obscure north state courses. It was pretty empty here and I zipped around. For 9 holes with a cart, it was somewhere in the $20-25 range. I can't remember exactly because it was a long day, but it was acceptable. Would be a fairly easy course to walk and the gas carts here do provide a bumpy ride on these fairways and rough cart paths.

The course was in pretty good overall condition. Tee boxes, fairways and rough were lush with some bad spots here and there. The rough gets a little iffier the further you stray from fairways. The greens were firm and very fast! The bunkers were fine.

This course is kind of a surprise. I've driven through Arbuckle on the freeway so many times over the years I would never think there would be anything remotely interesting given the location. The course actually has some character with some slight changes in undulation, tree-lined fairways and nut/apricot orchards surrounding it. There was an apricot tree on the course itself and the timing was right to pick a few fresh ones for a quick mid-round snack. It's nothing to go out of your way for as it's still a pretty old school little 9-hole track in an isolated area, but it's certainly better than you think it will be.
Played here on Thursday morning with rgm2525, ppark81 and our friend Al. We used the GolfMoose vouchers plus some GK certs, so it ended up being only $22 a player. We had an 8:00 tee time and the course was wide open until we hit a slower back nine fivesome for the final stretch of holes. Still a great overall pace and friendly service from the staff.

Conditions were great here. Tee boxes and fairways were excellent. Rough pretty consistent and lush throughout. Greens receptive and rolling well at medium speeds. Bunkers also nicely maintained with soft sand.

This is a private club, but they are trying out this GolfMoose deal and it sounds like they are offering some other public play opportunities. Definitely worth checking out if you are in this area because there isn't much else around that will compare in terms of quality. Lots of oak trees and kind of a Central Valley feel. Fairways forgiving once you are out in the open, but there are some tight tee angles and doglegs to put a premium on positioning off the tee. Some hills and a nice overall setting just off the freeway. Definitely recommendable.
This was the marquee round yesterday. A group of us went in on an auction round (ppark81, rgm2525 and our friend Al) and got a great deal at Marin. We had a 1:00 tee time and teed off a little earlier. Very busy out here with member groups. We were behind a slower foursome all day, but the pace was still fine around 4 hours.

Course conditions were fantastic. Tee boxes and fairways were excellent. Noticed a few minor iffy spots on the back nine, but overall great. Rough is semi-dormant and cut down to a favorable length, so it was almost always easy to hit from. Bunkers were also ideal with soft sand that was perfectly raked/dragged. Greens receptive enough and rolling pure at medium speeds. I can see them getting them really quick when they need to for tournaments. With all the natural slopes here, it always pays to be below the hole.

I really enjoyed the layout, especially the front nine which is a bit hillier and more scenic. Back nine a little more residential, with a lot of water and OB in play. Still, a fairly friendly layout that won't beat you up too much, but will still provide some challenge if you are off-target. Definitely a few target holes here along with others that let you rip it off the tee without much trouble to worry about. Nice club and facilities with a friendly staff, so we never felt too out of play as unaccompanied guests. Definitely recommended if you have a chance to play here.
Played here in the evening after finishing at Marin CC. Was originally hoping to play here before, but it was too busy when I stopped by around 1:00. It was still pretty busy in the evening. This course, driving range and restaurant are well-placed to probably catch a lot of after-work people who don't want to deal with 101 North traffic. I imagine it's always fairly busy because of its location. Nonetheless, rgm2525 teed off here a little after 5:00 and were paired with another single. Walking rate was $13. It was fairly slow going behind other groups, so it took around 1.5 hours to finish.

Course conditions were decent. Tee boxes adequate. Fairways on the par-4s were okay. Rough mostly fine. Lots of soft spots throughout. They definitely water this place plenty. Bunkers seemed OK. I think I was only in one and it was pretty good. Greens overall were pretty good. Medium speeds and mostly rolling pretty well.

There isn't anything too exciting about the course layout with a few short par-4s and a mix of par-3s. Last few holes are kinda fun, but otherwise a pretty simple layout to accommodate a lot of foot traffic.
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