Bartley Cavanaugh Golf Course

Roll Through A Links Course Along The Sacramento River

Bartley W. Cavanaugh Golf Course, built in 1995 and named after a popular former Sacramento city manager, is located in the Freeport area.

This outstanding course was laid out by Perry Dye, a member of the renowned golf-course design family. Perry, his father, Pete, his mother, Alice, and his younger brother, P.B., left the name “Dye” on almost 250 courses around the world. For players who love unique challenges, this course offers many distinctive opportunities to test your clubs and your skills.

course1Perry Dye tucked our championship course into a 96-acre site nestled along the Sacramento River. He created moderately sized greens with undulations. There are generous landing areas on fairways that have been landscaped with young trees.

You’ll find rolling terrain at Bartley Cavanaugh with lots of mounds, something like a links course. Although the course measures only about 6,200 yards from the tips, there is excitement here. Out-of-bounds runs along the left side of the fairways on the front side of the course and water is in play on seven of the 18 holes. Wind can be a factor on some of the holes as well.

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The par-4 first hole (364 from the back tees and 277 from the front) is a confidence builder, according to Dylan Flynn, our general manager. “From the back tees, you can take a nice poke to the middle of the fairway which is wide open,” Flynn said. “Standing in the tee box, aim to the right. If your tee shot goes left, you could end up in a tough position with an uneven lie because of the mounds on the sides of the fairway.”

Two bunkers on the left could prove to be obstacles just before you reach the green. The first is about 70 yards from the green; the second is a pot bunker closer to the green. The green itself has some moderate undulations.

The longest hole on the course is the 4th, a par-5 that measures 543 yards from the back and 434 from the front. The long fairway meanders through gentle peaks and valleys. “If you can make a course2.jpgreally great drive here, you might get to the green in two,” said Flynn. “But going to the left is deadly because a boundary fence lines that side of the fairway. Your approach shot is to a large green with slight breaks. The fairway bunker to the left is out of play.”

Fun holes on the front include No. 6. It’s a par-4 that measures only 330 yards from the back tees and 219 from the front, but is rated as the fifth toughest on the layout. The fairway wraps around a large lake which means going for the green from the tee is tricky. If you go too far left, you could splash down. If you lay up in front of the lake, your second shot could get wet, too. “This is a hole where wind could affect your shot,” Flynn said. “You can drive the green with the North wind, but you have to negotiate the lake; you’d actually have to have 300 yards of carry off the tee. It’s probably better to hit an iron into the fairway or a solid 3-wood and then use a sand wedge to the hole.”

The green on the 6th is huge, which means accuracy counts on your approach or you could end up with three putts. “There is a hump in the green. The back is a tabletop and breaks downhill,” said Flynn. “It’s best to be short of the hole.”

Precise shots are also key to success on No. 9, a 400-yard par-4 (308 from the front) where water runs down the right side of the fairway for its entire length. This is rated as the toughest hole on the course. “The biggest lake that we have is on this course,” said Flynn. “It runs down the entire right side of the fairway. The fairway is generous though and it’s best to hit your driver just left of the fairway bunker. That will put you in perfect position. The green has a large ridge in the middle that makes your approach tricky when there’s a back pin placement. But the right shot will be rewarded.”

The 12th is a par-3 (143 yards from the back and 106 from the front) with a lake to the right. From the back tees, you have to carry the lake, and when the pin is in the back of the green, there is always some danger from the lake. “The green is contoured around the lake,” said Flynn. “You can miss to the left and the back with your tee shot and you’ll be OK. But you don’t want to hit anything weak and right or you’re in trouble.”course3.jpg

No. 17 is that island hole that’s a near-replica of the famous Sawgrass 17th that bedevils PGA players during the Players Championship. Our par-3 is a bit shorter, measuring 107 yards from the back and 68 from the front. “There’s a pot bunker front right and a hump in the middle of the green,” said Flynn. “You can definitely see the Pete Dye (Perry’s father) influence.”

The 17th is also believed to be the only island green in Sacramento.

The finishing hole also reminds some players of the 18th at Sawgrass. This is a par-4 (390 yards from the back and 300 from the front). “You’ll see Pete Dye’s influence throughout the course,” Flynn said. This hole is a gradual dogleg left with water on the left-hand side. But you want to stay slightly left here. Your drive isn’t going to be as daunting as it is at Sawgrass. You can miss and still be OK.”

Distances, ratings and slopes: 6,158 yards (68.9/122); 5,788 (67.2/119); 5,393 (65.5/113); 4,714 (66.3/107). Womens: 6,158 yards (74.2/129); 5,788 (72.1/125); 5,393 (69.9/120); 4,714 (67.0/110).

Book your tee time online
Or call us at (916) 808-2020