Hole Number One - Par Four | Inspiration
Named for its magnificent view, the first hole's original tee was about thirty feet higher and directly to the right of the current first tee; the hole was even more of a blind shot then. At the original tee was a small practice green and a few benches where an audience would gather to watch the beginning of a match. The tee was moved to its current location in 1952, at which time the original caddy yard there became the practice green. Be sure to check the hole location by looking at the sign on the first tee. The landing area is generous enough for an aggressive tee shot but the hole is short enough to play conservatively from the tee. Aim at the large house in the back ground. A well-played drive will leave a wedge approach to a green at the bottom of the hill.
Hole Number Two - Par Four | Bonita
Bonita's green was originally some 120 feet from front to back and remains much the same except all new bunkering was completed in the last seven years. The fairway slope has since been leveled to increase visibility. A very long drive may reach the fairway bunker guarding the left side. The second shot approach is more uphill than many players think, however a ball played past the hole will leave a delicate downhill putt.
Hole number three - par three | Orchard
Named for the DeLaveaga family's old pear orchard, and where a few pear trees still line the fairway, the hole plays longer than it appears. New championship tee at 265 yards.This long downhill par three is a difficult green to hit in regulation. Par can be easily made from just in front of the green.
Hole number four - par five | Meteor
The fourth hole is Meteor, named for the rocks above the green. Old-timers say this was the most difficult green to construct because the solid rock on which it was built had to be covered with soil in order for grass to grow-fluid. Favor the left half of the fairway on this reachable dogleg right in order to stay clear of the penal fairway bunkers protecting the right side. Aim just to the right of the wall belonging to the large house to the left of the green or layup to 100 yards avoiding an awkward pitch to an elevated green.
Hole number five - par four | Mousetrap
Mousetrap is a tricky dogleg with land and creek on one side, and Miner Road (out-of-bounds) on either side. A player may choose to cut the corner with a drive but be careful of the well hidden creek on the left side. A more conservative tee shot to the bottom of the hill will lead to an approach to an extremely elevated green. Be sure to add a club or even two when making your club selection.
Hole number six - par five | Long Tom
Following Scottish tradition, the sixth hole, the longest of the course (originally 557 yards), is named Long Tom. The golfer's tee shot must cross Miner Road and dogleg left onto the fairway.A conservative drive down the right side of the fairway makes this dogleg left a very difficult par as it leads to a hook lie with tree branches overhanging the right side. A player seeking a realistic birdie must challenge the dogleg off the tee. A fairway metal second shot should lead to a short iron third to a green that slopes from right to left.
Hole number seven - par four | Sobrante
Named for the street running along side it, this hole's tee was originally in a higher position than it is today; the golfer climbed a flight of steps from the sixth green to the tee area and looked out on a beautiful view. Avoid the right side fairway bunker complex at all costs. Add a little extra to your uphill approach to a very slender green. Take dead aim on your approach as the green is divided by a spine in the middle of the green.
Hole number eight - par three | Deadhorse
Originally 123 yards, this hole is the shortest of the course. A short pitch to a tiny green on this downhill hole. Miss the green and a par is very difficult! Ball in either bunker on right side is impossible to get up and down. A very Difficult 125-yard downhill par 3, hidden bunker over green.
Hole number nine - par four | Horseshoe
Because the ninth fairway was once used by the deLaveagas for their stable and polo matches, this hole was named Horseshoe. A very long par four that can be shortened with a drive down the right side of the fairway. A long approach with trouble to the right may be one of the most difficult shots on the golf course. There is no shame in playing short of the green and treating this hole like a short par five.
Hole number ten - par four | Ed's Delight
The tenth hole, from which one can look down the fairway onto a delightful scene is not named for the view but rather in honor of E.I.'s wife, Delight. A short and picturesque par four. Play as aggressively or conservatively as you like off the tee but favor the left side. A large oak tree guards the green from the right side of the fairway. In either case the second shot approach should be with a short iron or pitch.
Hole number eleven - par four | Graveyard
The eleventh hole, named Graveyard, a demanding par 4 crossing Lauterwasser Creek has proven to be many a game's graveyard. Don't be tricked into cutting the corner of this dogleg left par four as a drive pulled left will roll to the perimeter fence. A well placed drive will leave a mid to long iron approach over a creek. A poorly placed drive may lead to a layup approach.
Hole number twelve - par five | William Watson
Following another Scottish tradition, the twelfth hole was named to honor the course architect, William Watson. Favor the right side of the fairway off the tee to have a chance to reach the green in two shots and to avoid a fairway bunker guarding the right side on this slight dogleg. A well-played second shot should lead to a good birdie opportunity.
Hole thirteen - par three | Mokelumne
The name of the thirteenth hole, Mokelumne, originates from the Mokelumne River in the Sierra Nevada. The Mokelumne is also the source of the Blue Hole, inspiration for the original waterfall carrying water from Lake Cascade to the OCC pool. A long downhill par three well-guarded by greenside bunkers. A par is a good score here. Long is trouble as there is a lateral hazard behind green and OB right.
Hole fourteen - par four | San Pablo
The fourteenth hole, San Pablo, is bordered on the right by San Pablo Creek. Although this is a short hole, the narrow-fluid green and deep bunkers make it a tricky par 4. Most players will play a fairway metal or hybrid for this tee shot avoiding the left side fairway bunker and the possibility of driving the ball through the fairway on this dogleg right. A well-played drive will lead to a short iron or pitch to a very small and well bunkered green. The green is long and narrow-fluid so be sure to get a proper yardage.
Hole fifteen - par three | Despair
The fifteenth hole, made famous by Robert Hunter in The Links, is named Despair because it is surrounded by trouble. A treacherous tee shot to an angled green guarded by a deep bunker and creek on the left side and out of bounds on the right. This is a true redan hole. A player may bail out short right but a ball hit to the left of the green will be lucky to find the greenside bunker and is more likely to find the creek.
Hole sixteen - par four | Gibralter
Difficult, to say the least, demanding tee shot to avoid water hazard right, and well placed fairway bunkers left and right.The fairway on this long par four is sloped from left to right towards a creek. Favor the left side of the fairway. A well-played drive will lead to a mid-iron approach to an elevated green. Many approach shots come up short here leaving fairly simple chip shot. Immediately over the green is out of bounds.
Hole seventeen - par four | Rincon
Rincon is Spanish for cozy corner. This is a fitting name for the old entrance to the deLaveaga subdivision of Hacienda del Orinda as golfers turn the corner and head toward the finishing holes. A straight drive is required on this short downhill hole. A well-played drive will lead to a short iron or wedge approach to a forced carry over bunkering that protects nearly every hole location on this shallow green.
Hole eighteen - par five | Cascade
This is a magnificent and challenging 510-yard par 5 that plays with a tough lateral hazard left and OB right the entire length of the hole. A player who finds the fairway from the tee will be left with a long fairway metal second shot. With the exception of the longest players the second shot should be played to the left of the green, away from the out of bounds. The third shot approach is straight up the hill and plays extremely long. Be advised to take an extra club to avoid falling short of the green.
The beautiful practice area was completely renovated in 2004 with three practice greens and bunker complexes that mirror play around the course. This short-game facility offers many types of practice shots while giving players a large area to sharpen their skills.