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Play like a pro in Monterey
June 10, 2010

If the thought of teeing off like Phil Mickelson or Lee Westwood is tempting but soggy rainwear and five-hour cross country walks just don’t appeal, Monterey County ( is the ideal golfing holiday solution. The raw topography which includes 24 golf courses is a ready-made aphrodisiac for golfing enthusiasts. Together with some of the finest fairways in the world, 326 average days of sunshine and the world's best golfers competing on the legendary Pebble Beach Golf Links for the U.S. Open Championship this June, Monterey County is the only place to swing, in serious style.

Tickets are still available for the U.S. Open, which returns to Pebble Beach for the fifth time. During the Open, players can play various local courses including the gorgeous Del Monte Golf Course (1897) the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi and the Bayonet Golf Course which recently underwent a $13million renovation and is a qualifier course for this year’s Open. A seven-night fly-drive package to San Francisco with BA costs from £535 per person (visit or call 0844 4930758).

For keen amateurs wanting to work towards achieving a handicap or a total beginner simply wanting to learn a new skill on holiday and get started with some basic lessons, the Pebble Beach Golf Academy offers a full days instruction which includes playing nine holes with a pro on the world-renowned Spanish Bay Golf Course or Spyglass Hill Golf Course in Pebble Beach. The high-tech line up of training tools includes a state-of-the-art dynamic balance system to analyse swing motions, a digital putting system and the Heartmath™ programme to monitor and manage emotional output.

Along scenic Highway 1 and the captivating Monterey Bay is Carmel Valley’s Golf Academy at Quail Lodge which also offers full- and half-day courses focusing on the short game, a beginner’s school specifically for women and a dedicated PGA family pogramme to help get everyone into the swing of things.

For legendary golf courses or just hanging out at the nineteenth hole and watching the pros practice Monterey County is the destination for a perfect Californian golfing holiday. For further information on golf in Monterey County and to book golfing tours visit Sample packages include:

- A three night package staying at the Dolphin Inn in Carmel-by-the-Sea, in the midst of Monterey County’s great wineries and golf courses. The package includes a round of golf at Carmel Valley Ranch and Bayonet from US$748 per golfer and from US$537 per non-golfer. This price includes the use of a golf cart at each course, pick up from Monterey San Jose or San Francisco Airport, and all taxes and service charges.

- Golfers keen to play some of the world’s most famous courses can choose the five night package staying at the Inn at Spanish Bay on Monterey County’s oceanfront. This package includes rounds of golf and cart at Spanish Bay, Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill, and Pasadera CC and costs $4244 per golfer and $3029 per non-golfer*. The package also includes transfers to and from Monterey, San Jose or San Francisco airport, cocktails on arrival, transfers to and from the golf courses, all taxes and service charges.

Visitor Information: Monterey County is located 120 miles/192 km south of San Francisco and 345 miles/552 km north of Los Angeles along the classic California corridor.

The region boasts 99 miles of prime Pacific Coastline, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, three historic missions, 40,000 acres of premium vineyards, 24 golf courses and nearly 250+ lodging properties. Monterey County includes the Monterey Peninsula, Big Sur, North County and the Salinas Valley.

The Monterey Peninsula Airport (MRY), just three miles from historic downtown Monterey and minutes from the area’s major attractions, is served by non-stop flights to and from Denver (DIA), Salt Lake City (SLC), Las Vegas (LAS), Phoenix (PHX), Los Angeles (LAX and ONT), San Diego (SAN) and San Francisco (SFO). Visitor info:


Private Courses

- Tehama Golf Club - A Jay Morrish designed 71 par course and private club of Clint Eastwood set in the hills of Carmel Valley with spectacular views, a wonderful clubhouse. $$$

- Pasadera Country Club- Jack Nicklaus only course on the Monterey Peninsula (71 par). $$$

- The Links at Spanish Bay designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr., tom Watson and Sandy Tatum. The design - a true links golf course - recalls the original Scottish concept of the game golf, established over five hundred years ago. $$$

- The Spyglass Hill Golf Course is ranked number 11 in Golf Digest’s 2009 / 2010 list "America’s 100 Greatest Public Coaches" . It was designed by Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and opened in 1966 as part of the master plan for the Pebble Beach ocean front. It is rated one of the toughest courses in the world to play from its championship tees. Spyglass Hill Golf Course takes its name from Robert Louis Stevenson's classic novel, Treasure Island, published in 1863- each of the holes is named after a character in Treasure Island. $$$

- The Del Monte Golf Course - held by the Pebble Beach Company and located close to downtown Monterey, adjacent to the Hyatt Regency Monterey. Del Monte Golf Course opened in 1897 and was designed by golf and polo enthusiast Charles Maud. The 72 par course’s layout snakes around 200-year old coastal oak, cypress and Monterey pine trees and has challenged golfers for more than a century. $$

- A round of golf on Quail Lodge’s scenic Carmel Valley course is so relaxing, the wildlife may ask to play through. Go ahead and let them - when you’re surrounded by hills and lakes this beautiful, it seems a shame to rush. Covering 850 glorious acres of the Quail Lodge Resort and bathed in Carmel Valley sunshine, Quail Lodge offers a golfing experience you won’t soon forget. $$

- Nestled in the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains, the 400-acre Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Club is a golfer’s paradise. The resort's Pete Dye-designed golf course just completed a multi-million dollar restoration and has been ranked among the "Best US Golf Resorts," by Travel + Leisure’s "World’s Best" readers’ survey. $

Public Courses

- Pebble Beach Golf Links - named the Number One public course in America by Golf Digest in 2007. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, the course hugs the rugged coastline, providing wide-open vistas, cliff-side fairways and sloping greens. $$$

- Pacific Grove Links - otherwise known as "the poor man’s Pebble Beach" is a must for anyone packing their clubs in California. It was ranked as one of America’s top courses in 2005 by Zagat. The course was designed in 1932 by Chandler Egan. Its first nine holes traverse through the deeply forested areas of Pacific Grove. The back nine, designed by Jack Neville, original designer of the Pebble Beach Golf Links, puts the dunes and ocean into play. $

- Rancho Cañada Golf Club is located at the mouth of the Carmel Valley. It opened in 1970 and presents two golf courses (East and West) and a total of 36 holes of championship golf. Rancho Cañada's East and West courses straddle the Carmel River and provide breathtaking views of the surrounding valley and Santa Lucia Mountains. Golden eagles, bobcats, Canadian geese, deer and 60+ species of birds call this Robert Dean Putnam-designed course home. $

- Bayonet and Black Horse are the two championship courses at Ford Ord, overlooking Monterey Bay. Both courses hold their place among the best golf courses n the Monterey Peninsula and are steeped in tradition having played host to PGA Tour greats such as Palmer, Nicklaus, and Watson, as well as several U.S. presidents. Bayonet (which was named after the 7th Infantry Bayonet Division) was designed by General Robert McClure and opened in 1954 while Black Horse opened in 1964. Black Horse was then renovated in 1998 under the guidance of the PGA Tour. $

- Robert Trent Jones Sr., and Jr., put their stamp on Laguna Seca Golf Ranch when it opened in 1970. The 71 par course requires both skill and negotiation to manoeuvre through the bunker-lined fairways, water hazards and Jones’ classic large greens with subtle contours and deceptive breaks. An added plus is the course’s 13-acre natural grass practice facility, voted the best in Monterey County. $

- The 18-hole Monterey Pines Golf Course may be one of the best kept secrets on the Monterey Peninsula. Designed by Robert Muir Graves, it is easily accessible and in excellent shape. Great greens and narrow fairways provide a consistent challenge to every golfer. $

- Poppy Hills Golf Course - a popular Robert Trent Jones, Jr.-designed course set in a woodland location. Poppy Hill has consistently won awards and is known for its fiendish difficulty. $$$

Green Fees are indicated - $ = <US$100 / $$ = US$100- US$200 / $$$ -= US$200 +

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