Lloyd Martindale recently assumed the role as director of golf at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. Previously Martindale was the general manager of Fancourt, a resort in Blanco George, South Africa. And like a lot of South Africans in the golf industry, Martindale knows Ernie Els well and has a few good stories about “The Big Easy,” but he is respectfully keeping those to himself.
The connection between South Africa’s Fancourt and CordeValle is one man, tech giant billionaire and SAP co-founder Hasso Plattner, who owns both resorts. Tee times are available for hotel guests and members on the 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Jr. golf course situated in the Santa Clara Valley, near the eastern edge of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
“The attention to detail here is incredible. Robert Trent Jones Jr. was here last week to review the golf course and to ensure everything was being maintained to spec. We went over the proper fairway lines and the area around the greens. We’ve returned the golf course to its original design, exactly as it was drawn by Robert Trent Jones Jr.,” Martindale told us.
No sign of membership decline at CordeValle, 2016 was a banner year for the club which sits comfortably at 450 members. The club will welcome another 50 members before shutting it down at 500; $100,000 initiation and $15,000 a year in dues locks in a spot. For guests, the stay and play experience starts at around $460 per night.
Envy is unattractive, CordeValle’s poise was on display when Martindale suggested guests take advantage of the resort’s proximity to Pebble Beach.
“There is so much to do and see around here. Pebble is 30 minutes away and Napa is just an hour and a half from here. And of course, there is a lot to do onsite, I recommend dinner at Il Vigneto and rather than looking at the menu, ask the chef for a recommendation, Chef Palma will take care of you. There are good trails in the area as well for a nice hike or jog, it’s truly beautiful around here,” Martindale added.
CordeValle has hosted the Frys.com Open, PGA Cup, 2013 U.S. Women’s Senior Amateur and the 2016 U.S. Women’s Open where American Brittany Lang, held of Anna Nordqvist in a playoff to win her first major. Resort guests enjoy world-class amenities that extend beyond golf, including a 35,000-square-foot clubhouse with meeting spaces, the signature Sense®, A Rosewood Spa, a tennis center, swimming and fitness areas, three dining options and an on-site vineyard and Tuscan-style winery.
And by the way, this is Cali casual luxury, jeans are welcome in the clubhouse and cell phones are okay on the golf course.
That cell phone will be handy for when it’s time to send obligatory gloating text messages to your friends from the No. 8 tee box, “My office for the day. Wish you were here, we’ll send a post card. Gotta go, I’m on fire.”