Shoreline Golf Links: A Dynamite Work in Progress

By F. Richard Allen, Contributor

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - Shoreline Golf Links was designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and built in 1983. The fairways are bentgrass turf. The greens are both bentgrass and Poa Annua. Shoreline Golf Links has had a few financial problems which a recent settlement with the city of Mountain View, making the city the owners. Mountain View is now working on correcting some physical problems as well.

Normally a 6,576-yard course, Shoreline has been reduced to around 6,300 yards while holes 13 and 14 are under extensive irrigation and drainage renovation. To get around using those holes, the 10th and 11th holes are divided up into par 3s. Although normal green fees are $30 on weekdays and $42 on the weekend, the City of Mountain View deducts $5 for the incomplete course.

The first part of the overall renovation will be complete in January of 2000 for a few months. Then when the weather improves, probably in May of 2000, they will complete the renovations... wrapping it up in the fall.

If you've played the Shoreline course before and found problems with water accumulation, Joe Debode, the head pro, believes that this ongoing work will solve what he calls, "normal issues associated with a golf course constructed on a landfill."

Otherwise, however, the Shoreline course is a dynamite course with some excellent looks. From the blues, it's rated 71.9 and the slope is 124.

The front nine, to the south of a chipping green and the Pro Shop, plays over, around, and through a long wigeon pond. These small black ducks sit at the edges of the water and swim through the tules which surround many of the ponds.

Shoreline is a dynamite course with some excellent looks.

The 1st hole is a 501 yard, par 5 straight shot up and over a slight rise with a bunker on the right and the water on the left squeezing the fairway down to about 20 yards at the midway mark.

The approach to the green is guarded on the left by a bunker at about 70 yards out, which further narrows the fairway and then a small crowd of sand traps on the right.

The fairways are bordered by a large variety of trees including pines, oaks, bay, and hardwood maple which give the entire course a surprising New England look in the fall.

The 2nd and 3rd holes are 380 yard par 4s with the 3rd enjoying a sharp dogleg left to avoid the water.

The 4th is the signature hole, which is a 164 yard par 3 over a duck pond, up to a postage stamp green. The pond is wide, about sixty yards, and quite daunting. The green slopes down to the water from the other side so it's possible to make a good shot and still lose your ball in the drink.

The 7th, a 394 yard, par 4, is a dogleg left, crowded with sandtraps at both the dogleg and the green. Most of the greens on this course are tough, some undulating, some multilevel, some with serious slopes, some all three.

The back nine wraps around the driving range and along a large sailing lake to the east. The driving range comes into play on the 18th hole.

The 15th hole, a 396 yard, par 4 is a long walk from the 12th due to the detour around the repair work.

The 16th a 519, par 5 near the end of the fairway, takes a short dogleg left through bunkers and sand traps making it even more difficult near the green. Evidently this is typical of a Robert Jones, Jr. course... "bunker patterns that unite classical themes of complex shape with modern concerns for visibility and maintenance."

Sometimes at the end of the day you can lose your ball among shiny leaves in the deep shade. But on the 18th hole at Shoreline you can lose your ball among driving range balls as you head for home. They oughta build a fence.

Michael's Restaurant is a large accommodating space which overlooks one of the ponds and a few holes on the back nine. Outside tables allow you to bring your lunch.

At Shoreline the cart fees are $22 and pull carts are allowed.

Shoreline Golf Links at Mountain View
2940 North Shoreline Blvd.
Mountain View, CA 94043
(650) 969-2041
Call 7 days in advance

F. Richard Allen, Contributor

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