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and Sonoma Valleys, Maya- cama has a vintner program featuring 33 members, each of whom represents a dif- ferent local wine label. (In exchange for reduced mem- bership fees the vintners supply the club with a barrel per year at deep discount and offer fellow members special tastings, events and field trips.) Among the wineries represented are Silver Oak, Cakebread, Araujo, DuMol, Fritz, Dana Estates, Kistler, Hauck, Lynmar and Livingston- Moffett. On the first week- end of May the club hosts it annual Vintners Pour, for which the entire club’s wine folks bring out their best stuff and the vast food choices include whole pigs roasted on the premise. “It’s like Vikings on a siege,” says Mayacama’s wine director Jeff McCarthy. If it seems funny for

a golf club to have a wine director, consider that Mc- Carthy has two assistant wine directors, tending to the ever-changing desires of the members, each of whom has their own private locker in the club’s cellars (which are air conditioned to 58 degrees.) The lockers can hold up to four cases. Mayacama members play a spirited skins game every Wednesday, after which the golfers retire to the club- house, which has big tables waiting covered in glass- ware. “Everybody is hitting their locker, trying to outdo each other,” says McCarthy. Sometimes guys can’t wait until the end of the round. “We do have members who sometimes call the pro shop and ask that a couple of bottles be run out to the

course,” says McCarthy. To eat at MPCC or

drink at Mayacama is an experience that rewards a well-developed palate, but there are simple plea- sures still abound. Ask a handful of well-traveled California golfers for their favorite on-course grub and sooner or later they all mention the same thing: the hamburgers at The Olympic Club. Part of it is the distinctive shape —they’re cooked long and slender to fit into hot dog buns, for easy consumption. But there’s something else at work, too. The burgers go back 60 years, to when Bill Parrish first starting sell- ing them out of a trailer. His daughter Candy now runs the show. The ingre- dients are timeless: a mix of fresh ground chuck and sirloin, salt and pepper, red relish. The proprietors are somewhat at a loss to explain the cult following. “There’s nothing special about nothing,” says Stan Thrush, Candy’s husband. But that’s not entirely

true. The Olympic Club is a lovely place. A round there is a pleasure. The burger stand’s position by the eleventh tee (and driving range) is such that the smell of the cook- ing burgers tends to waft across the front nine, leading to a heightened anticipation. “It’s pretty simple,” says Thrush, an accidental philosopher. “When you’re playing golf with friends in a pretty place, you’re in a good mood. You’re happy. So everything tastes a little better.”

Alan Shipnuck is senior writer for Sports Illustrated and writes two weekly columns for

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