The 19th hole – the best friend and favorite hangout for regular golfers.
The best ones bring together your entire round. Relaxing with your buddies, settling bets, and enjoying a few cold ones, all the while taking in the vistas from some great spots.
Golf courses can be beautiful properties and often, the 19th hole pulls together the beauty of the course and the surrounding area.
I have heard many a great story and shared many laughs throughout the years while enjoying a few cocktails at 19th holes.
Our ACES team started throwing out some of our favorites and it got me to thinking about putting them down in a story!
So, here they are – my top 19th holes from around Northern California, as well as the Lake Tahoe area on the Nevada side!
Edgewood (Brooks Bar and Deck): This has been my top choice from the first time I played Edgewood, still is, and it’s not even close. One of the wonderful things about playing Edgewood is the views of Lake Tahoe throughout the round. Brooks (featured as the cover photo) captures that as finishing your round with a few adult-beverages outside while gazing at the lake is as good as it gets. There has been sometimes when it seemed like we spent as much time hanging out at Brooks as we did on the course! There is plenty of seating inside if you choose, but the real treat is sitting outside. Of course, we hit the bar before hand for the Brook’s Bloody Mary, but it is the post-round beers that top off the day. So popular is Brook’s that at times it is tough to get a table as non-golfers often populate the deck. Sitting out side in the wonder that is Lake Tahoe cannot be topped.
Old Greenwood (The Terrace): Another spot where we usually hit before and after the round! Start the day with the Breakfast Burrito, then finish it out with a cold beer! Sits up beyond the 18th hole, providing spectacular views. Gaze out at Northstar located on the other side of the Martis Valley. Sitting there relaxing, you get a full appreciation of the beauty of the area, that is if you didn’t get the feeling while playing your round.
Squaw Creek (Sandy’s Pub): Sitting outside at Sandy’s following a round of golf is magic as the Squaw Valley unfolds in front of you. Taking in all the valley has to offer while also looking down at the back nine of the golf course, mixed in with the awe of the mountains on all sides of the valley. Great times.
Pebble Beach (The Tap Room): I mean this must be on the list, just on the history of the property. It is known for its extensive collection of historic golf memorabilia and when you sit there you can’t help but think of all the people that have availed themselves to the world class selection of wine, whiskey, scotches, and of course, beer. The food menu is befitting of Pebble Beach, offering some amazing steaks as well as burgers. The ambiance is worth the price alone. A must 19th hole for any golfer, especially after finishing your round at Pebble.
The Links at Spanish Bay (STICKS): Another 19th hole that is as popular with non-golfers as with those coming off the course. Inside you get the high-end sports bar feeling, but the key here is to get seating outside. Cozy up to one of the fire pits where you will get great views of the course as well as the Pacific Ocean. Plus, time it right and you will have a great seat to watch the Spanish Bay bagpiper ply his trade. He starts his daily 45-minute run from the first tee at around 5:45 p.m. (30 minutes before sunset during daylight saving time).
Genoa Lakes – Lakes Course (The Grille): The wrap around patio affords different views. You’ve got the golf course down below leading your eyes up towards Jobe’s Peak and a length of the Sierra Nevada framing the Carson Valley on one side for as far as the eye can see. As a bonus, you have the Genoa Bar a short drive away. If you have never been, you need to visit the oldest bar in Nevada!
Half Moon Bay Golf Links (Ocean Terrace): Technically not an “official” 19th hole but for the sake of this story it is, as every time I play one of the two courses I make it a point to have a drink at the Ocean Terrace. Considered one of the dining/refreshment areas for the Ritz Carlton, the Ocean Terrace sits just off the 18th green of the pristine Old Course. Grab a cold one, or a glass of wine if the fog is coming in and enjoy the fire pits while watching golfers play the 18th or take some time to gaze out into the ocean. A great spot for people watching as you sit back in the comfortable Adirondack chairs.
The Course at Wente Vineyards (The Grill): A beautiful view awaits your time spent on the patio following your round. The patio is set back from the 18th hole and gives you the chance to sit, relax, have a nice glass of wine and watch players hit their difficult approach on the closing hole. The pressure you felt moments before when hitting your approach is now transferred to the next groups. Much the same as Edgewood’s 19th hole, The Grill draws non-golfers almost every day for lunch so getting a table is sometimes iffy. A tremendous reprise from the hectic Tri-Valley if only for a few hours.
Las Positas (Beeb’s Sports Bar and Grill): One of the top sports bars you will find at any golf course. Beeb’s is a great place to grab a beer and a bite to eat even if you are not playing golf! It is a popular lunch spot for people that work in the area, so it is not uncommon to find the place packed with golfers coming in after their round mixed in with business people spending their lunch time. This is a business that survives without golf business and is packed during football season. Go once and you will be back!
Callippe Preserve (Vista Restaurant): The muni-course in Pleasanton has a 19th hole with some great views from the outside seating. Following an afternoon round, enjoying the wonderful Pleasanton evenings sitting outside and taking the views of the southern end of Pleasanton. It’s called the “Vista Restaurant,” for a reason.
Poppy Ridge (The Grill): The NCGA course smack in the middle of the Livermore Wine Country has a patio that overlooks all the closing holes on their three courses, as well as miles and miles of vineyards. Perfect spot to have a couple of cocktails and talk golf! Another spot that is popular with non-golfers so don’t be surprised if at times outside seating is full.
By Dennis Miller