Archive » August 21, 2008
GOLF & TRAVEL
By Ray Navis, Contributing Writer
CordeValle in San Martin
Just 30 miles south of the Silicon Valley and 45 minutes north of Monterey lies the beautiful CordeValle Lodge & Golf Club. Now, if you are looking for high end solitude and pampering, this is the place. CordeValle is a golf club, spa, and lodge set in a canyon in the Santa Cruz Mountains just west of the 101 freeway in San Martin. The Lodge is run by Rosewood Resorts and sits adjacent to the golf club. This is a perfect spot for a wedding, retreat, or just to get away for a short trip. The property includes its own winery. The rooms, which are actually bungalows, sit atop a hill and overlook the golf course and surrounding mountains. The feel of the property and golf course is very similar to our own Rancho San Marcos.
CordeValle’s golf course was designed by Robert Trent Jones II, who also designed Rancho San Marcos. The course is set on 270 acres and can be walked. Most of the layout is set on gently rolling terrain at the base of the canyon and includes large meadows, streams and lots of trees. Just a few holes go up the base of the mountains. The surrounding property includes 1,000 protected acres.
My favorite holes were the par-5s. They were all reachable in two for a big hitter, but lots of trouble awaited the errant gamble. Number six played about 520 yards uphill and a dogleg to the left. A small stream crossed the fairway diagonally, running left to right, guarding the second shot. The safe second shot was out to the right, leaving a longer third to an undulating green. This is one of the high spots on the course and affords views of the entire valley as well as the winery. Number seven is a dramatic downhill par-3 playing to a plateau green heavily guarded by bunkers on the right. The opportunity for a “safe approach” is provided on the left side of the hole, where the fairway feeds into the green from left to right. Number nine is a tough closing par-4 of 425 yards. The elevated tee gives a good view of this downhill dogleg left. A creek guards this double fairway as well as oak and sycamore trees. Take a 4 or 5 and “get out of Dodge.” Number 17 is a long par-4 of 460 yards, but all downhill. The tee shot is narrow, with bunkers left and a ravine on the right. Number 18 is another one of the great par-5s. At 530 yards, this dogleg-right downhill 5 is reachable. However, approach shots without gusto will meet a watery grave in the large natural pond fronting the steep-faced green.
The practice facilities at CordeValle are first class. The range plays uphill and includes various target greens as well as chipping and putting areas. The entire golf facility was in fantastic condition. The golf club is strictly private with lodge guests granted access. Caddies are readily available and well trained. There are several sets of tees to choose from, with a maximum of 7,100 yards.
CordeValle is a gated property and you drive along the first hole of the golf club on your way to the lodge. The circular valet parking area is very large and well designed. From here you enter the elegant lobby area featuring wood beams and tall ceilings.
There is a large golf library just off the lobby with possibly every book ever written on the subject. After you check-in at the lodge the bellman will wisk you up to your bungalow via golf cart. The entire facility is designed in the popular new California Craftsman style. An elegant restaurant awaits in the lodge or you can enjoy room service in the bungalow. Some of the bungalows include Jacuzzi’s, which flow out from the bath area and overlook the valley and mountains. The lodge also includes the spa, pool and members lounge again open to lodge guests. The fitness center is very spacious with state of the art equipment. One could easily lose himself here as I imagine many Silicon Valley magnates do when visiting. The rooms are outfitted with the latest in technology and comfort. All rooms feature patios with views. The food and service were both excellent — just what you would expect from a Rosewood Resort.
CordeValle is about a four hour drive from the valley. The next time you visit the Bay Area, I suggest that you strongly consider staying at CordeValle. It is a little over an hour to San Francisco itself, and just a half hour to most of the Silicon Valley. Both drives are fairly easy on the weekends.
For more information visit www.cordevalle.com or call (408) 695-4500.