Harvest Wine Weekend
The Harvest Wine Weekend just recently wrapped up in Paso Robles, Calif., where 130 wineries opened their doors for guests to experience their busiest and most exciting time of the year. Visitors from far and wide explored winery tasting rooms, trod onto stomping pads and experienced the different personalities and tastes of wine country.
This three-day weekend included winemaker dinners, special vintage tastings, tours of the vineyards, grape stomps and blending seminars. Because it’s never too soon to start planning for a trip to the next Harvest Wine Weekend, here is our list of some of the best courses to play in the beautiful area of Paso Robles.
Hunter Ranch Golf Club (Paso Robles, Calif.)
Hunter Ranch Golf Club ranks as one of the best moderately priced public courses in the state. It’s been 20 years since it opened and it just keeps getting better. Gently rolling land and large oaks make this course easily walkable and quite enjoyable. The shot values are high, and the setting – with a rustic clubhouse and pro shop – harks back to the best of pastoral California. Located just east of Highway 101 off Highway 46, Hunter offers easy access to wineries to the west of central Paso Robles.
Paso Robles Golf Club (Paso Robles, Calif.)
Paso Robles Golf Club, located in southeast Paso Robles, started out as a private course, but has since opened its doors to the public. This recently-renovated course weaves through some housing tracts, but there’s still a close touch with nature, thanks to large oak trees and creek settings. It only measures 6,200 yards from the back tees yet provides a good target-golf challenge.
La Purisima Golf Course (Lompoc, Calif.)
La Purisima, 90 miles to the south of Hunter Ranch, may appear to be too distant a drive, but its location just outside Los Olivos places it in the middle of “Sideways” wine country – yes, the famous movie. Designed by Robert Muir Graves and the site of final stage PGA Tour qualifying in 1996, “LP” will give the best golfers all they want. Distance off the tee and short-game skills to handle the demanding green complexes constitute much of its challenges. Take solace in that the surrounding area is full of some of the best chardonnay grapes in the state.
BlackLake Resort Golf Course (Nipomo, Calif.)
The BlackLake Resort, just south of San Luis Obispo, about 60 miles from Hunter Ranch in the small town of Nipomo, is a 27-hole complex whose three nines – Canyons, Lakes and Oaks – offers different topography and challenges. Tight fairways and small greens will be the over-riding impression, but enjoyable nonetheless.
Monarch Dunes Golf Club (Nipomo, Calif.)
Monarch Dunes Golf Club, also in Nipomo, is quite different. Expansive fairways amidst the eucalyptus, this Damian Pascuzzo-layout plays very much like the “heathland” courses in Melbourne, Australia. Large, fast greens and deep bunkering make it a strategic challenge. When the greens are fast, it really begs your attention – another gem in the land of the grape.
Featured image of Paso Robles, Calif. courtesy of The Washington Lobbyist
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