Resident Feature

Tee it Up

in the Hills of Pleasanton

Rich with history, the private country club, The Castlewood Country Club, is surrounded by natural beauty of the Pleasanton Ridge, Kilkare Woods and Augustin Bernal Park foothills on the west side of highway 680. This magnificent piece of land, once the home of the Ohlone Indians, The Bernal Rancho and the Alisal Rancheria, was purchased by the Hearst Family in the late 1800’s. We know, as residents of this beautiful valley, how amazing our weather is year-round. The weather is specifically why the Hearst Family chose this prime piece of property. It was the perfect place to get away from the foggy San Francisco summers. 

This influential couple, Mrs. Phoebe Hearst and Mr. Hearst, created so much traffic that the Western Pacific created the “Verona Station” for the 40-50 guests Mrs. Hearst would entertain each weekend. As the tradition continues, Castlewood still has amazing weather, views, and is the perfect place for friends to gather. 

In 1924, the Hearst family sold the property and thus, Castlewood Country Club was created on 500 acres of rolling wooded land. There are currently 190 home sites in the Castlewood Community, which includes all the luxuries of a country club: tennis courts, bocce courts, a swimming pool, a magnificent clubhouse in which to socialize. The first golf course on the hillside was developed in 1926. The second one in the valley was designed and created in 1948. The 18 Hole Hill Course, designed by William P. Bell, is regulation length at 6,240 yards, 70 par, 127 slope and a rating of 71.1. There are slopes and hills, right-left and up-down, for every shot you will take. The greens on this course are tricky, but very well maintained. As with most privately owned courses, the greens and fairways are beautifully maintained with thought and continual care. 

Hole #17 is a par 3. The actual yardage is 210 but plays at about 150 because of the elevation and slope of the hill. Everything rolls down and to the left! This is the hole they use at tournaments for a Hole-in-One game. A woman actually did get a hole in one not too long ago! There are many places throughout the course, whether on a tee box or in the middle of the fairway, where you can catch a spectacular view of the Tri-Valley. At other times, it seems you are on the edge of the forest. Hole #18, a par 4, also starts off at a high elevation with 410 yards to the pin. On this hole you can see the swimming pool, clubhouse, tennis courts, sweeping views of the valley and even the 1st tee where you began. The course widens in the middle and is a bit lower than the green where there are a few bunkers hugging its sides. There is never a dull moment on the Hill Course. 

Castlewood, the private country club, is a beautiful place to spend the day, socialize with friends, swim, play tennis and to play golf. This private hillside community continues to be one of the top-rated places to live, socialize and play since the 1800’s. 

   By Lynne Harrosh, Resident since 2008