The Callippe Silverspot Butterfly is an endangered species indigenous to the San Francisco Bay area. Its namesake golf course, which opened in November, is another kind of endangered species: a municipal course with a pleasing strategic design and value-oriented pricing.
Located in the East Bay, near the juncture of I-580 and I-680, Callippe Preserve tumbles along ridges and over hills, with a front nine hewn from the valley and a back nine that weaves through higher terrain. It is the proud work of architect Brian Costello of the JMP Golf Design Group.
At 6,748 yards (par 72), Callippe doesn’t put a premium on hitting the cover off the ball. The key to scoring is thoughtful shot-making. Several out-of-play environmentally sensitive areas can wreak havoc on your scorecard, as do native oaks, 59 bunkers and the nearconstant presence of Happy Valley Creek. The most memorable hole is the downhill 163-yard, par-3 13th, which has picturepostcard views of Mt. Diablo.
|Greens fees are $36-$60. For tee times call 925-426-6666 or visit playcallippe.com|
The Bay Area’s most famous public course is Harding Park, but tee times there are about as readily available as winning lottery tickets. Thanks to the quality of the design and the pricing, Callippe Preserve should enjoy a much longer lifespan than the ill-fated butterfly, which lives only three weeks.