With the weather improving itís time for the dedicated golfer to begin an exciting new season. This time of year always brings hope of improving oneís handicap, but it brings an even greater hope of creating unforgettable memories on the golf course. The Bridges is one such golf course that Iíve enjoyed playing these past 6 years. Itís afforded me memories of some great shots, as well as memories of many of the ďalmostĒ shots. If you happen to be unfamiliar with The Bridges, let me take this opportunity to share some things with you about this championship golf course.
The Bridges is located in San Ramon just minutes off the Bollinger Canyon Road exit from Highway 680. It is situated near the Dougherty Valley area between San Ramon and Dublin with views of nearby Mt. Diablo.
The Bridges owes its design to Damian Pascuzzo and Johnny Miller. As you may know, Johnny Miller has his name on at least 3 other courses in our area. Obviously, there are many bridges you will be traveling over during your round of play at this course. Itís also a visually stunning course when the foliage is in bloom and the hillsides have filled in nicely with lush landscaping. Before you get started thereís a full service practice center including an excellent driving range, three different practice greens to warm up on, and more. Youíll want to be sure and warm up on every aspect of your game for this course!
Letís get on the course! Just over 7,000 from the tips, The Bridges plays one Slope point higher than Spyglass Hill in Monterey Ė meaning: Stay focused at all times during your round as any errant shot can be costly to your score. The first hole measures 397 yards from the Black tees and plays as a dogleg left. Use caution from the tee box however as you can run out of fairway in a hurry. If you can feather in a soft draw down the left hand side of the fairway onto the landing area, youíll start your round off strong with just a short iron into the green. Greens at The Bridges are fast but fair, which is a good thing here. Number 3 plays tough Ė you can try to jump on your driver to clear the bunker on the right side of the fairway, or just play it safe to the left side of the bunker.
The second shot plays into the smallest green on the course, and any misjudged distance here can be very costly. Wait until you get to Number 6. This hole starts out as an unassuming Par 5, then, when your ball is sitting up on the mound in the fairway, you have to ask yourself a very serious question: Can I hit this next shot on a rope a mere 240 yards or so and get it to stop on a dime? If not, then just hit a nice 200 yard shot to the lay-up area, hit the green in three, two putt and walk off with your par. Now, itís through the tunnel under the 6 lane road above to the rest of the course. I love the seventh hole, as itís a Par3 that plays 212 from the Black tees. The green slopes from right to left which calls for a pretty accurate tee shot to have any chance of scoring well here.
Hole 10 plays from an elevated tee box and itís not just me, right? -- Everybody loves to rip a tee shot from these types of tee boxes Ė donít they? 16 and 17 are two of my favorite back-to-back holes in the area. The smart play on 16 is to run a ball down the right hand side of the split fairway, leaving about 175 to the middle of an elevated green. 17 is a Par 5 that has two splits in it! 18 is tough as the green is about 85 yards in depth, and that flagstick can look pretty lonely on a green that big.
Be sure to stop into the restaurant afterwards, as the food is excellent!
They also have a state-of-the-art Teaching Facility. Be sure to see our Pro Tip in this issue featuring Perry Andrisen ďFrom the Tee Box!Ē
Everything is top-notch at The Bridges Ė I even like the Yardage Guide. Youíve undoubtedly seen the Yardage Guides with the florescent covers used by the Pros on TOUR. They have exact illustrations and detail of the course within the pages. The Yardage Guide at The Bridges is cool because it has a very similar look to the Pro Yardage Guides and makes you feel like youíve got the inside track on each hole. The Bridges Golf Club 9000 S Gale Ridge Road San Ramon, CA 94583 Golf Shop: 925 735-4253 Internet: www.thebridges.com Public, 18 holes.