NIA-West Activities: Golf, Polo, and Wine!

Rancho San Marcos.."where the golf gods play”

2WEB_GOLF.jpgGolf Magazine named it one of the "Top 10 Golf Courses You Can Play." and Golf Digest gave Rancho San Marcos 4 ½ stars among the top 201 golf courses in the United States.

From the Moment they opened in January of 1998, Rancho San Marcos Golf Course has been a classic. Designed by legendary golf architect Robert Trent Jones Jr., this course became the talk of the golfing community by offering a world class golf course on 300 spectacular acres. This par 71 course offers stunning views of the Santa Ynez River Valley, distant furrowed peaks, and eagles soaring above Lake Cachuma – without a trace of urban development in sight.

Rancho San Marcos, has kept the essence of the old ranch which has been here since the Spanish land grant of 1804. This simple and pastoral setting combined with the classic game of golf, makes Rancho San Marcos the ideal location to forget the troubles of the world and reminisce on a quieter, simpler time while enjoying the company of colleagues.

Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake” S. Stalone

2WEB_POLO.jpgDescribed as “, furious, skillful and aggressive, yet infused with old-fashioned bonhomie and good sportsmanship, and at its heart a bond between horse and rider”. Polo has been around for more than 2,000 years. If, when you hear the word polo, the divot stomping, champagne sipping scene in the movie “Pretty Women” comes to mind, no worries, there’ll be plenty of that too.

The Santa Barbara Polo Club, was founded back in 1911 and grew into it’s golden age in the late 20s to mid 30’s. With the exception of a period during WW2, when there was an unexpected suspension of polo after an enemy bombardment occurred in nearby Goleta and the Club’s polo fields were put to use to house and train soldiers, polo has continued to this day.

Our excursion to the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club will include a luncheon, a demo session, a game complete with divot stomping and champagne sipping, and a chance for participants to get out on the field and swing a mallet themselves.

“The best wines are the ones we drink with friends”

2WEB_WINE.jpgSanta Barbara County has a history of wine making and wine grape growing stretching back more than 200 years when in 1782, Father Junipero Serra planted Mission vine cuttings before California was a state. From the Mission Era of early California through the Ranchero and Pueblo Era, struggling through Prohibition to the beginning of the modern era of wine making that started in the 60's, Santa Barbara County continues to combine traditional, hand-made techniques, with the latest cutting-edge innovations in grape growing and wine making.

With more than 100 wineries in Santa Barbara County the only problem with our winery tour is narrowing it down to a couple and still fitting in a delicious lunch. You’ll have a chance to make new friends, enjoy the more rural areas of Santa Barbara and bring home wines you love all without any concern for who is going to be the designated driver.