Furlough Fridays

For state workers, Furlough Fridays mean lost pay and tighter belts. But there are still plenty of recreational activities available that don’t break a person’s budget. On the first three editions of each month, Capitol Weekly will feature a cost-effective, fun destination – a place we hope will make Furlough Friday a little easier. This week we bring you William Land Park!

It’s Friday. It’s beautiful outside. Because you’re on a furlough, you’ve got nothing to do. The kids are back at school, and you’ve lost your main reason to spend the day at the park.

Well, how about playing a little golf? And if the furloughs have cut into your wallet, try out the links at the 9-hole course in the heart of Sacramento’s William Land Park.

William Land is the city’s oldest golf course.

The course has been nicknamed “the cradle” because it is truly the cradle of Sacramento golf. It first opened in 1924. Recently, the course has been overhauled and is now one of the best 9-hole courses in the region.  

Most changes that have been made to the course, have included improved conditioning and new back tees that now stretch the par 34 nine hole course to over 3000 yards.

The Bermuda grass fairways are mowed to one-half inch and lined by a gently, rough. But don’t be deceived – the course can still be a challenge.  Each hole now has a defined walking path from the tees to the fairway and of course other tees are available to play for those who don’t want the extra yardage challenge.  New bunkers have been added to the right front of the first hole, right front of number 6, and a fairway bunker at the corner of the dogleg on the par 5 eighth hole.

You can’t beat the location, and with green fees at about $15, you can’t beat the price.

After you’re done, you can barbecue your own chow over in Swanson’s Grove, or head over to Mulligan’s Café for breakfast or lunch.

Try the eggs, bacon and pancakes for under $5. Or come a little later and grab a cold beer on tap after finishing up your round.

There’s another great feature about golfing in Land Park. If you arrive early for tee-time and then wind up getting delayed because of the crowds, not worry – there are other things to do.

The Sacramento Zoo is just west of Land Park Drive, and it’s a great spot to relax, see the animals and hang out with friends.

Of course, there’s Fairytale Town, where generations of Sacramento youngsters have played. It’s  right across from the zoo
Depending on the time of year, Land Park has an array of sports activities.

There’s primarily soccer and baseball, and there’s plenty of room to accommodate a host of teams.

Some of the best baseball in Sacramento can be seen at the field at 11th Avenue and 13th Street, where young hardball teams gather. The seating is small – although there’s enough room for the players’ family members – and the schedules are erratic. But if you happen to come by on a weekend during baseball season, you may get to see some first-rate baseball up close.

If you want to get up and move rather than sit, Land Park is a perfect jogging site. Tree-shaded, flat, easily shielded from traffic, an early-morning jog around the park is one of Sacramento’s greatest attractions. A popular 3.2 mile route takes you along the north edge of the park to Freeport, south to Sutterville Road, west past the zoo to Riverside, and north back to 11th.  

Finally, there are two attractions for Land Park habitues that need a mention. The first is Ford’s on Sutterville Road, where the hamburgers are legend. The second is Marie’s Donuts on Freeport at Vallejo, a Land Park institution.

Hey, it’s the start of your weekend, right? Might as well start off in style.

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