You may think that golf and wine make strange bedfellows but read on and you will see that they can make the perfect pairing.
Let’s start with the wine.
If you’re a fan of a crispy Chardonnay or a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon some of the finest grape varieties are grown in the Napa Valley in Northern California. The area is not only the premier wine growing region in North America, but it is also an area of outstanding natural beauty. Consequently, it is a destination vacation for both national and international oenophiles.
There are approximately 375 wineries where you can try the product and ninety urban tasting rooms so if you’re not planning an extended stay be sure to take advice from the locals for the best options to suit your taste buds.
The region is made up of five main towns Calistoga, St Helena, Yountville, the City of Napa, and American Canyon. Each of them has their own distinct identities but for this little missive we will concentrate on Yountville.
With an area of only 1.5 sq. miles, it is perfect for walkers and cyclists. However, it’s small size belies the fact that it is home to award winning restaurants with cuisines and prices to suit every pocket or palate. Great artisan shops and art galleries and accommodation from five-star hotels to quirky B&Bs ensure a unique vacation.
I have purposely left the best till last.
Outdoor pursuits include Balloon trips, guided winery tours, great biking trails and of course … golf.
Yountville is the locale for the Vintners Golf Club which has been voted the best in the Valley.
This nine-hole course is designed to suit players of all levels, it has pristine greens, and each hole has three different tees.
If it’s great tuition you’re after, then resident PGA golf pro Jeff Daniels is your man. He has won over forty pro-am tournaments in Northern California, has 25 years of coaching and over 15,000 lessons under his belt. He can teach at all skill levels and his easy-going demeanour will make learning a pleasure.
If all this sounds tempting the nearest international airport is San Francisco, or there are several local airports if you are travelling internally, however if you really want a truly special journey why not throw your clubs in the car and take a road trip from San Diego or Los Angeles, the Pacific Coast Highway opens a catalogue of treasures along the way.
Just remember if you decide on Napa Valley, shout “fore” not “cheers.”