NorCal Courses Recognized
Golf magazine’s newly-released “Top 100 Courses You Can Play” list acknowledges several courses in Northern California: Pebble Beach (#2), Spyglass Hill (#9), Pasatiempo (#12), Spanish Bay (#42) and Darkhorse (#86).
But the 2006 list has an impressive new Northern California entry: CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin. Checking in at #66, the magazine endorsed the Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed course’s “artfully sculpted bunkers and vineyard views.” Regular visitors to the property might have added the beautiful resort, full-service spa and outstanding restaurant.
Bramlett One of 12 to Watch
With the ten-year anniversary of Tiger Woods’ ascension to the pro ranks, a plethora of media coverage of the 2006 British Open and PGA champion’s impact on the game has ensued. Golfweek, in its August 5 issue went one step farther, listing twelve African-American golfers at the junior and college levels who bear watching.
One of those listed, Joseph Bramlett, is well-known to observers of the Northern California golf scene. The Saratoga resident was the State Amateur runner-up in 2005 before his senior year in high school, and was named the San Jose Sports Authority Male Prep Athlete of the Year. The St. Francis alum captured Northern California CIF titles the last two years as well as finishing runner-up at the 2006 Alameda Commuters before making a run to the semifinals of the State Amateur.
Bramlett first made a name for himself in 2002, when he became the youngest player ever to qualify for the U.S. Amateur at the age of 14. The soon to be freshman at Stanford garnered medalist honors at the Sharon Heights CC qualifier this summer to book his third trip to the U.S. Amateur.
Its motto states, “where speed is par for the course.” For anyone stuck in the middle of a six-hour round, it sounds like a fantasy come true.
Extreme golf combines the challenge of golf with the endurance of marathon running. Competitors play a conventional round, carrying clubs and ball like any other waking golfer. The caveat is that the time it takes to play is added to the final score. For instance, if the score is 90 and it took 60 minutes, then the final tally is 150.
Steve Scott, the American record-holder in the mile, first popularized extreme golf when he ran/played Dad Miller Golf Course in Southern California in 29:30, firing an amazing 95 along the way.
From there the concept has evolved to include tournaments nationwide, including an event held in late September at Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. The tournament is part of Lake Tahoe’s Marathon Race Week. “We started extreme golf as part of the marathon event roster a few years ago,” race director Les Wright said. “Since then, it has grown, attracting Lake Tahoe Marathoners, Half Marathoners and 10K runners annually, as well as those who aren¹t necessarily competing in one of our running or walking events, but just love the sport of golf.”
While most rules are consistent with “slow” golf, there are stipulations governing order of play to allow extreme golfers to keep the pace moving. It goes without saying that continuous putting, or for that matter putting at the same time as fellow competitors, is encouraged.
Wright summed up the sport’s appeal best saying, “extreme golf is addicting because it gives you the opportunity to combine a great workout with the beauty of a fabulous golf course.”