At the Renault Winery Resort it’s called “vinyard golf,” and it’s an experience unlike any other: 18 holes of championship golf in, around, and through acres of live grape vines. If that’s not enough, there's a winery and a gourmet-style restaurant within a half-wedge of the first tee. And if that's still not enough, there's the Mediterranean-themed Tuscany House Hotel with an Italian courtyard and two outdoor pools across from the winery and golf course.
“We’re set up like a links layout,” says head pro Brian Crompton. “There aren’t many trees here, and from tee to green we like to keep the course player-friendly.” There’s fescue, as there would be with most links courses, but Crompton points out they try to keep it under control. “We mow it down in most places because we don't want it to affect pace of play.”
Nevertheless, links constants are here. While the course sits about 15 miles from the Atlantic Ocean and would seem immune from prevailing sea breezes, the relative flatness of the land and lack of barrier trees invite remote breezes. There are a lot of bunkers, both fairway and greenside. There's even a waste fairway bunker on one of the course's signature holes, the par-4 eighth. The bunker stretches for about 50 yards and sits right in the middle of the fairway, so the golfer has to choose left or right in classic risk/reward.
The course’s other signature hole is No. 7, a 435-yard par-4 dogleg left that brings the vineyard into play. “You tee off over 30 yards of grape vines, and then you have to be careful not to drive it through the fairway and into traps on the far side of the dogleg,” Crompton points out. “If your tee shot ends up among the grape vines, that’s it; the ball stays there. It’s considered out-of-bounds and unretrievable.”