Winter 2018

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MILL VALLEY BY DON JOZWIAK > Just north of San Francisco lies Mill Valley , which has served as a retreat from its big-city neighbor for more than a century. When the great earthquake of 1906 brought down much of San Francisco and areas of Marin County, Mill Valley proved to be a safe haven. Thirteen years after the great quake, Mill Valley Golf Club, a nine-hole layout, was formed. The club, which retains a thriving membership to this day, is a perfect place to start one's morning. Mill Valley GC has been owned by the city since 1939, and the par-33 course plays through 42 hilly acres of second-growth redwoods. As a "2 for 20" course, you can expect to play in two hours for $20 or less, and tee times are taken up to a week in advance. There's also a set of tees designed for the course to play as a par-3 short course, which is a great way to enjoy the terrain quickly–or at an easier length for juniors or beginners. The quick pace you'll encounter at Mill Valley GC leaves time for other courses in the area, such as Peacock Gap Golf Club, Indian Valley Golf Club (right) and Meadow Club. Peacock Gap is a short drive north, in San Rafael, and offers amenities including the area's only all-grass practice facility, state-of-the- art instruction and outstanding food at the RangeCafe Bar and Grill–if you find yourself there in the afternoon, be sure to check out the happy-hour specials. In nearby Novato, Indian Valley Golf Club rolls through woodlands and wetlands to provide a challenge to more skilled players. Choosing the correct tees for your skill level makes it a fair fight, and golfers of all abilities will enjoy the quiet surroundings, free from homes and other structures. The 19th Hole Bar & Grill is a casual place for pre-round breakfast or post-round drinks, with a patio that offers a scenic view of Stafford Lake. If you're a member of a private club and planning a trip to Mill Valley, talk to your PGA professional about getting on the private Meadow Club in Fairfax. The course (left) holds the distinction of being Dr. Alister MacKenzie's (center) first U.S. design–before he designed Augusta National Golf Club–and the layout was recently renovated to play closer to the intent of the original 1927 plans by MacKenzie and Robert Hunter. The subtle, challenging course is a gem located just miles from the Golden Gate Bridge near Mount Tamalpais.Wherever you play your day's golf, Mount Tamalpais State Park makes a fine accompaniment for some off-course activity. Panoramic views from the 2,571-foot peak include the San Francisco Bay, East Bay, Mount Diablo and the Farallon Islands 25 miles out in the Pacific. Entrance to the park is free, but some trailheads do have parking fees. Visitors can head to the beach to swim, fish or enjoy guided tours of the park's many scenic vistas. You can drive, hike or bike through "Mount Tam," which features red- wood forests and deep canyons, and the visitor center includes artifacts from the discontinued scenic railway through the area. In the evening, an outdoor theater hosts plays and astronomy programs—and if you want to stay the night, campsites and rustic view cabins are available. Like the golf courses around Mill Valley, Mount Tamalpais occupies a unique place in the Bay Area– close enough to literally see the city, but deeply rooted in the natural beauty that has drawn settlers for gener- ations. 12 WINTER 2018 | NCGA.ORG S H A G B A G DAYtrip DAYtrip You can drive, hike or bike through Mount Tamalpais. PREMIER AERIALS

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