The Legend of Greenhorn Creek
Greenhorn Creek, debuted as an 18-hole golf course, semi-private club and restaurant
in June 1996. In recognizing this milestone, it is important to embrace the history of this great land, those that have lived here, those with the vision, and those that have contributed along the way.
At this site, the very first evidence of residency is about 4,000 years ago with little known about the residents except data supporting their hunting and gathering practices. Recorded history confirms that the Miwuks migrated to this land between 500 and 1,000 years ago.
Five prehistoric occupation areas exist and are preserved on the property. There are four Native American village sites, including a burial ground and a grinding rock in Greenhorn Creek. These sites were dedicated to the City of Angels Camp and are protected by a formalized long-term management program. Greenhorn Creek is used as an example at national and statewide archaeological meetings for the efforts made by the developers, for long-range planning to preserve cultural resources and the historical elements of this land.
In the mid 1800’s, prospectors and placer miners replaced the Native American Indians inhabiting this terrain. As the story goes, in the 1850’s, newly-arriving inexperienced “greenhorn” prospectors were sent down the creek to mine. Low and behold, riches were found in the tributaries and drainage routes of the creek, hence, the name Greenhorn Creek! The Gold Cliff vein provided rich diggings from the 1850’s through the 1930’s.
Farming and ranching began with the Selkirks and McCauleys and the Chinese laborers that assisted them beginning in 1856. The still-standing Chimney, built with local rhyolite stone in 1862 and the Rock Wall and remnants of a Chinese oven on Hole 4 are historical sites that add unique character to our golf course and community. The Lake on Holes 5, 6, and 7 was originally a drainage area where Chinese placer miners toiled for gold in the 1860’s and 1870’s. The stream was dammed and flooded to water cattle in the 1940’s. Now enlarged, it provides lakeside frontage, (collects a gold mine of golf balls) and is an important habitat for Western pond turtles, great blue herons, ducks, coots, and other water fowl and lakeside flora. Three generations of the Selkirks/McCauleys ranched and farmed here until the 1930. The property remained grazing land until it was purchased in the early 1990’s.
Barden Stevenot, a prominent local businessman and founder of Stevenot Winery,
acquired the property for mining. But, with it s natural setting, undulating hills, majestic oaks, it made a perfect site for a golf course and community. Atop a hillside lay a perfect area for a restaurant with a future veranda to watch the sun set under the shadow of Bear Mountain. And so, the vision began…and building followed, with original course designer, Don Boos.
Barden Stevenot and Fritz Grupe, a Stockton developer, had known each other for years. And in 1999, Fritz bought a new golf course in the rolling foothills above the Valley.
The Grupe Family got their start in the Mother Lode Gold Country after 1849 when John Carsten Grupe, Fritz’ great-grandfather came searching and didn’t strike gold and opted for running a freight line between Stockton and Angels Camp, as well as Sonora and Mokelumne Hill. Ranching and farming have always been, and remain, true to the Grupe’s spirit. Now, along with developing, the family still grows cherries, apples, walnuts and wine grapes in the Central Valley and continues to ranch in the California Foothills. For over forty years, The Grupe Company has been building award-winning single family homes and master-planned communities nationwide.
In embracing the original vision to make Greenhorn Creek the finest golf and dining experience in the Gold Country, Fritz embarked on hiring his old friend, Robert Trent Jones II, who helped him with his course at Brookside Country Club in Stockton. Greenhorn Creek now boasts a Robert Trent Jones II re-designed course after rebuilding many holes with the renowned Robert Trent Jones style.
The community matured with the finest golf course and restaurant in the region, six hundred build-able lots, cottages, pools and tennis courts, and fitness center, the range and practice facility.
Greenhorn Creek is a special place! As one of Northern California's best golf courses and communities, Greenhorn Creek offers some of the fastest, truest greens in the state. Offering award winning holes, including Hole 13, named “One of the Best in Northern California” by NCGA Magazine in 2006 and Golf Getaways in 2014.
After a great day on the course, there is no better way to wrap up your round than with a variety of fresh, local ingredients served at Camps Restaurant, Greenhorn's award winning dining destination. Under the stewardship of manager Christina Germolus, Camps is one on the finest dining establishments in the region. In addition to a delicious menu and extensive wine list, guest can enjoy fabulous live music on the weekends. Weddings and banquet services are also provided by Camps.
So come on out to Greenhorn Creek and experience one of Northern California's best destinations.
photo credits: Lodi News, SF Gate, Greenhorn Creek
711 McCauley Ranch Rd., Angels Camp, CA 95222
GOLF COURSE & PRO SHOP
7 days a week
WEDS-FRI LUNCH & DINNER
STARTING AT NOON
SAT & SUN BRUNCH-LUNCH-DINNER
STARTING AT 10AM
THE CELLAR ROOM (WINE TASTING)
Seasonal - Spring & Summer
Fridays & Saturdays