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The women have spoken: Haggin Oaks is No. 1


The PWGA recently conducted a poll to try to determine the Most-Women Friendly Public Golf Course in Northern California.


I


f you haven’t played golf at Haggin Oaks, maybe it’s a mystery why this 83-year-old Sacramento complex beat out such beauties as Pebble Beach, Half Moon Bay and Edgewood Tahoe, as well as U.S. Women’s Open host


CordeValle, to rank No. 1 among Northern California Women-Friendly Public Golf Courses. But with five women’s clubs, a women’s golf ambassador


roaming the fairways and the famed Haggin Oaks Super Shop dressing and equipping women to the nines, Head Golf Professional Mike Woods isn’t surprised his complex led the balloting.


1


Haggin Oaks Golf Complex (Sacramento County)


Haggin Oaks mixes the historic architec-


ture of Dr. Alister MacKenzie and a comfortable 19th hole with a cutting-edge golf shop, vast practice areas and modern sensibility. The five sets of tees on the walkable MacKenzie design start at 4,552 yards, the Arcade Creek nines feature red tees measuring less than 2,000 yards and an innovative short-game course average 1,200 yards per nine. Rates for 18 depend on starting time, with prime times around $35 weekdays for “guests.” Here’s what some of the voters who ranked


Haggin Oaks No. 1 had to say: “It has a business women’s golf league that meets only once a month rather than every week. Just like a men’s league.” . . . “They just cater to women golfers in every way, includ- ing the store.” . . . “Friendly employees and awesome women’s programs.” . . . “Fun to play and very accom- modating to ladies, then the shopping!” . . . “Has great women teachers.”


2


Pacific Grove Golf Links (Monterey County)


“PG” as the regulars like to say, has long


been known as the “poor man’s Pebble Beach,” and apparently women also prize the relatively low- priced scenery here. The walker-friendly 1932 design starts out inauspiciously and then delights the golfer with an oceanside back-nine where the wind has its way. A par-70, it presents the average woman player a choice between 5,305 and 5,571 yards, and weekday green fees stay well under $50 walking.


Haggin Oaks BY SUSAN FORNOFF “We don’t track it, but I’d say our percentage of rounds


by women is much higher than the (17%) industry average,” Woods said. “I think it could be as high as 25%.” With more than 400 voters selecting five courses each—


most, of course, touting their home clubs—Haggin Oaks wound up collecting nearly twice as many votes as runners- up Pacific Grove Golf Links and Lincoln’s Turkey Creek Golf Club. All of the top 5 have vibrant PWGA clubs to vouch


for them. Here’s the list:


Comments: “Love this course, the women’s


league is friendly and well run. And the back nine has ocean views, just spectacular!” . . . “Just beautiful and challenging.” . . . “It is a course that is not that difficult for a woman, and it has gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean.” . . . “Views like Pebble Beach at a much lower price.” . . . “The ladies there do the most lovely tournaments.”


3


Turkey Creek Golf Club (Placer County)


This foothills course, managed by Club-


Corp, has become so popular with golfers that tee times are hot commodities among women. They appreciate the welcoming staff, the active women’s club and the three distinctive scenic areas: rolling hills woodlands, a rugged quarry area and a thick forest. The most forward tees measure 4,796 yards, but a combo set pleases the longer hitters at 5,490. Weekday rates start at about $36 with cart. Comments: “It is beautiful, challenging and


in great shape.” . . . “Great staff, good restaurant, well maintained, reasonable prices, reachable par 3’s and 4’s for women.” . . . “The holes are just the right length and the pro shop and the bag boys treat you like you are special.” . . . “It’s challenging but still manageable. The staff is friendly and helpful, plus they have great dining and clean facilities.”


For more details on the PWGA poll, which garnered 400 responses from women golfers in Northern California, visit the PWGA blog at pwganews.blogspot.com.


4


Bailey Creek Golf Course (Plumas County)


Visitors treasure the country club feel of


Bailey Creek, which is far from the hustle and bustle of the Bay Area and Sacramento, near Lake Almanor. Homer Flint designed the course in the early 1990s, and it is the hub of a housing community as well as a resort with well appointed cottages. The women’s club is lively and active, which in part explains their ranking here. Forward tees are longer than 5,300 yards, yet the conditions make the course play shorter, and midweek rates with cart run as low as $55 depending on season. Comments: “Excellent course condition.”


. . . “Gorgeous golf course. Great accommodations. Friendly pro shop.” . . . “Cooler than the valley in summer.” . . . “Manicured greens, wide fairways and reasonable distances for all levels.” . . . “Will reward with a good score, but doesn’t punish you if your game isn’t on.”


5


Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course (Sacramento County)


Billed as Sacramento’s “No. 1 course for


fun,” Bartley Cavanaugh’s forward tees are at only 4,714 yards and the backs at 6,158. So the set up is par-friendly and the layout is walkable. With a rate structure like its fellow Morton-run course, Haggin Oaks, guests can walk for under $30 on weekdays. Comments: “It‘s beautiful and possible to


make pars.” . . . “Easily navigated, easy to walk.” . . . “Friendly staff and great course conditioning.” . . . “It can be easy or very difficult.”


SPRING 2016 / NCGA.ORG / 67


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