Northwood Golf Club
My bad on the mis-spelling of Northwood
Northwood Golf Club
Monte Rio, California
May 26, 2021
Coach Harris suggested I check out this Alister MacKenzie-designed course. By pure luck, I ended up at a campground less than five miles from the course. I couldn't be closer if I had tried.
I'm not one to walk up to a golf course as a single. However, I was drawn to this one given it was designed by Alister MacKenzie. The club pro, Vern, could not have been nicer. He told me some club history (Ken Venturi set the course record in 1952) and gave me a booklet about the course. He provided me some pointers about the course ("lots of doglegs") and came up to me during the round and asked me how I was doing ("awesome").
It is truly a very special course. The redwoods provide a wonderful framing of each hole. And I noticed something I had never experienced. The trees are so tall they provide the background for each shot. It was eerie in that each shot seemed to be going much farther than I had expected -- it was an illusion (darn) caused by the trees. The fairways were in super shape and the green complexes brought back memories of playing on MacKenzie greens at the Palmetto Golf Club when I was a kid -- elevated, false fronts and undulating.
I played as a single on the first hole and did a bit of Jim Nantz:
I was joined on the second hole by a young man from San Diego named Daniel. He's only be playing golf for 18 months, but you would never know it. We talked surfing, growing up in San Diego, plans for life. As Lucian says, you always met someone neat on the golf course. Today was no exception.
I was pleased to walk away with a 39 on my card. My swing failed me the last couple of holes. That's unacceptable so I am going to play again tomorrow.🤪
I borrowed the following from the Northwood brochure.
Along the Russian River and in the heart of one of the world's finest wine-producing regions lies the most unique golf course you will ever experience.
Northwood Golf Course combines the magic of the architecture of Dr. Alister MacKenzie (Augusta National, Pasatiempo, Cypress Point) set amidst towering Redwood trees. It's like nothing you have played before, and prompted Travelin' Joe Passov of Golf Magazine to place Northwood on his top-5 MacKenzie courses... in the world!
Golf.com rates us the 30th best 9-hole course in the world: https://golf.com/travel/50-best-9-hole-courses-2020/. And TravelAwaits.com rates us the 8th best public course in California, right up there with Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Pasatiempo: https://www.travelawaits.com/2553431/best-public-golf-courses-in-california/.
Mike Dutton on Golf.com says it perfectly: “A good 9-holer knows what it is — intimate, local, welcoming — and avoids what it isn’t: pretentious, punitive, grand. Like Cliff Notes or a nap, a 9-holer fits the bill when you want less to be more."
Come and visit. See the morning mist meander across our fairways. Marvel at how the sun filters through 150-foot tall Redwoods. See the sparkle of the sun on the river. Follow your golf ball as you send it gracefully toward one of MacKenzie's masterpiece greens. Bring yourself, bring your family and enjoy everything Northwood has to offer. It will be a round you will never forget.