Mountain House Golf Course is a public 18-hole golf course located in Mountain House, California.
Mountain House Golf Course opened in 2006.
Description by Dennis Miller, Sports writer for the HERALD (9-1-06)
Mountain House Golf Course, a gem in the wind If you're passing the Altamont Pass and you think you see a golf course to the north round Grant Line Road, it's not an illusion, despite what your sense of logic tries to tell you. The Mountain House Golf Course has been open since April and is a track well worth making the trip up Interstate 580 to play.
The course measures very short - only 6,180 yards from the tips - but plays every bit as tough as any 7,000-yard course for one simple reason - the wind. Even teeing off at 6:45 a.m. doesn't help the golfer avoid the wind and the difficulties that come with it. Throw in some tough but very high-quality greens, and Mountain House is a great test of golf no matter what the length. Just don't try to tell course owner Bill Costanzo about the wind. "It's much more the perception of the wind than the actual wind", Costanzo said. "You come out there and it's only blowing 4-5 miles an hour, but you see all the windmills, and you think it's much more windy."
Costanzo bought the land where the course sits in 1996 after seeing a "for sale" sign on the property driving back from Tracy one day. "I was in Tracy looking at some investment property," Costanzo explained. "I saw the sign, walked out on the property and thought it would be a good place for a golf course. I could see Tracy, and I knew the Mountain House development was going in. I felt (the property) was sitting right in the middle of progress." The permits from Alameda County came through in pretty quick order - namely the Department of Fish and Game - took until 2004. "In order for us to build 45 acres of grass (the course), we had to give the Federal Government 200 acres of land in other locations for habitats," Costanzo said.
Costanzo, who owned the Bethel Island Golf Course from 1989-1995, designed the course, along with Robert J. Costa. The two literally went out in the hills initially, laid down mats to hit off and developed their vision of what the course would look like. "We only built the course 6,000 yards because we knew it would play longer to 7,000 with the wind," Costanzo said. "We wanted to made it a good, solid course." When the Northern California Golf Association came out to rate the course, none of the 12 players in its group broke par - even with their handicaps.
"The front nine was rated 114, but that was without any bunkers." Costanzo explained. "We are starting to put those in now. The back nine was given a 133. We're going to try and make it a little easier." To be honest, it's as fun of a course as I've played in the greater East Bay. There are very tough holes, such as the second hole, a 515-yard uphill par-5, and the 13th, the par-5 signature hole measuring 535 yards. The 13th has a split fairway and a second shot that must carry water or barranca to an elevated landed area. Then, there are holes 15 and 17, both of which go into the wind and need a drive of more than 200 yards to reach the fairway. Finally, there is No. 6, a 130-yard par 3 that plays right into the teeth of the wind. I played a 5-iron, hit it flush and came up short of the green. "I think the front nine is fairly easy, but when you get to No. 6, you get an indication of what the back nine is going to be like," Costanzo said. But there is redemption for the number of holes that go into the wind. What goes into the wind must come back down with the wind. Holes such as No. 3 (478 yard, par-5) and No. 16 (386 yards, par-4) are helped by the extra gusts.
Mountain House Golf Course closed in 2008 after being open for only two years.
$31 (cart included), played on Sunday, January 2008 at 6am
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