Northwood 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.
Northwood Golf Course:
In 1960 the Northwood Development Corporation began selling lots. Roads and homes were built, removing some 300 yards from Northwood Golf Course. For example, the No. 1 tee box was originally located some seventy yards further back (no restaurant at the time) while No. 2 was a daunting 440-yard par four. Other local MacKenzie course are the Meadow Club (Fairfax), Claremont Country Club (Oakland), Sharps Park (Pacifica), and Green Hills Country Club (Millbrae). According to the Forestville Historical Society, he also created the Russian River Golf & Country Club (also known as the Cosmo Golf Course and the Hacienda Golf & Country Club), which at one time was located northwest of the Hacienda Bridge on McPeak Road near the old Skippy’s restaurant. Today, the Schaap and Bale families have restored the course to much of its original magnificence, prompting Golf Magazine to rank Northwood at #3 nationally including both public and private nine hole courses. Our own little gem. Hoorah for us!