I like to play in June. How about you?
Eight writers on their favorite summertime golf getaways
The first thing you need to know about the wine country an hour north of San Francisco is that locals get upset if you refer to the area as "Napa." "Napa is an auto-parts store," said one resident of Sonoma County. "There's Napa, and there's Sonoma."
Duly noted. But whichever region you are referring to, the golf is full-bodied.
Starting in the Napa Valley, the Silverado Resort's two courses ($160 with cart, silveradoresort.com) underwent a $4 million renovation in 2005. They play much differently despite both being designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. The North Course, a classic, parkland design with oak-lined fairways, is the more challenging, stretching to 6,900 yards. The South Course (6,685 from the tips), site of a Champions Tour event for 14 years until 2002, has generous fairways and some picturesque holes. Although much of the course is routed through a housing development, it retains its appeal. In the Sonoma Valley, the 1/2 Sonoma Golf Club ($175 with cart, sonomagolfclub.com), which hosts the Champions Tour's Charles Schwab Cup Championship, is an underrated layout in the foothills of the Mayacamas Mountains. With rolling terrain, massive oaks and a few well-placed creeks, it was one of Sam Snead's favorites and dates to 1928 when Sam Whiting (of Olympic Club fame) designed it. It can be played only by guests of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, five minutes up the road.
Also worth a round is Eagle Vines Golf Club ($65 with cart, eaglevinesgolfclub.com) in Napa. Part-time resident Johnny Miller designed the 7,251-yard course in 2004. Vineyards frame its boundaries, and water is in play on 11 holes.
- Golf Travel