San Juan Oaks Golf Club in Hollister: Secluded Couples course is worlds away from Silicon Valley
HOLLISTER, Calif. -- There are moments on San Juan Oaks Golf Club's back nine when golfers can't hear a thing but utter silence. No cars, no voices, no sense of civilization.
A large hill separates the sprawling clubhouse from some secluded and beautiful holes that ride the hilly countryside. San Juan Oaks, located 45 miles south of San Jose, is separated from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley by the farmland of Gilroy, nicknamed the "Garlic Capital of the World." A natural setting of ponds and wetlands characterize the 7,092-yard layout, a Fred Couples Signature design. The front nine is almost entirely flat and forgiving, finishing with a fun, risk-reward par 5 around a pond.
The back nine feels like an entirely different world. The uphill par 3 at no. 12 begins a head-spinning stretch of gorgeous and dangerous holes. The 13th and 17th holes are strong par 4s off of elevated tees. The par-4 14th hole features a split fairway where the lower section on the left looks easier to hit, although it might be an easier approach from the upper half. Deep ravines lurk along the snaking fairway of the tricky par-5 15th hole. Players tend to lose lots of balls during this stretch, but touring such relaxing countryside feels worth it.
Most Golf Advisor users give the San Juan Oaks Golf Club experience four and five stars. Golfer "Taranbh" wrote: "I Love San Juan Oaks" in a review posted in February, 2015.
"The Couples design is awesome," he added. "Fits in perfectly in a really beautiful location. Conditions are great (except for the greenside bunkers. ... hope to see that fixed come summer). Greens are fantastic. Awesome views. There are some really beautiful holes. I love playing here in the late afternoon/twilight. It has a reputation for being 'out of the way' and 'difficult.' It's not out of the way. It's convenient from the Monterey area, Santa Cruz or South Bay."
- Destination Guide: Plan and book your Central Valley golf with GolfCalifornia.com
- GolfCalifornia.com's guide to great golf and more on the Monterey Peninsula
- Course review: Ridgemark Golf Club's a solid play in Hollister