Northwood Golf Stories, Monte Rio

images of northwood-golf-clubNorthwood golf stories know no boundary.   It all began with Alister Mackenzie who built the Russian River gem in 1928.  He supposedly refused quarters at the nearby Bohemian Grove and chose instead to stay in a railroad car.   The black ‘n’ white photo shows Alister standing near his preferred  “lodging” at Northwood, which was the end of the line for the Northwestern Pacific Railroad.  Just out of the reach of the local gendarmes, the temporary residence soon became the hangout for local card sharks, distillation entrepreneurs, and ladies of the night.  And all this time you thought he was a proper gentleman.  Oh my!

Contemporary tales tell of wayward golf shots that caused much consternation.   More than a few motorists have levied complaints with the pro shop, telling of white orbs hitting their vehicle on Highway 116. One such object evidently bounced from one auto to the next, ping-ponging off eight total, finally nesting in the sidecar of a W.W.II motorcycle.

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Northwood Golf Course in Monte Rio

mackenzie-golf-course-northwoodNorthwood Golf Course in Monte Rio features the magic of architect Dr. Alister MacKenzie.  He was a friend of Bohemian Jack Neville who was five-time California state amateur champion and a member of the 1923 Walker Cup team.  Neville persuaded the Brit to build a nine hole course on the seventy wooded acres across the Russian River from the Bohemian Grove.  Following construction of Northwood Golf Course in 1928, there was a succession of owners including the Korbel family.   A pedestrian bridge (remnants of which are still there if you look closely) connected the Grove to the Korbel vacation home on Redwood Drive where Bohemians would play cards, hold socials and taste local delicacies. 

Across the street and close to the ninth green still stands one of the earliest pro shops of Northwood (private residence now).  Its old charcoal stove, cleat-marked wooden floors and snooker table remind us of another era. (more…)

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