callippe preserve hole 12

Callippe Preserve

Callippe Preserve Golf Course in Pleasanton, CA

Me, CJ and the lots of little kids
Me, CJ and the lots of little kids

 

The Stats

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

The Course

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.

callippe preserve hole 12 panorama mount diablo
Looking over the driveable, 299-yard 12th with Mount Diablo in the distance

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 😉

callippe preserve hole 18
The closing 18th, a long 557-yard par 5 that snakes to an elevated green

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.

callippe preserve hole 13 mount diablo
The view of Mount Diablo from the 13th tee, a fantastic vista

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!

callippe preserve hole 3
The first of many long par 5s, the 526-yard 3rd
callippe preserve hole 6
The short par-3 6th, the simplest shot on the course at 131 yards
callippe preserve hole 7
The par-4 7th
callippe preserve hole 9
The 9th, another lengthy par 5 of 549 yards into the breeze
callippe preserve hole 11
Only 336 yards, the steep incline makes the 11th tough
callippe preserve hole 12
The green at the 12th

Favorite Hole

#15, Par 5, 505 yards, 12-handicap, My Score: 5

callippe preserve hole 15
Lots of scores can be made after you launch your tee shot at the 15th

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.

Grades

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-)

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