So about a year ago, I made the monumental mistake of taking up the sport of golf.
For some reason, through all of the water hazards, bunkers, tree branches and thickets my golf balls have traversed over the past 12 months, I’m addicted.
It’s too late to turn back now. There’s something I love about teaching myself something new and, sometimes, well, more like rarely, I actually happen to play pretty well.
During the swing process, a million little things I’ve picked up through magazines, the Golf Channel and people I’ve played with are all going through my head at the same time. Hitting the ball straight and in the air is hard, but staying mentally tough can be the most difficult part.
I don’t consider myself a golf course aficionado, however I believe part of the fun of golf is getting a group together and discovering new courses.
However, the current state of the economy is a big deterrent for people to spend their money on recreation.
The Mid-Valley provides some affordable options when it comes to golf.
I’ve compiled a list of golf courses in the tri-county area (Yuba, Sutter, Colusa) based on some of my own observations.
Here are the rankings counting down from No. 7 to No. 1:
Though not the most aesthetically pleasing course in the area, Mallard can still provide somewhat of a challenge, considering the price. A mere $18 will get you unlimited play beginning at noon.
Mallard also houses the largest driving range in the area, which is what most patrons utilize rather than the course itself.
It’s cheap, convenient and a good place to sharpen up one’s game in the offseason before moving on to larger courses.
Best piece of advice for someone who hasn’t played there – AVOID THE ROUGH!
Easier said than done, but the rough at Coyote Run is like hacking at weeds in the backyard of a foreclosed home.
Making a tee time isn’t any easier.
Patrons most go through military security and the drive out to Beale takes a little while.
Coyote Run has a great deal though for golfers who want to play after 1 p.m. – it’s only $20 for a cart and green fees.
The course is immaculate and has wide open fairways that are pretty forgiving if you tend to slice.
The clubhouse features one of the coolest things I’ve seen at a course.
Housed in a glass case is an old-school putter with a plaque describing how a man once shot par at Colusa using only his putter. Try reading that statement after shooting a 92!
This course is an absolute gem.
The course opened in 1925 and is open to the public, but also houses a country club.
The drive to Arbuckle is about thirty minutes from Yuba City, though completely worth it for the $9 twilight rates.
The only thing disappointing about this course is that there’s not nine more holes.
Similar to Arbuckle, Plumas’ greens are not only fast but have nasty breaks.
The course opened in 1926 and is considered by many to be one of the top public golf courses in the north state. Plumas has twice been ranked in the top 100 public golf courses in America by Golf Digest magazine.
My happiest golf moment came at Plumas a couple months ago when I birdied the ninth hole, arguably the most difficult hole on the course.
For location, quality and ambiance I don’t think it gets much better than Plumas in the Mid-Valley.
The one thing I like about River Oaks over Plumas are the wide open fairways. As a beginner and high handicapper, Plumas’ narrow fairways can wreak havoc on someone like me.
The spacious River Oaks isn’t as picturesque as tree-ladened Plumas, but the course treats my scorecard a little better.
River Oaks has a deal going right now that gets a player a cart and 18 holes for $33 on weekdays.
The drive to south Sutter County isn’t quick, but River Oaks is a pleasant course hidden next to the Sacramento River within decent driving distance.
Some of the things that are nice about private courses: There’s a pile of balls waiting for you at the range to warm up, water coolers on every other hole and the fairways, rough and greens are pristine.
The course itself is pretty straightforward; nothing too challenging or stressful.
Fairways are lined with beautiful trees, greens feel like the grass at Wimbledon and it’s not too hard to find an errantly hit ball – a big plus for me!
Right now the club is offering memberships for $260 per month, an absolute steal.
If I had to pick one course in the area to play every day on a membership plan, Peach Tree would be it.
Oh, and by the way, the food is outstanding!
(Photos from Appeal-Democrat archives)