Whitehawk Ranch Golf Club Review

February 17, 2008 1:24:10 PM PST
White Hawk requires a long drive, at least in automotive terms. From Interstate 89, go north roughly 45 miles through the scenic Mohawk Valley meadow to this absolutely gorgeous golf course.

Golf Digest once named Whitehawk Ranch the best golf course in California. Water meanders through much of the course. When golfing badly, it made me want to fish. The course is immaculate. The bent grass greens are interesting and putt true. The terrain is mostly flat. The holes have a nice pace to them.

We played early, at 7:40 on a June morning. Dew dappled the grass, and spring flowers sprouted in the rough. Aside from the occasional thwack of a golf ball being struck, we heard nary a sound.

After a fairly easy 396/355/328/274 yard par 4 to open, Whitehawk gets your attention with its 412/368/336/283 yard, dogleg left, 2nd. The closer you play to the water, the easier your approach. If you're really bold, you might even try to carry it. I chose a four wood, steering wide right of the trouble, leaving an eight iron from 150 yards.

The 481/449/411/329 yard, par 4, 4th is the number one handicap. Cut a big drive around the corner of this dogleg right. Keep your ball below the cup with your approach.

It is worth warning that Whitehawk does not allow carts to leave the paths. I suppose this is a price one pays in return for the superb conditioning.

Whitehawk feels like a long way from civilization, but it's part of an obscure golfing mecca near the small, former mill town of Graeagle. There are several other courses within a few minutes of driving; Graeagle Golf Course, and Plumas Pines Golf Resort.