Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton, CA
Tee Time: June 18, 2016, 2:10, 81 F, sunny
Designer: Brian Costello, 2005
Playing Partners: CJ Phelan, Ryan and Mike
Tees: Blue, Par 72 (71.5 rating/129 slope/6,409 yards)
Course Handicap: 7 (6.0 index)
Stats: 88 (43-45); 40 putts; 8/14 fairways; 9/18 greens; 1 penalty stroke
In the foothills of the mighty Mount Diablo is where I grew up golfing, in the sunny warmth of the East Bay summer. It’s always beautiful there, even in its current drought-stricken conditions. The hills aren’t dead and brown, they’re vibrant and golden. Gorgeous oak trees provide cool shade, as well as a nice home for stray golf balls that will never see the ground again. This is the first time I’ve ever had to pay for golf in the greater Danville area, and it was well worth it. In high school, I was lucky enough to have three golf courses to play anytime I wanted to, with the Lakes and Falls courses at Blackhawk and while I worked at Round Hill in Alamo.
Just minutes away from the 580/680 junction in Pleasanton is Callippe Preserve Golf Course, an affordable alternative to the pricey country clubs of the area. Throughout my round on this breezy afternoon I was constantly reminded of holes at Blackhawk, with substantial elevation changes, mammoth greens and rolling fairways hugging the natural contours of the foothills. You’d think that playing on such a similar course growing up I’d have been able to avoid too many three-putts, but alas, I had eight(!) of them. And still CJ has yet to beat me 😉
Given that I’ve now aged out of our golf membership at Blackhawk, and this blog doesn’t pay enough to help me get my own membership, I may just make Callippe Preserve my new go-to course whenever I go back home for a quick visit. Which, thanks to the Sharks’ deep playoff run this spring, resulted in a few visits.
Now, I sadly got busy/lazy since I played this course and can’t remember enough individual details to give a full rundown of the course. So this post will be mostly a glorified slideshow, which may come as a relief to some. I did forget to mention our college-aged playing partners, including the Mike, the skinny kid in a pristine white, flat-billed hat and black denim jeans. I call him “Denim Johnson”. I just wanted to remember this part for later. Enjoy the pics!
#15, Par 5, 505 yards, 12-handicap, My Score: 5
The 15th is the most exciting hole here at Callippe Preserve. A big dogleg-right, the tee shot plays atop the ridge, about 300 yards to the furthest strip of fairway. The closer to the right you can be, the better your chances of reaching in two. From there you can have as little as 180 yards to the green. The green is about 50 feet down from the shelf of the fairway. Too far left with the tee shot and you’ll leave a shot at the green still, but with a large pond guarding the front-left of the green. The hole reminds me a lot of a couple back nine holes at Blackhawk’s Falls Course, a mix of the downhill par-5 10th and the 14th, which places a premium on tee shot placement.
Layout: A; a fun track, the back nine has a few risk/reward holes that can really make or break your round.
Amenities: B, there was a wedding going on while we finished up, so I assume they’ve got some nice facilities.
Staff: A; the starter was very informative and the pro shop also helpful
Difficulty: B-; the fairways are wide and forgiving, but the greens are so big and tough to read, and a little bit bumpy
Scenery: A; the back nine, after climbing up to the highest elevations of the course, provide amazing views of Mount Diablo and the valley
Value: B+; $60 is very fair considering the quality and what similar courses in the Bay Area charge. Maybe this place, opened in 2005, can stay a secret just a little longer before it gets discovered and the rates go up
Overall GPA: 3.5 (A-)