It is easy to get caught up in the high-end, daily use golf courses in Northern California as there are plenty to talk about.

But the nuts and bolts of the golf industry are the more affordable courses that produce a great golfing experience for a lot less than the “elite” courses.

Such is the Las Positas Golf Course, located right off Interstate 580 in Livermore. The course has become a popular course, not only for people from the Tri-Valley area, but for the Central Valley, as well as Fremont-Oakland areas, thanks in large part to the location right off a major freeway.

“I think we have all the characteristics of an old-school course,” said Jeff DeBenedetti, the PGA Class A Professional. “It’s a great course to walk. It’s a great layout and the greens are top-notch.”

Very true. In fact, since a major re-design around 2010 that saw all the bunkers on the course re-done, five holes on the front 9 re-done and a 9-hole course of all par 3’s created, Las Positas has become not only a first-rate municipal course, but a course that can stand on its own against many more expensive courses.

The service matches the quality of the course, something DeBenedetti and his staff has strived to provide.

“We’ve always felt like we are a public course with a country club feel,” said DeBenedetti. “Come on out and we treat you like family.”

There are some great holes on the course, including the two closing holes, No. 9 and No. 18.

The 9th is the No. 1 handicap hole and the par 4 plays 412 from the Championship tees. If the hole was straightforward it might not be as tough, but the layout makes it a bear.

The hole bends right to left off the tee. If you hit the fairway, the work is hardly done as the green is smallish and guarded by water in the front and bunkers to both sides.

“I love the 9th because of the challenge,” said DeBenedetti.

The 18th plays 525 yards from the Blue tees, with the par 5 bending right to left. Driving through the fairway is a real possibility and there is the risk and reward aspect to the second shot. Take the safe route and layup or cut the corner, clear the trees and go for it in two.

I have always felt the closing hole should be one that decides a match and this one fits the bill.

The course plays 6,726 from the tips, 6,439 from the Championship tees, 6,071 from the White tees and 5,324 from the Red markers. The rack rates are very competitive. Weekdays – Monday through Friday – are $39 to walk and $54 with a cart. The weekend is $48 to walk and $63 to ride.

There are discount rates for twilight and seniors, with the best rate coming seven days a week in the morning. During the first hour of light, golfers can play the back 9 for $21 during the week and $23 on the weekend.

“We have a group that comes from the other side of the Bay on Sunday’s to play the back 9,” said DeBenedetti. “They play and then have breakfast.”

Beeb’s Sports Bar and Grill is also on the property and offers an excellent option for breakfast, lunch or dinner and is a favorite of locals, whether they are golfers or not.

If playing the big course is not on your radar for the day, the Links 9 course is as good as an executive course as you will find.

“We think of it as nine picture golf holes,” said DeBenedetti of the Links course that plays to 991 yards from the Blue tees. “That course gets the same love and care that the regular course gets.”

There are four holes on the course where the tee boxes are moved, providing an entirely different look at the green.

The Links 9 also features a FootGolf course, the ever growing in popularity new sport.

“We’ve got companies that will bus out their office to play FootGolf,” DeBenedetti said.

For more information or to book tee times on-line, go to www.laspositasgolfcourse.com

By Dennis Miller

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