After rounds at Spring Valley and San Jose Municipal on Sunday, we kept our overpriced muni marathon going in the late afternoon down at Santa Teresa Golf Club. We knew it would also be crowded here, but were hopeful it wouldn’t be quite as packed as San Jose Municipal. Turns out we were in for a little bit of lucky timing (or unlucky if thinking about price).
Originally, we expected we would be teeing off after 3:00, which is when their tolerable twilight rates take effect. We arrived around 2:30 and the front nine was pretty open at that time. The choices were to wait and pay less (while having to deal with the inevitable rush of twilight players) or to tee off earlier and pay a little more. At the end of a long day, we opted for door number two. $65 was a lot to pay at the end of an already rather expensive day, but we did it anyway.
We played around a couple slower groups on the front, but the back nine was completely full and we just had to wait in line. Still, the total round only took about 3.5 hours, which was way better than we would have expected (even with teeing off ahead of the twilight rush).
Like San Jose Municipal, Santa Teresa gets plenty of traffic. They have a big driving range and a good practice area, as well as a short par-3 course on property (more on that later). I’ve always heard this is one of the better muni-level tracks in the San Jose area, and so far I have to agree based on my experience. I thought it was the best course we played on Sunday.
The front nine is pretty traditional with flat terrain. There is one slightly elevated spot where you have the par-3 5th hole and then turn around for the downhill par-4 6th. There are some power lines running through the course that don’t add any aesthetic appeal to an otherwise fairly secluded-feeling course.
The back nine is where Santa Teresa really perks up as you head across the street and into a much hillier section of the property. This side is definitely much more interesting and fun with holes like the short, but steep uphill par-5 11th hole followed by the downhill par-4 12th that doglegs hard to the right. One of my favorite holes was the par-3 16th, which has a nice green complex tucked back into a hillside.
The course conditions were also quite good at Santa Teresa. They had good tee boxes and very nice fairways. The rough was thick and lush, as well. The greens were soft and receptive, rolling at slightly quicker speeds than our earlier rounds. The only negative here was that the bunkers were not great. They were very crusty on top and it was hard to gauge what the sand reaction would be underneath.
As an out-of-towner, Santa Teresa is too overpriced and overcrowded to recommend to my fellow travelers. However, it’s not too hard to understand what makes it such a popular muni course for San Jose locals. There is plenty to like about it.
Some pictures from Santa Teresa Golf Club (4/22/18):
(Click on any picture below to pull up a gallery slideshow.)
I was happy we finished our round reasonably quickly because I still had more work to do. My friend had already played The Short Course at Santa Teresa, so I stayed behind and played it by myself. The price, again, felt a little steep especially as a replay after the main course. However, I just paid my $17 and knocked it off my list while I was there.
When we arrived earlier, there was a huge junior tournament taking over the little course. Thankfully, all those crowds had left by the time I went over to play it. I played through one group and was able to finish pretty quickly.
The other good news is that this is a really fun 9-hole par-3 course. It plays up and down along a small hillside right next to the 5th hole on the main course. There are some water hazards and trees in play. Overall, it’s a pitch and putt course that offers just enough challenge to keep things interesting for any level of player. That said, it is built especially for kids and beginners to enjoy.
The holes range from 74 yards up to 124 and it is walking-only.
The Short Course at Santa Teresa Golf Club was conditioned almost as nicely as the main course. Everything was pretty lush and green, and the greens were quite nice. They were a little more marked up because of so many wedge shots (and novice players not cleaning up after themselves), but still quite good for a course like this.
Santa Teresa’s par-3 course is just right for what it is designed to be, and it’s just one more positive element to make this an appealing golf complex for San Jose residents.
Some pictures from The Short Course at Santa Teresa Golf Club (4/22/18):