Tee it Up at Boundary Oak Golf Course
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Easy Money! Were you one of the Walnut Creek kids in the 70’s that stood in line early in the morning to book a tee time for an avid golfer at Boundary Oak Golf Course before going to school? That’s right, back in 1969 when Boundary Oak Golf Course opened, it was hard to get a tee time. In the “olden days,” before online reservations, cell phones or even call-waiting, golfers had to dial the number on a rotary telephone to reserve a tee time in the pro shop. The golfers paid the kids $5 per golfer to stand in line for them so they could sleep in longer.
The Boundary Oak Golf Course, nestled in the beautiful foothills of Mt. Diablo, is one of Northern California’s top-rated public golf courses and boasts many distinguished awards. This 18-hole course designed by Robert Muir Graves has spacious fairways and greens. On the property is a pro shop, The Taphouse Grille, an outside lounge, 3 putting greens and a 60-stall driving range. There is a flurry of activity at Boundary Oak, from weddings and golf tournaments to private lessons, Men’s and Women’s Clubs, and friends meeting up for a round of golf.
The Head Professional at Boundary Oak in the 70’s and 80’s was Bob Boldt. Bob was on the PGA tour and worked at Boundary Oak for over 20 years. He is now a legend and continues his love of the game in Yountville.
It was during a Bing Crosby Pro Am 4-day tournament at Pebble Beach that a local fellow, Mike Roberts, caddied for Bob Boldt. Mike Roberts, from Moraga, had been a football player in high school, played minor league baseball, had a liquor business, and played golf in his free time. Bob told Mike that with his personality and knowledge of the game, he would be a great golf teacher.
Later on, when Mike was nearly 47, his doctor told him he needed to decrease his stress level, so he decided to take up the game of golf professionally. He became a PGA member, as well as a Teaching Professional. This was a natural path for Mike since his dad, Ed Roberts, the San Francisco Chronicle Distribution Manager, had been one of the founding members of the Men’s Golf Club at Boundary Oak when it had opened in 1969.
Mike Roberts shared his love of the game with the community, just has his father had. Mike, at 82 years of age, recalled many funny stories of his time at Boundary Oak.
The first hole, a par 4, requires a shot over a lake with a spouting fountain in the center where the expansive fairway slopes to the left. Mike said it was this hole that, “Rick Barry, the 6’7” tall basketball player for the San Francisco Warriors, won a long drive contest by almost knocking the ball on the green,” nearly 360 yards.
The second hole was infamous for the “Big Argument,” said Mike. “Two players got into a heated argument on the tee and wouldn’t stop yelling. They shouted at each other all the way down to the green. Upon arriving at the green, they went to get their putters and realized they had left the golf cart at the tee. So, of course, they began arguing about who would walk back to the tee and get the cart.”
There are old growth Walnut, Pine, Oak and Eucalyptus trees throughout the course. If a golfer gets caught in a grove of trees, not only will it be pretty tough to get a straight shot out, the ride will be quite bumpy. Mike chuckled when remembering how his wife would yell at him for driving so fast through the squirrel-hole ridden area, while trying to keep herself from bouncing out of the cart.
And, with that, I challenge you to test your skill level and make your own memories with your friends, your family and colleagues on the legendary Boundary Oak Golf Course! It may just become your new favorite local course.