Hole 7

 

Course at Wente Vineyards:

Greg Norman's Beastly Beauty in California Wine Country.

Posted by: Rick Parnham

 

California wines are as world renowned as many of the famous golf courses that dot this Pacific coast state. In the historic Livermore Valley a few miles east of the Bay Area there is a collection of vineyards of high esteem.  The 130 year old, family-owned and operated Wente Vineyards calls this area home and is a special place for more than its world-class Chardonnay. The vineyard first envisioned by C.H. Wente has turned into a vast estate assembled by his descendants and has been producing highly acclaimed vintages for decades. Now combined with a state of the art winemaker’s school, celebrated dining experiences, extensively stocked retail store and a vibrant concert venue, Wente is a place to savor, learn, relax, be entertained and shop for the perfect wine of choice.

 

World-Famous Vintages


To complement the winery, Greg Norman was tasked with designing a premiere public play golf experience amid the setting of the family’s hillside vineyards in the foothills of the Diablo Range.  The course begins after a steep climb to the first tee, providing a beautiful view of the surrounding vineyards and Del Valle Dam. Built on a working farm the course takes advantage of the natural landscape and is routed through rows of grape vines and the active pasture lands that produce food for the fine dining experiences at The Restaurant, the award-winning dining opportunity at the estate or Grill located in the course's clubhouse.

 

Many holes are flat and built through an assortment of vines all with placards outlining the variety of wine they will eventually become. Signs of Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot highlight the unique hazards lining these holes. Other holes feature stark elevation changes playing from ridges and summits through hillside crevasses providing stunning views and swirling winds to distract. The customary slick putting surfaces of a Norman design adds additional defense to this lengthy beastly beauty that has been host to the PGA's Nationwide Tour. 

 

Access: Public Play

 

Course Stats:

Par 72
Yardage
Rating/Slope-M
Rating/Slope-F
Black
7181
75.3 / 142
-
Gold
6840
73.9 / 139
-
Blue
6266
71.2 / 128
-
White
5637
68.4 / 124
73.5 / 129
Red
4865
-
69.4 / 120

 

Location:

Livermore, California

 

Editor's Shot Maker's Picks: Course at Wente Vineyards

Featured Holes
Hole 2
Hole 6
Hole 10
Hole 18
Par
Par 4
Par 4
Par 4
Par 4
Black
307
353
304
472
Gold
301
349
300
457
Blue
286
298
281
412
White
254
265
256
368
Red
203
240
216
315
HCP-Men
15
9
18
2
HCP-Women
15
5
16
2


Feature Holes Descriptions:

Two-time major winner Greg Norman was one of the most famous golfers of his time; however, he achieved more notoriety for his misfortunes rather than an ability to finish off the majors he so desperately coveted. Many believe Norman's missed victories were in large part due to his aggressive, risky shot making. It is no wonder his design at Wente Vineyards includes many holes with high degrees of risk / reward. After the adrenaline filled first tee shot, Norman presents a thinker’s hole at the second. Playing as a potentially drivable par 4, the tee shot requires a deft touch with anything from driver to long iron. The tee decks and fairway are framed with large trees making the shot feel like you are hitting through a tight chute. Best played down the left, you must avoid the overhanging limbs to set up your approach to the small green guarded by a trio of white sand bunkers front, long and left. The sixth hole plays uphill all the way to the green perched high in a bowl carved out of the hillside. The plateau fairway has high banks covered in nasty native grass to the right and a severe falloff left. You must find the fairway on this short par 4 to have any chance of reaching the elevated putting surface with devilish false front.

 

Hole 2

 

The back side opens with a true gambler's par 4. The very scoreable 10th plays high atop the mountain ridges where the purest of drives has a chance of reaching the green. Buffeted by mountain winds and presented with falloffs to each side of the fairway and around the green, the room for error is almost nil. The safe route is a long iron to the heart of the fairway followed by a short iron approach to offer a chance at a much needed birdie. The final few holes bring us back down along the base of the mountains where they once again nestle close to the vineyards. The home hole is a gigantic par 4 that provides a split fairway separated by a creek. The safer route takes you left, while the shorter right side brings vines and OB into play.  The second shot must avoid the pond that protects the right side of the hole, extending from 130 yards in all the way to the green. Anything pushed right will bring a big number to the final box on the scorecard.  

 

Winemaker's School

 

Northern California wine country offers a plethora of fantastic golf and winery experiences. At Wente Vineyards both of these passions are blended together to create an experience hard to rival in these parts. A full day of sensory overload awaits with a visit to Wente. In addition to time well spent enjoying your round on the beautiful and challenging Norman design an array of après golf activities abound.  Enlighten your palate in the winemaker's school or test your olfactory senses at an aroma school session. Savory dining can be enjoyed at both The Restaurant or the Grille overlooking the vineyard and foothills. Those looking to catch a show top-notch acts the ilk of Harry Connick, Jr. Diana Ross, Willie Nelson or Steve Martin can be enjoyed at the concert venue. Your visit to Wente Vineyards' highly acclaimed golf course combined with world-class vintages, food and entertainment will make for a wonderfully memorable experience in the historic Livermore Valley. 

 

Contact:

The Course & Grill at Wente Vineyards
5040 Arroyo Road
Livermore, CA

94550
925.456.2475

[website]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hole 6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aroma School

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Local Taste:

Over 130 years ago the Wente Brand was born with patriarch C.H. Wente founding a vineyard in Livermore Valley of Northern California.  America's oldest, continuously-operated, family-owned winery offers a wide array of wines, including Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Riesling, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. The signature vintage however is their Chardonnay. With California being known for its Chardonnay wines, the Wente grape is the base for over 80% of the state's vintage. Boasting hints of vanilla and fruity overtones, Wente's Chardonnay is the most remarkable taste on the shelf. The refined and elegant complexity of the vintage can't be missed when visiting the vineyard or the course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos Courtesy of

Wente Vineyards