Eight days, 180 holes of golf

Image of Hiddenbrooke Golf Course clubhouseOK, MAYBE NOT 180 holes. Today was the first of eight days of golf, however, and it all started at Hiddenbrooke in Vallejo, Calif., about 45 minutes from San Francisco.

I had forgotten what a high-class experience it is to play here, and my reminder was courtesy of Carmen Juarez, the hard-working marketing director. Before the round, Carmen handed me a summary of all the accolades Hiddenbrooke has received (a few years ago it hosted the LPGA’s Tour Championship two years running).

Most recently, GolfWorld announced that it ranked ninth nationally in a reader/user poll for public courses. It surely has the most elegant and impressive clubhouse of any public courses in the region, and the maintenance under superintendent Todd Gillies is topnotch — we didn’t have a bad hop on the day.

Ladies Links Fore Golf named Hiddenbrooke one of the top women-friendly courses in California and I would agree. It has three tee options that are rated for women — starting at a friendly 4,647 yards, very friendly for the newbie or the short hitter, then back to 5,199 and then 5,769.

I don’t feel up to the 5,769-yard option yet at Hiddenbrooke, so I told my guest, sorry, it’s going to be just 5,199 today. He likes to play wherever I do and was game. After we both hit the first green in two and walked off with four, it seemed like a fine choice.

Our only problem was, we made the turn in 2 hours and 40 minutes. It was a beautiful Saturday but my guest gets antsy. He was ready to bolt. I said, how about we play 13 so I can post an official round. Plus, I was liking the 43 on my card! He said, “I can compromise.”

So the gentleman and I played 13 holes in 4 hours (highlight: a birdie on the short par-5 12th) and cruised in to the Hiddenbrooke clubhouse — and, yes, we saw you people on the 15th tee holding up the show. (16, a par 5, was totally open, and the group of guys ahead was on the 17th green already).

Kind of a bummer to convert my index to a course handicap of 23 — so when I filled the net scores in on the last 5 holes, I took a 46 on the back for an 89 on the day. Hate to break 90 playing only 13 holes!

Tomorrow, it’s 18 at Sharp Park in Pacifica.I mean it, 18!

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