Freeport Boulevard cuts a sharp path through the heart of Sacramento until it eventually turns into Highway 160, weaving along the edge of the Sacramento River like a hungry snake. When a driver crosses Pocket Road and enters into the small town of Freeport, the environment changes considerably. Less than two miles out of the Capitol city, one can get a taste of the country, with wide open spaces and slightly slower paces of life. At the top of the first hill in Freeport sits the Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course.
The 6,158-yard Par-71 is built on a beautiful plot of land. Hundreds of lush, turtle-shell fairway mounds and camel-hump hills of rough fill the acreage, creating dozens of angled lies for the golfer that sprays tee-shots around a bit. Water comes into play on almost half of the holes, and the many ponds and lakes are impressively well kept scenes where aqua blends fluidly with architecture. Short wooden walls line the edges of the water hazards, giving golfers a clear visual demarcation of the shot that needs to be executed.
The course is a youthful 15-years-old, and the trees that were mere saplings in the beginning are now dotting the fairways as robust shade providers. Complete with a clubhouse and adjoining bar and grill that could rival any in the Sacramento area, the feel is comfortable and modern. Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course has a friendly and attentive staff on hand, and on a recent weekday, the course was busy but completely clear- we only waited to tee off once all day.
Power is always a nice commodity in the game of golf, but it’s value is minimized here, because this course is all about accuracy. If you can hit it straight, you can put together some tasty numbers. The prime example of this concept is the 107-yard 17th- a teaser hole with an island green that can steal strokes, pride, confidence, and precious golf balls from you as you wind up the day.
This course has many things going for it. It is challenging yet approachable; off the beaten path yet easily accessible. Frogs and geese make occasional appearances. Cart paths weave subtly throughout the terrain, proving very helpful yet staying entirely out of the way. Thick green grasses cover almost every other square foot. Additionally, this course has “Cabernet Status”- it will only get better with age.
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