The is a popular maxim when discussing the minimalist school of golf course design: More often than not, except for the most pure of linksland, that a lot of maximalism goes into the creation of a “minimalist” aesthetic. And so it was at TPC Stonebrae, where renowned minimalist David McLay-Kidd set about moving heaven and earth (but mostly earth) to create such an experience in the hills high above the city of Oakland.
Such a location affords players views of the San Francisco Bay from many points. Playing alongside the descending hillside creates many adventurous holes, such as No. 12, which — despite being more than 600 yards from the back tees — almost seems reachable. Be wary when taking big swings, however: Although the course’s founders aimed for a Scottish feel on the course, balls that fade too far right may end up in the neighboring Park Ukraina.
This, the longest hole on the course, is immediately followed by its shortest, 160 yards from the back and featuring three distinct putting areas.
The course plays nearly 7,200 yards from the back tees.