Site logo

CordeValle: California Swank in Private Serenity

By David R. Holland

SAN MARTIN, CA — So, you just spent a bundle at Pebble Beach and you are on a roll. Did you know that just 50 miles away is an exclusive golf retreat where it’s extravagant, too, but far less crowded?

That is CordeValle, a Spanish phrase that translates into “heart of the valley” or “el corazon del valle”. There’s no ocean but there are 1,700 acres of creeks, vines and lush green snaking through golden hills, live oaks and sycamores.

CordeValle is a private golf club, but it has 45 swanky bungalows, villa suites and fairway homes that non-members must book in order to play golf here.

From your porch the views are good enough to make you want to sit and gaze at golfers in the distance and enjoy the hillside ruggedness as the afternoon glow dims and stars appear.

One feels right at home with the California king bed, goose-down comforter, original artwork, large TV, fireplace, separate shower and soak-in-tub. I submerged myself in the beautiful surrounds of the Santa Cruz Mountains and lived the CordeValle experience.

Meanwhile, back talking golf.

Robert Trent Jones II designed it at 7,360 yards, par 72 and calls it a “core” golf course. That’s good. It means you have a block of property with golf holes filling the interior. You can see other players left and right but the best of all — there are no homes lining the fairways. “It wasn’t built to sell houses,” says Jones.

It is a nature walk on a late afternoon with a required caddy toting your golf clubs and telling you stories about this elite golf retreat. 

And like RTJ II’s Chambers Bay it has already hosted a major. Texan Brittany Lang won the 2016 Women’s U.S. Open here with an ending that included a three-hole playoff and two-stroke penalty on Anna Nordqvist.

It has also hosted the Open from 2010 to 2013, and 2013 U.S. Sr. Women’s Open (USGA). In 2011 and 2015 the PGA Cup was played here.

CordeValle is a young getaway, born in 1999 from the nearby Silicon Valley boom. Funded by owner Hasso Plattner (founder of SAP and owner of the San Jose Sharks) the club has been refreshed recently.

The 63 bunkers are beauties and many have said they remind them of California classics like Cypress Point and San Francisco Golf Club. Many greenside bunkers are visible from the tees. They were refurbished in 2021 and in 2019 all 18 green complexes were redone along with levelling of the tees and driving range.

CordeValle’s front nine commences with a par four, par three and par five and the finale is a classic risk-reward par five with the choice to layup or fly over water for an eagle try or a birdie tap-in.

Luxury sleep and activities after a day’s golf

CordeValle’s bungalows, fairway homes and villa suites are set along a gentle hillside above the ninth fairway. You definitely will feel pampered.

But wait, there’s even more to do with an outdoor pool, a luxury spa, outdoor tennis courts, a fine dining restaurant, hiking and wine tasting.

CordeValle’s tennis and pickleball center features four Plexicushion tournament courts, tennis lessons, a pro shop, and ATP tennis pros. Plans for more courts are in the planning stages.

The Fitness Center next The Spa at CordeValle, features state-of-the-art cardio and personal training equipment for health, wellness, and energy.

The year-round heated outdoor pool offers a refreshing oasis with views of the golf course. Take a swim, sunbathe with a cocktail on our loungers, and take in the views. Poolside service includes cocktails, salads, sandwiches, and thin-crust pizza.

Play a game of bocce ball on two manicured, crushed oyster shell courts at the Tennis Center. Unwind over a leisurely game or play a competitive tournament on our side-by-side bocce courts with hillside views.

Archery at CordeValle includes a fun team-building activity and a way to inspire focus and confidence in your group. Bows, arrows, and instruction are available.

Dining options at CordeValle

Located beside the golf shop in an outdoor patio setting, Lion’s Peak Grill is a relaxing alfresco place for breakfast, lunch, and cocktails. This casual restaurant offers locally snacks, sandwiches, burgers, salads, pizza, and cocktails, beer, and wine.

One Iron Bar serves Northern California cuisine using local ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This restaurant offers a locally inspired menu of entrees, sandwiches, salads, soups, and starters as well as cocktails, beer, wine, and spirits.

Il Vigneto overlooks the heart of the valley, offering an elegant dining experience. The innovative menus utilize local fresh produce, California seasonal meats from our aging room, and a selection of caviar.

When one finds serenity in bustling California, hold on to it. That’s CordeValle.


  • No comments yet.
  • Add a comment