By Regan Canelario, Fortuna City Manager

Redwood Empire Golf and Country Club (Founded in 1929)
Baywood Golf and Country Club (Founded in 1933)

Put together your best foursome (or more if you have a giant golf group) and head up to NoNoCal and play “THE Two Best Courses” north of Santa Rosa.  Redwood Empire is in the City of Fortuna offering an excellent 18-hole Championship Course laid out amongst magnificent redwood trees.  Redwood Empire was established in 1929 (before the stock market crash!).   Baywood was established in 1933 and is well known for tree-lined fairways that total 6,427 yards from the back tees.
Both clubs are private, however, through a unique partnership with the Fortuna Chamber of Commerce tee times will be arranged for golf groups participating in the Tourism Committee Itineraries Program.  Just be sure to mention the Chamber of Commerce or Itineraries Program to make tee times for your group.  HOWEVER, be sure to act fast…there are only 25 outings approved in 2013 for these two excellent private clubs in Humboldt County.
This trip itinerary was entitled “vintage” in respect to the fact that these two course were founded in the early part of the 20th Century making them a unique draw for California golf enthusiasts.  There are sooo many new courses in our State that simply do not have that “original golf course” feel and environment that you can not get from the newly developed courses.  You will not be worrying about hitting into someone’s backyard or breaking a window at Redwood Empire.  More so, you will be worried about lost balls amongst the towering redwoods or out with the distant vista of horse pastures.  Even more so, the clubhouse and restaurant have a distinct old world ambiance that provides a warm welcome and wonderful place to hang out and talk about your round and whatever current pro tourney may be on the big screen HD TV’s.  (In case you are interested…there are plenty of leather dice cups available at the bar to settle grievances!)
Golf itinerary info…
Schedule your golf group for travel to NoNoCal on Friday afteronn, or after work for those poor saps who are either not retired yet…or worse, can’t get Friday off work.  Most GPS Navigation systems will get you here no problem, but since this is a vintage golf weekend, try using a map….one of those old foldy things with lots of lines and colors and names.  Look for the north arrow!  (Fortuna, CA 95540 in Humboldt County)Redwood Empire Golf and Country Club, 352 Country Club Dr., Fortuna, CA 95540-9212, Telephone: (707) 725-5194  (Ask for a tee time between 9:00 and 10:00 a.m.) Greg Senestraro, Golf Professional

Baywood Golf and Country Club, 3600 Buttermilk Lane, Arcata, CA 95521
N 40° 50.800 W 124° 02.862, Golf Shop: (707) 822-3688  (Ask for a tee time between 10:00 and 11:00 a.m.) Jim Hosley, Golf Professional

Schedule rooms at one of the four new, clean, and nice hotels in the Riverwalk area. I happen to prefer the Super 8 Motel, which pretty much shares the parking lot with the Eel River Brewing Company.
Get to Redwood Empire at least 45 min early and check in with Pro Greg Senestraro to get some golf balls for the range and a few quality tips on how to play the course and a few key breaks here and there.  Particularly for number 17…it breaks toward the redwood trees.
I recommend a burrito at the turn, ham egg cheese and potato.  Also, be sure to check for a free mimosa’s promotion, since it will be Saturday morning at Redwood Empire.  I understand that they make a great gin fizz too, but my favorite is the “bloody mary” that Bob the bartender makes with pickled asparagus in lieu of a celery stalk. The burrito is easy to bring along for the back nine.
After golf, and I’m sure you will have broken 80…or maybe broken a club or two.  Hopefully not over your partners head for heckling your having come up short on that four footer to halve a foreskin hole…head over to the Eel River Brewery for a beer or two and some lunch.  Then back to the hotel.
The evening will be fun if you want to get in some poker at the Bear River Indian Gaming Casino.  They also have a very nice restaurant with a great view of the Eel River Valley and Pacific Ocean for a late dinner.  Then get back for some sleep so you are not late for a Sunday morning tee time at Baywood  in Arcata.  Your tee time on Sunday should be made for between 10:00 and 11:00 to allow the sun to start shining through a bit more, and to give you some time for the 35-40 minute drive from your Fortuna Hotel to Arcata.  Don’t forget to have checked out of the hotel…unless you plan to stay another night in Fortuna, which would be fine of course!  After golf at Baywood, I would recommend eating there at the course.  But if not, the square at Arcata Main Street offers many great choices for lunch, shopping and people watching.  If you are any good at hacky sack…maybe you can join in at the square?
Have fun, enjoy Fortuna…and hit ‘em straight, when needed. 
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