It was the beginning of our newest adventure – Golfing with the Cartwrights and dining with the Donner Party. It was my pitstop from Bend, OR to Reno, NV on my way to rendezvous with my teammates. It was Anderson Tucker Oaks Golf Course in Redding, CA.
E-X-P-A-N-S-I-V-E – this is the perfect word for the fairway at Hole #1. If you can’t hit this fairway or find your ball, it’s time to retire to The Sand Trap and enjoy the view of the mountains with a brew in hand. Midway down the fairway of this par 4, 435 yard hole, trees on both sides start to encroach the fairway. Even though this is the number two handicap hole, taking a six was not the ideal way to start a round. Was it was the five-hour drive getting here, or the distracting view of the mountains that produced this unsatisfactory score?
Let’s hope things improve at Hole #2. It’s a great time for that big slice/fade at this dogleg right par 4. If you don’t hit it far enough down the fairway, you’ll have a few very large trees blocking your approach to the green. Hole #3 is the number one handicap hole and I played to that designation (poorly). The fairway is straight, but down by the end the green is located behind a couple of large trees to the left. I know this for a fact –don’t be short with your drive!
Hole #4 is the first par 5 with a wide-open fairway and not much trouble. I can attest to this as I carded my first par of the day. If you have a fear of water, then tee up the worst ball in your bag at the fifth hole. If you hit into the murky, scum-filled pond that separates the tee box from the green, you will never find the ball (or want to even try). Hole #6 – straight as an arrow and wide as a football field. Hole #7 – what I said about #6 but add a few trees on both sides.
The mountains come back into view at the par 3 eighth hole. You will find two large bunkers and one large green. Which one do you think I found? You are correct, but I was able to get up and down with the help of a 30-foot putt. The finishing hole is almost a carbon copy of the opening hole. It runs parallel to #1 but in the opposite direction. Keep your shots to the right as there is a slight bend in the fairway to the left that eventually leads you home to The Sand Trap.
Rating – Par: The staff was very friendly; I was able to get right on for a two-hour round; and the course was a great respite after 5 hours of driving before I got on the road for another few hours. I played in late summer, and this day the fairways were very patchy and filled with crabgrass, but the greens were in good shape. The routing and design of holes are very ordinary, but it was an excellent stop for a road weary traveler to stretch his legs and get in a quick 9.
P.S. If you want to learn more about Golfing with the Cartwrights and dining with the Donner Party, you’ll have to visit the travel section of our website.