of the city of Mill Valley itself — woodsy, classic, and decidedly old-school, like Muir Woods with a golf course in the middle. “Yeah, I played it a lot,” says Lewis, of Huey Lewis and the News fame. “The real estate is to die for, you can only imagine what it’s worth—
the county is Indian Val- ley Golf Club, something much more reflective of rural Marin. Built in 1957, this one has more than an out-in-the-country feel. No lavish homes, no surround- ing real estate, just a nearby horse ranch as the only sign of civilization as you make
credited here, including Johnny Miller, and North- ern California’s elder states- man of golf, Sandy Tatum. Far more plebian, but
Indian Valley GC creates a rural feeling.
The golf here [Indian Valley Golf Club] is first rate. It may be the only course with an elevator on one of the holes to transport intrepid walkers to an otherwise unwalkable vertical grade up to the next tee.
it’s idyllic, a gorgeous walk, a wonderful design and plenty of fun.” The story goes that a wealthy benefac- tor donated it to the city with the proviso that it would always remain a pub- lic golf course. Today, it is maintained by the city and managed by well-known Marin teaching pro, Doug Acton. He took over the concession two years ago, gutted the old pro-shop, built a modern teaching center, and went about the business of re-invigorating the spirit of this unique facility. Locals have given him rave reviews, noting the dramatic upgrade in course conditions and the overall operation. At the north end of
those final miles westward from downtown Novato. But the golf here is first rate—hilly, scenic, quality pro shop, excellent course conditions and a variety of holes, many with steeply elevated tees. And it may be the only course with an elevator on one of the holes to transport intrepid walkers to an otherwise unwalkable vertical grade up to the next tee. Also in the north end is what is probably regarded as the premier daily-fee opera- tion in Marin, StoneTree Golf Club. Built in 1999, on the site of the old Renais- sance Faire at the gateway to wine country, it is among the upper echelon of public operations in the Bay Area. A group of architects are
certainly no slouch, San Geronimo Golf Club has undergone several own- ership changes since its inception in 1967. A new group took over in 2009 and the facility has incurred a dramatic transformation. Voted best public course by readers of Marin’s Indepen- dent Journal, and the Pacific Sun, San Geronimo is oper- ated by General Manager Jennifer Kim, who’s made a concerted effort to cultivate and nurture a genuine sense of community that goes well beyond golf. “We made it more of a family-friendly and community place,” says Kim, who brought on high quality, affordable Friday family dinners, live music on the weekends, artwork from local artists on the clubhouse walls, junior golf programs, and the establish- ment of a family garden. “Half the valley here is in shade, but now they can grow their own produce on our facility,” she explains. “It’s not just a golf course anymore, but a community gathering place.” One of the pioneers of upper-tier public golf in the Bay Area, Peacock Gap Golf & Country Club was the place to be when it first opened in 1957. Debutante balls were held there, and PGA Tour star Billy Casper was the pro associated with the course. Located in a modern high-end housing area right off San Rafael Bay, it was a genuine reflection of upscale Marin, proud of its billing as being “semi-private.” Meanwhile, McInnis Park Golf Center, named for former San