Quik Peek: Summitpointe Golf Club
The "Quik Peek" series is designed to give essential information about lesser known, affordable golf courses in major population centers, in a bite-sized format.
MILPITAS, CA- If you asked a sampling of average Californians where the town of Milpitas is located, its a good bet fewer than half would know that this town of 54,000 lies near the heart of Silicon Valley. A similar lack of notoriety might also be claimed by Milpitas' golf course, Summitpointe Golf Club. It seems the only people familiar with this 6,300 yard, par 72 course are locals, who are nevertheless responsible for racking up the approximately 80,000 rounds played here per year.
This is due in no small measure to the price tag; Summitpointe represents one of best golf values in the East Bay. Thanks to an aggressive program of specials with something for every schedule, greens fee can run as little as $6 for a late nine hole round during the week. The top weekday rate of $30 (for a prime time Friday round) is downright cheap when compared to other area courses. Avoid playing Summitpointe on the weekend, however, when the rate climbs as high as $80, and the pace of play is reminiscent of a funeral procession.
Summitpointe is a definitive "local knowledge" course. Unpredictable caroms are the rule on a quirky layout shoehorned in amongst steep hillsides. The property rises about 300 feet above I-680, and excellent views of Silicon Valley are offered from the first few holes. The course's best stretch of holes are laced through a grassy canyon, starting at #11 (once voted a member of the Bay Area's "Dream 18"), and continuing up to the fabulous par 3 16th.
The future should be bright for Summitpointe, as irrigation and clubhouse improvements continue to ameliorate the golfers' experience. "We know our strengths and weaknesses," remarked General Manager Ruth Kirk. "While we have plans to raise the level of course conditioning in the near future, for now we'll continue to be regarded as one of the best golf values in the Bay Area. The bottom line is that our course is a real treat to play."
PHOTO OP: #3 Par 3 122/117/107 yds HCP: 17/17
This simple, straightforward hole runs straight uphill to one of the highest points on the golf course. Shots hit short of the green will likely be repelled back towards the tee box, and those hit over the flag will face a slippery downhill putt. The only consolation for three-jacking is the extra time one gets to soak in the westward view of Silicon Valley.
CARD WRECKER: #4 Par 4 362/351/342 yds HCP: 5/5
This notorious hole requires the finesse of a cat burglar to simply make par. Featuring a fairway so slanted it seems even the grass is holding on for dear life, the tee shot must land thirty yards right of the left-sloping fairway, whereupon gravity takes over. It's not unusual to see an otherwise acceptable tee shot bound completely across the fairway down into the trees lining the left side. The large green slopes hard left as well, making two putts an accomplishment.
KEY HOLE: #8 Par 4 401/393/383 yds HCP: 1/1
Part two of the "Hillside Saga", this mid-length par four plays more like a par five, as it charges ferociously uphill after a sharp dogleg left. Your tee shot will often get "negative roll", as the slope of the fairway deadens and repels the golf ball, sometimes into tree trouble. Survive this one and claim victory on the front nine.
COURSE'S BEST: #16 Par 3 199/178/122 yds HCP: 6/6
One of the best par threes in the Bay Area. From a tee box elevated some sixty feet above the putting surface, you can see most of the green, but little of the danger posed by a reed-filled pond which protects the front and left side of the target. An idyllic collection of oaks and other native trees surrounding the hole makes for a picturesque setting, as well as an arborous obstacle to your tee shot.
REVIEWERS RATING: 5.72 of 10 (moderately recommended)
COURSE LOCATION/RATES/TRAVEL INFORMATION
LOCATION: Summitpointe Golf Club is located in Milpitas. From I-680, take the Jacklin Road exit east to Park Victoria. Turn left, then right onto Country Club Drive. The course is located at the top of the hill.
CLOSEST AIRPORT: SAN JOSE INTERNATIONAL (SJC) 8.8 mi.
901 E Calaveras Blvd, Milpitas CA
Conveniently located along I-680 and only a mile from Summitpointe, this luxurious all-suite, nine story atrium style hotel with tropical Mediterranean design features an indoor pool and spa. Complimentary buffet breakfast served daily, and dinner is served nightly at Swan Court Cafe. Rates range from $129-169. per night.
TOLL FREE: 1-800-362-2779 WEB: www.embassysuites.com
STAY/PLAY PACKAGES: Currently none available.
January 1, 2003