I have been fortunate enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and experience the many golfing delights that this part of the world has to offer. Northern California has natural beauty in abundance and the favorable climate and geographical diversity, means that there is a huge variety of great golf courses on offer all year round.
I have been fortunate enough to live in the San Francisco Bay Area and experience the many golfing delights that this part of the world has to offer. Northern California has natural beauty in abundance and the favorable climate and geographical diversity, means that there is a huge variety of great golf courses on offer all year round.[subscribelocker]
A 2 hour drive south from San Francisco takes you to the Golfing Mecca of the Monterey Peninsula, an area which boasts several of the worlds best courses (2 in the top 4 Golf Digest World Rankings are here). Golfers can choose between links style courses by the ocean and dense tree lined courses in the Del Monte and Pacific Grove forests.
Pebble Beach Golf Course
The most famous, and without a doubt one of the finest golf experiences on the Planet, is the Pebble Beach Golf Links. Situated on the coastal “17 mile drive”, Pebble Beach is where golfing dreams become reality. Jack Nicklausonce said “If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I’ve loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s probably the best in the World.
The breath-taking ocean vistas, waves crashing in off the Pacific, visible sea-life and the enchanting Cypress trees provide a dramatic yet serene golfing experience. The rolling fairways and sloped greens provide excellent shot value for all levels and the perfect challenge from start to finish. There are a number of tees to suit all standards of player:
Black Rating (US Open Championship): 74.3/Slope 144; Yardage – 6,828
Blue Rating: 73.8/Slope 142; Yardage – 6,737
Gold Rating: 72.3/Slope 137; Yardage – 6,348
White Rating: 71.2/Slope 134; Yardage – 6,116
Red Rating: 71.8/Slope 129; Yardage – 5,198
Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant in 1919, Pebble Beach has hosted 4 US opens and annually hosts (along with neighboring Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills) the AT&T PGA Tour event, so it is always perfectly maintained. You can certainly feel the presence of the golfing legends that walked these fairways for almost 100 years.
Here you are treated to a Scottish links style test of golf but without the weather. The climate here could not be more perfect for golf all year round. The breeze off the Pacific allows you to stay cool, while the bright sunshine exhibits the vivid blue of the ocean against the spectrum of greens of the golf course.
In addition to being a world class golf venue, the Monterey Peninsula has a huge number of wonderful attractions and activities. Monterey, Carmel, Pacific Grove and Big Sur are charming beach towns with art galleries, shopping boutiques and fantastic restaurants and wineries, where one can sample the excellent local food and wine. Be sure to try the Pacific Oysters, Scallops and Monterey Abalone, coupled with a glass of the neighboring Central Coast Sauvignon Blanc. The beaches make for a perfect stroll and a great spot to view seals, sea-lions, sea otters and pelicans. It is natural beauty and relaxation with no limits.
Generally speaking, you cannot go wrong to arrange a golf trip to Pebble Beach. No matter how well you play here, you will not fail to enjoy it. The amazing ocean views, magnificent sunsets and twisting cypress trees provide the most perfect setting to enjoy golf and will keep you coming back for more. With the US Open being played here in 2010, this is the perfect time to visit. You will no doubt cherish every moment and marvel at the gift of golf that you have been afforded for the rest of your life.[/subscribelocker]
* Photo by Dan Perry