San Francisco Golf Vacation

There was roughly 20cm of snow in Ottawa when we left on February 14, it was cold, it was winter. It was 15 degrees and sunny when we landed in San Francisco. Technically, it was also winter in San Francisco, but not the type of winter I have ever experienced. While I have been “south” before, going to a non beach destination in the middle of winter was a completely different experience. The fact that it wasn’t cold, and there wasn’t snow, but at the same time it wasn’t hot was constantly amazing to me.

While the intention of the trip was not a golf vacation, but rather an opportunity to go somewhere new, see the sights and generally get a break, we did bring our clubs and manage to play a couple rounds.

Playing golf on vacation while still living within your means leads to playing a lot of courses that don’t make it on many peoples must play list. While playing the well know, bucket list type courses is an experience I one day hope to have, playing off the grid courses have provided adventures and experiences I wouldn’t change for the world, but I digress, that is a topic for another blog. For our San Francisco trip the lineup consisted of Mare Island Golf Club in Vallejo, CA  and Chuck Corica Golf Complex in Alameda, CA. I found both of the courses through deals offered on Groupon and I must say the deals were fantastic.

Our first round of golf was the be played Friday 17th at the Mare Island Golf Club just outside of Vallejo, CA, which is about an hours drive North East of San Francisco. The course sits on an old Naval base and is the oldest golf course west of the Mississippi, having opened as a 9 hole course in 1892. The conditions of the course were decent, green everywhere and quick greens (quicker than you would find on most public courses in the Ottawa region). I enjoyed the layout, lots of sand and lots of elevation change.

As for my round, I am going to blame it on not having played a round since November. I actually struck the ball quite well, but I never gained a feel for the greens and my short games was awful. In the end I was an 85, score card is here.

Love this pic, elevated tee at Mare Island in CA

Round 2 was played the next day at the Chuck Corica Golf Complex in Alameda, CA, which is essentially Oakland. The facility featured 2 18 hole courses and a driving range, which is pretty impressive considering it was in a rather large density area just north of the airport. Mary and I played the Jack Clark course, which I am told was the easier of the 2 courses.
Unlike Mare Island, the Jack Clark course was not in great shape. It had lots of dead spots throughout the course, but was not unplayable, and heck there was still 20cm of snow on the ground in Ottawa so who was I to complain. Also unlike Mare Island the Chuck Corica golf complex was fairly flat, with very little elevation change. While the day before left me with some great scenery and dramatic holes, the round in Alameda was more or less forgettable.  
The day went much the same as the day before. I struck the ball well, but could not putt or chip to save my life. I finished 86, score card here. 

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