For three decades,
Rancho Murieta Country Club has been known as one of Northern California's
best tests of golf. For almost that long, Northern Californians
have been selecting holes from the North and South courses as among
the best in the area.
So what do members -- people who play the courses all the time --
think are the best holes?
In 2003, nearly 200 club members told RanchoMurieta.com their choices
for the best holes on the North and South -- par 3, par 4 and par
5 on each course. Here are their picks and comments:
Best Par 3, South: 10th Hole
(Runner-up: 15th Hole)
Comments: "Great hole, major difference from the back tees.
If you can play a draw it has to come from over the water."
... "The elevated tee and the water make this a beautiful and
challenging hole." ... "More of a challenge than No. 2
on the North, as the water is more intimidating and it requires
more carry. Wind can be a problem here too." ... "This
is one hole that really confronts me. If you go at the green and
let up a little, the traps and lake can eat you alive." ...
"All carry over the water, and the hole is actually longer
than is posted." ... "Probably my favorite hole on either
Hole 2 was chosen the North's
best par 3.
Best Par 3, North: 2nd Hole
(Runner-up: 6th Hole)
Comments: "You can hit three different clubs." ... "Pure
aesthetics, it is a beautiful hole to tee it up on." ... You
have to choose your club carefully. Water, sand and wind are important
factors." ... "This hole presents a challenge that can
force a player to choose between three irons, depending on the wind
and pin location." ... "Pretty hole and a positive start
before you hit the nasty 3rd Hole." ... "It always amazes
me what I can do on this hole. One day I'll be next to the pin,
another day I'll be over the green, another day it's in the water."
... "Scenic, easy hole prior to tough Holes 3 and 4."
Best Par 4, North: 10th Hole
(Runner-up 17th Hole)
Comments: "Fair but difficult." ... "The first time
I ever played this hole, I hit two perfect shots and had a 10-foot
uphill putt for birdie. I was so amped I launched the putt about
10 feet past. I'm still looking for that birdie." ... "Short
but very challenging." ... "With two good shots, it's
a possible birdie. However, to get that opportunity, it takes a
great drive and a white-knuckle iron over water to a narrow green.
It's not just pure power, but position and confidence." ...
"Interesting hole. Great second shot."
Best Par 4, South: 9th Hole
Comments: "The setting of the green, down the hill and out
of sight, is beautiful when you get there; the hole requires that
you hit the ball straight or be in big trouble." ... "The
second shot is downhill and picturesque." ... "One of
the most scenic and nicely laid out par 4s in the foothill courses."
... "A great second shot is something for your personal golf
highlight reel. You won't find a prettier shot in the Sacramento
area." ... "It feels like this is how the land always
was. Beautiful -- and very challenging." ... "The second
shot is the prettiest in Rancho Murieta."
Best Par 5, North: 15th Hole
(Runner-up: 8th Hole)
Comments: "Demands a long drive and the tightest second shot
you will ever hope to face anywhere." ... "This hole and
No. 3 are three-shot holes for most average golfers. The green is
very undulating and downhill putts are not fun unless they forgot
to mow the green the day you play." ... "Long, with several
choices for second shot, depending on where you placed your drive."
... "I love this hole because it takes a good drive to set
up a second shot. Then if your second shot is off line or too long,
it becomes a bogey hole at best." ... "Great view from
above the fairway. Invites you to hit it long and straight."
... "Toughest second shot on a par 5 in Sacramento."
Best Par 5, South: 12th Hole
(Runner-up: 14th Hole)
Comments: "It takes three precise shots to have a chance at a birdie."
... "I think this is the prettiest par 5 on the South." ... "Critical
placement of drive and second-shot accuracy is key in going for
it in two." ... "If your third shot is not accurate, there are traps
front, left and back to catch your stray shot. This is a very satisfying
hole to birdie." ... "Trouble everywhere should you miss first or
second shot. Has the most difficult second shot of any of the par
4s/5s on the course." ... "Elevated tee shot, deceptively tough