Month: June 2015

Peacock Gap Golf Club

I’ve been living in San Francisco for the past year and it’s been amazing exploring all this city has to offer:

IMG_2963

One of the best things about the bay area is that the weather is perfect year-round for playing golf.  While the summer months do get foggy and cold in the city, this is the perfect time to head up to Marin County to find sunnier fairways.  Marin has some excellent and challenging golf, but there are those days you just want a chill non-hilly course with a good bar, an attentive drink cart gal and scenic views.  Peacock Gap Golf Club in San Raphael is perfect for those days.

IMG_2881

Peacock Gap has been recently renovated and has improved greens and fairways, modern facilities and a great driving range.   It’s a classic golf experience, sheltered from the bay area fog and blessed with year-round sunny weather.

IMG_2792

IMG_2794

The fairways are inviting, but also have their challenges.  The greens can be deceiving.  This is a course where advanced players can find difficulties, but novices will not sink.  Here’s the third hole, one of my favorites:

IMG_2791

This time of year, Peacock Gap also offers a Women’s Workshop/Getting Started program designed exclusively for women who want to improve all areas of their game or just want to take the game up with their family and friends.  There is a 4 to 1 student teacher, which is perfect for working on your swing.  Be sure to pass this information along if you know any ladies who want to pick up golf in the area!  I love courses that offer ladies’ programs!

Before you head back over the Golden Gate Bridge, I recommend stopping in Tiburon for a post-round round of drinks at Sam’s Anchor Cafe, a favorite destination on the bay.  This restaurant has a huge patio out back on the deck, perfect for views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and the entire bay area.  Enjoy some oysters and a few cocktails on the deck, which is exactly my plan for this weekend!

Oysters

sams5

Let me know your thoughts on Peacock Gap Golf Club and be sure to follow the adventures of TravelingGolfGal on Instagram

Advertisements

The U.S. Open at Chambers Bay!

I had the pleasure of attending the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay last week.  I was so excited!!  I was initially cheering on Martin Kaymer, my fellow German and favorite player, but he didn’t even make the cut!  As we all know, Jordan Spieth took home the trophy after Dustin Johnson choked on the 18th hole in the final round.  It was such an exciting and shocking ending!  I was almost disappointed we didn’t get to see Spieth and Johnson duke it out on Monday.  Needless to say, I had a serious U.S. Open hangover on Monday when I had to return back to the office.  Here’s a few of my pics:

Despite all the complaints about the conditions on the course, it was absolutely gorgeous:

IMG_3559

Here I am at the practice round on Wednesday, thrilled to be there:

IMG_3515

The view of the 15th green, right along the Puget Sound:

IMG_3570

The 17th hole was one of my favorites to watch:

IMG_3568

I had such a blast watching Phil, Rory, Jordan, Dustin and Jason play all week!

IMG_3516

IMG_3572

IMG_3597

I can’t wait to watch The 144th Open at St. Andrews starting on July 2015.  Do you think Spieth can pull it off again?

Top Five Places to Golf in Seattle-Tacoma Area

Here’s my quick-and-dirty list of five golf courses to play while you’re in Seattle-Tacoma for the U.S. Open!  While I would normally include Chambers Bay on the list, it’s doubtful you’ll be able to make a tee time this weekend.  😉

1) The Golf Club at Newcastle

The Golf Club at Newcastle is a premier Pacific Northwest golf course featuring 36 holes of championship (read: tough) golf.  This hilltop course offers stunning panoramic views of Lake Washington and Seattle to enjoy while getting your butt kicked on the course.  Coal Creek Course is the course of choice for newcomers due to it’s gorgeous views, elevation change and tough play.  The China Creek Course is a better bet for less experienced golfers.  The 44,000 square foot clubhouse (castle?!) is always a pleasure to visit.  Hit up The Calcutta Grill in the morning for a high-quality Bloody Mary or a Baileys with a splash of coffee.  The Wooly Toad upstairs is the perfect spot to grab post-round drinks and delicious food while bragging about your score with your buddies, watching golf, or playing billiards.

seattle6

2)  Gold Mountain Golf Club

This is the first course on which I ever played 18 holes.  It will always have a special place in my heart.  Its 36 holes offer classic Pacific Northwest beauty.  The Olympic Course has received many accolades and hosted quality tournaments, in part due to the playability.  While there are several chances to make birdies, the small greens provide a good challenge.  Notably, it was at this course that Jordan Spieth won the 2011 U.S. Junior Amateur.  The Cascade Course has a long history of providing championship golf in the Northwest.  It has tree lined fairways with plenty of driving area for a more friendly golfer experience.  It’s very walkable with minimal elevation change.

6364

3)  Harbour Pointe Golf Club:  see my review here.

IMG_3243

4)  Druids Glen Golf Club: see my review here.

druids-home3

5)  White Horse Golf Club

This 18-hole course is one of the most popular courses to play on the Kitsap Peninsula, a short drive and ferry ride away from Seattle.  Each hole is very playable for golfers of all skill levels.  The Cedar Ridge Grill has great food and provides Northwest views overlooking the 18th hole.  White Horse was recognized by Golf Digest as one of the ‘Top 10’ best new public golf courses in 2007.  In 2015, it does not disappoint.

3998408728

I hope you enjoy your stay in the Seattle-Tacoma area!  Let me know if you play any of the above courses.  I’d love to hear about your golf experiences!

Druids Glen Golf Club, Covington, WA

As a Washington native, I really enjoy playing in my home state during the summer months.  Druids Glen Golf Club, just outside of Seattle, Washington, is one of the top ten courses to play in Washington. This is an upscale championship course that will give you a good challenge, but the scenic views of Mount Rainier will distract you from your score:

druids-home3

Druids Glen is 7,146 yards carved out of 230 acres of second growth forest featuring sculpted bent grass tee boxes, fairways, and true Northwest poa annua greens.

druids-home6

Architect Keith Foster said, “It’s a rare opportunity to design a course on a property as spectacular as this.  The views, the elevation change and desire to create a championship quality course made this a special project.”

IMG_1173

As a history buff, I really enjoyed learning the story behind the name of the course, which you can find on the website: The Druids of Celtic times were the absolute power of the community.  The Druids were priests, poets, philosophers, physicians, judges and prophets.  The Druids spent 20 years memorizing sacred texts, as these texts were not reproduced.  According to Caesar, the Druids were the exclusive intellectual elite, and were recruited from the ranks of nobility.  The Glen was a sacred place where the Druids came together to share knowledge, experience and expertise.

My golf buddy spent some sacred time off the fairway:

IMG_1178

Despite our questionable play, we really enjoyed the views:

IMG_1596

IMG_1172

This course is definitely worth hitting up if you’re ever in the Seattle area….and you should probably plan on being in the Seattle area next week for the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay!!

Sunridge Canyon Golf Club, Foothills, AZ

There’s almost nothing I’d rather do than take a long weekend to golf in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Scottsdale has everything a golf gal needs:  amazing courses to choose from, stunning hotel pools, great restaurants and nightlife, spas, and fantastic shopping.  If you’re up for a scenic drive in the area, I recommend playing at Sunridge Canyon Golf Club, home of the Wicked Six!

IMG_0704

This Course offers amazing views in a rugged-desert setting, deep within rock-faced canyons and weather-worn ravines, which contrasts perfectly with the finely manicured greens:

SONY DSC

I love a good challenge, and this course doesn’t disappoint!  The final six holes, dubbed the “Wicked Six,” are made up of two par 5s, two par 4s and two par 3s.  All except the par 3s play uphill in a gradual, yet significant climb.  The holes would play moderate to long if they were on level ground, but they’re quite wicked.  Make sure you choose the appropriate tees at the beginning of the round to stay under control for the final six.  Here’s the 18th hole:

SRC-18.2012

I am all tuckered out, but still having a good time:

IMG_0705

Let me know if you make it out to Sunridge Canyon and conquer the Wicked Six!  Don’t forget to follow my adventures on Instagram @travelinggolfgal!

The Course at Wente Vineyards

I recently relocated to the San Francisco Bay Area.  One of the reasons I was drawn to the area is golf: there are an incredible array of courses and the weather is great year-round.  I’m currently making my way through all the courses and thus far my favorite has been The Course at Wente Vineyards, in Livermore, CA.

IMG_3307

This is a premier course designed by Greg Norman, which opened in July 1998.  The 18-hole championship course is a stunning 7,181-yard, par-72, upscale course tucked away in the wine country of Livermore Valley, 50 minutes east of San Francisco.  Here I am teeing off on the 14th hole:

IMG_3321

Check out the amazing view from the driving range:

IMG_3303

The Course has three distinct topographies, including Native woodlands, mature vineyards and rolling hills of grasslands.  Along the way, you’ll find picturesque views and challenging play.  (I have to admit to losing a bit of pride and a few golf balls along the way!)  Not surprisingly, the Course has played host to the Livermore Valley Wine Country Championship, part of the PGA Tour’s Nationwide Tour.

IMG_3306

IMG_3308

IMG_3320

One of the highlights is driving your golf cart up Lombard Street to the tenth hole:

IMG_3311

IMG_3319

The Grill offers delicious food, drinks (including Wente wines) and has views of the 18th hole:

IMG_3296

Definitely try some of Wente Vineyards‘ wines.  I really enjoyed the Riva Ranch Chardonnay and the Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon.

IMG_3305

IMG_3300

If you ever find yourself in the Bay Area to golf, put this course on your list!  Give yourself extra time for lunch at The Grill, wine tasting, or dinner at The Restaurant.

What are your favorite courses in the Bay Area?  I’d love to add them to my list!