Golf scene at the fore of Lake County wine country

October 8, 2015

That part of California we call wine country could just as well be nicknamed golf country, where the region’s excellent wines are matched only by its incomparable landscape and scenic golf courses. With spectacular views of majestic mountains and the cleanest air in the United States, the wine country locale of Lake County sits just about 100 miles north of San Francisco, offering the best links and fairways you’ll find at elevations of up to 3,000 feet above sea level. You’ll gain distance in the thinner and cleaner air of Lake County, and its geographic placement provides uniquely clear skies free of the fog for which the rest of northern California is known.

“It’s not often you can find golf courses with the big 130-foot pine trees,” said Beau Moore, who operates Black Rock Golf Course. “In Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Napa, any coastal town, sometimes people will be out golfing and it will be noon and it will still be fogged in and you’re out wearing sweatshirts. Out here, at 6 or 7 in the morning, you can be in shorts and a short-sleeve shirt,” Moore said. “It typically never gets fogged in over here.”

Black Rock Golf Course is the oldest and longest operating of five distinctive golf courses in Lake County, and was recently acquired and renovated by the operators of Moore Family Winery. While only recently taking ownership, the Moores have been a part the course for generations.

“My grandpa actually helped build the golf course when it was first built,” Moore said. “My dad, when he was a teenager, he used to cut the grass.” And now he owns the course that will soon open a full bar and steakhouse. Black Rock also offers disc golf and bocce, and even a foot golf course is in the works.

Several other Lake County courses offer the majesty of high-elevation golf play. Tucked away in the stunning mountain resort town of Loch Lomond, Adams Springs Golf Course was designed by legendary course architect Jack Fleming, and masterfully incorporates the mountain scenery.

 Kelseyville’s Buckingham Golf and Country Club is located right on the shores of the oldest lake in North America, Clear Lake, and adjacent to the breathtaking Mount KonoctiRiviera Hills Golf Club also sits next to these magnificent natural landmarks and offers tennis and swimming at its public course.

 For the full 18-hole experience, Hidden Valley Lake Golf Course offers Lake County’s only 18-hole golf course, designed by Torrey Pines architect Billy Bell, and offers overnight accommodations at the luxurious Twin Pine Casino & Hotel.

 If you’ve got little golfers, Tatonka Land Mini Golf in Clearlake is a miniature golf course in the old-style Americana tradition, complete with a dinosaur, a polar bear and a lipstick-wearing cow on the 18th hole.

 All of these exceptional Lake County golf courses are near the water-sports paradise of Clear Lake and several great casino gaming resorts. Play through the wine country fairways of Lake County, where the spectacular scenery and a fogless climate are always above par.