The Dublin Ranch Golf Course features great views and some tough holes as it runs around a hilltop on the eastside of the city. It’s become a favorite spot for golfers looking for an 18-hole experience on a well-conditioned golf course that doesn’t take all day.

When Robert Trent Jones Jr. was commissioned to design the course, the developers decided to limit the acreage of the golf course to maximize the number of pricey home sites in the gated community that surrounds it. That resulted in the unusual par 63: 2 par 5s; 11 par 3s and 5 par 4s. Carts are included with green fees so getting around in three hours, even with a foursome, generally is easy.

Houses overlook Dublin Ranch

The greens roll true, are fairly quick and have plenty of slopes and humps. Jones included plenty of deep bunkers around most greens. There’s no water hazard on the course, but the bunkers and elevation changes make for an interesting golf experience that will require most of the clubs in your bag.

A set of blue tees was added after the course opened. They stretch to 5,079 yards, while the whites play 4,505.

Jones took advantage of the elevation changes as the course runs around the mountain. That routing also provides great views of the Livermore Valley to the south and the San Ramon Valley and Mt. Diablo to the west and north.

Two holes play significantly uphill, including the par 5 18th that features a split fairway.  Play the eastern fairway on 18—it’s a much easier approach to the green and takes a pair of deep greenside bunkers out of play that must be carried from the west (left-side) fairway. If your ball finds one of those bunkers, you will be hard pressed to see the flag for your sand wedge shot.

The view looking south

No. 6, at 157 yards, is all carry uphill. An extra club or two, unless the prevailing wind is right behind you, helps.

Two par 4s, No. 1 and No. 12, play downhill making for a short-iron approach if you hit a good drive.

Then, there are the par 3 holes that are sharply downhill, No. 2, No. 7 and No. 15. All require careful club selection to hit the greens. They vary in length from 159 yards to 224 yards. The par 4s generally have wide fairways except for No. 10 that is a relatively narrow and guarded with fairway traps on the right.

Dublin Ranch is a great value during the week. During May, green fees before 7 a.m. are just $20 and climb to just $25 until 8 a.m. with the same specials in the afternoon. There’s also a $120 foursome special on Mondays and Tuesdays and seniors play for $32 anytime Monday-Thursday.

The course is managed by Kemper Sports.

By Tim Hunt