The “Play It Forward” idea comes up, er, short at so many golf courses. Usually the most forward tees aren’t rated for men and are too long for most women.
At Greenhorn Creek in California’s Gold Country, the slogan might as well be “Play It Anywhere.” This memorable Robert Trent Jones Jr. 18, which winds through a residential community full of natural and historic features, gives players seven choices of tees.
The options start at 4,887 yards from the greens and range back to 6,749 from the golds. The three forward sets aren’t rated for men and two of the back sets aren’t rated for women, which mathematicians know means that Greenhorn Creek has more tees rated for women than for men.
Yes, there are five sets of tees rated for women at Greenhorn Creek, which has all of the Women-Welcome features a golf resort can hope for. The lodging options are first-rate, Camps restaurant offers lots of great salads and sandwiches plus full dinner service, the pro shop cultivates high style for women, and the women’s club keeps a high profile pretty much daily.
Visitors can explore Calaveras County wine country and find unique art, keepsakes and clothes nearby in the shops of Murphys. For more golf, they can wind their way 20 minutes down the road to Copperopolis, where a stunning Saddle Creek course, designed by Carter Morrish, awaits.
The Greenhorn Creek course itself is very well maintained, with lots of roll on the fairways and plenty of mystery on the greens. It has five sets of tees rated for women because one of its early active members did course ratings for the Women’s Golf Association of Northern California and didn’t see why women should appear to be confined to only one or two sets of tees when the course had five.
The course now has seven sets because two sets are “combo” tees, created by mixing colors.
Sherri Erskine, a course rater for the WGANC, says, why not offer more options? “I think you need a new set every 500 yards or so,” she said. “And if the course doesn’t have that – say there’s one set at 5,900 yards and one at 5,200 yards – you can use the USGA Handicap Manual to create your own combo tees.”
The manual has two charts in section 5(2)g that let men and women mix up tees and post properly – for instance maybe a woman wants to play the 5,200-yard tees except for the par 3s, where she wants to move up for a reduction of 200 yards. The chart tells the change in slope and rating.
For women at Greenhorn, that’s not necessary. They can choose from three sets of tees on the bottom of the scorecards, which is handicapped for women, and two more up top, which is handicapped for men.
About the only negative in all this? A crowded scorecard.
“The biggest selling point for me,” said Greenhorn Creek General Manager Mike Kristoff, “was offering more diversity for the members. Every combo set gives them a whole new choice.”
Travelers note: It’s a great time of year to visit Greenhorn Creek in Angels Camp, with the wildflowers unfolding new colors daily. For more information, see www.greenhorncreek.com or call 209.729.8111.
Be sure to visit www.GottaGoGolfMag.com for more Women-Welcome golf course reviews for women and ladies who play golf.