Jason’s Review: Grizzly Ranch
I will admit I wasn’t expecting much out of Grizzly Ranch as I drove through the small town of Portola, California just minutes away from my destination. Not only was I pleasantly surprised to be wrong, but I ended up finding a course that I absolutely fell in love with. It all started after we dropped off our bags and walked into the pro shop. The first thing I see is a guy with a cowboy hat on behind the counter and a few pairs of cowboy boots for sale on a nearby table. For a Midwestern city slicker there for the first time, Grizzly Ranch was certainly a breath of fresh air.
The aforementioned cowboy turned out to be Van Batchelder, the Director of Golf at Grizzly Ranch. He could not have been more friendly and welcoming as we got our round underway. This is no lie…on the third green I announced to our group that Grizzly Ranch was already in my Top 10 Courses I have ever played. It is that nice, that playable, that fun, and that picturesque. Grizzly Ranch has an amazing variety of holes and each hole feels like it was carefully designed to fit into the landscape surrounding you.
The 18th hole at Grizzly Ranch is something out of a postcard. There is a babbling brook running along the left side of the hole, with a covered bridge to the left of the green that is one of their signatures. I told Van how awesome I found the view of the 18th green from the clubhouse and then told me what they do for groups that come and play an afternoon round at Grizzly Ranch. After a BBQ dinner, they set up a pitching contest from that spot to the flag on the 18th green. And the winner of the contest gets a pair of cowboy boots to take home. Sign me up!!!