NCGA Golf

FALL 2017

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A It's Northwood Golf Club in Monte Rio, located near the Russian River in Sonoma County—an Alister MacKenzie design that opened in 1928 and is routed through corridors of towering and majestic redwoods. "It's really a fun little course to play," says Maltbie, who has been enjoying Northwood's charms for several decades, "and golf's first priority should be fun." Maltbie is far from the only golf aficionado who is a Northwood fan. Bo Links, a San Francisco attorney, avid low-handicap player and MacKenzie enthusiast concurs with Maltbie. "It is fantastic, just delightful, which is what all of MacKenzie's courses are," Links says. "It's fun to play and exciting to look at—uplifting. And it leaves you with one thought: I want to do this again." Selecting the best nine-hole courses in the United States in 2010, Golf Digest architecture editor Ron Whitten ranked Northwood No. 3, behind The Dunes Club in New Buffalo, Mich., and Whitinsville (Mass.) Country Club. "It's a neat little course that gives you an authentic feel of MacKenzie's architecture that re- ally hasn't been messed with," says Whitten. "It's sort of a classic little MacKenzie course on a small scale." The designer of Augusta National, Cypress Point and Pasatiempo, MacKenzie is believed to have been contacted about doing a course on 70 wooded acres across the Russian River from the Bohemian Club Grove by Jack Neville, co-designer of Pebble Beach Golf Links and five-time winner of the California Amateur Championship. In the 1800s the land had provided much of the timber for the construction of buildings in San Francisco. Northwood is a par 36 that stretches 2,893 yards. Three of the par-4s measure under 300 yards—includ- 50 FALL 2017 | NCGA.ORG This Alister MacKenzie "throwback" is small in stature, but still packs a punch. BY BILL FIELDS s a five-time PGA Tour winner and longtime announcer for NBC/Golf Channel, Roger Maltbie has experienced many of the sport's best and well-known courses. One that has a place in his heart, though, might be surprising because it's only nine holes and fewer than 3,000 yards.

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