It is hard to beat spring time in the 209. The sun is shining, the days are longer, the birds are chirping, and perhaps the best way to enjoy Mother Nature is to head to a local golf course.
There are several golf courses and country clubs in the area. Whether they’re private or public, the region has you covered if you’re looking to enjoy a round of golf this spring.
Saddle Creek in Copperopolis is a unique golf course and resort with its 17 1,200-square feet bungalows, sports club facility with swimming pools, weight rooms and fine dining just steps away at Copper Grille. In a recent issue of Golf Digest, Saddle Creek Resort was voted the number 12 course in California.
“What makes us stand out from other courses in California is that every hole is different. Meaning no two holes are similar in yardage or scenery. Each hole is secluded and you can’t see the next hole when you tee off,” said general manager Rick Morgan.
The course has many challenges for golfers as it features numerous bunkers, water hazards and plenty of trees. According to Morgan, hole two is the most challenging on the course, forcing golfers to get in the game right away.
“Hole two is 410 yards with a par four. There is a carry over water hazard that doglegs right. It can be a challenging hole, but golfers look forward to playing it,” he said.
Oakdale Golf and Country Club has been a staple for golfers in the area since the prestigious country club opened its doors on July 3, 1961. A group of six men, known at the time as “The Big Six” founded the country club. It was a nine-hole course until 1975, when it expanded into a full 18-hole course. Today the course hosts approximately 470 golfing members and 185 social members.
Oakdale Golf and Country Club is known as an equity club, meaning each of the 470 members own a share in the club. Outside of that, member benefits include flexible tee-times and social events.
A unique feature at the club is that it is also known as “The Country Club in the country.” Meaning that unlike other clubs, the dress code is more lenient.
“We are a working man’s golf course. Meaning that if you have denim, and tailor made golf clothes, then you can wear that. We want our members to be comfortable. As far as a strict dress code, we don’t believe in that,” said general manager Rick Schultz.
Oakdale Golf and Country Club prides itself on the family atmosphere that it provides.
“We host an event here almost on a daily basis, whether it is the high school golfers, from both Oakdale and Escalon, or the ladies who come out here and hold their events. It is also a destination for those who are retired. They come from far and near to play here,” said Schultz, who has been the general manager for the past eight years.
Another great golfing destination is Ripon’s Spring Creek, which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. On July 17 and 18, Spring Creek will host a special tournament along with a dance to follow. Spring Creek is a full 18-hole course, and provides other perks as well.
“Fifty years in the community and it is still going strong. It has a classic feel to it, even though we have made a few upgrades. Three years ago we added the country club to it. Inside the new facility, we provide a fitness center,” said general manager Steve Hupe.
Spring Creek offers a unique program to those who are interested in joining, called the Prelude Program. The program allows those who are interested a six-month free trial. This program allows golfers to test out the perks of being a full member before taking on the yearly membership and monthly dues.
And whether you look to golf for primarily socializing with a little bit of sport, or take it on for the fitness and sporting aspect with a little time after to socialize at the 19th hole, the 209 serves up a variety of courses that will help you fill the bill.