Having played golf courses all over the world, many people have asked me what my favorite place to play is. In a simple answer, Pebble Beach is always first on my list. The problem with Pebble Beach is that it cost about $500.00 to play the course. I would highly recommend that every golfer do it one time. If you don’t have the financial resources, there are other options that are much more affordable in that area.
For example, you can play the Peter Hay Golf Course located next to Pebble Beach with fabulous ocean vistas. You can play this challenging par 3, 9 hole course all day long for $30.00 for adults, $10.00 for children ages 12-17 and it’s free for anyone 11years old and younger. Rental clubs are also available for $5.00 if needed. This is a fun course and ideal for families and all skill levels. After you are done, you can have lunch at the historic Tap Room located at the Pebble Beach Lodge overlooking the world famous 18th hole.
Next you can take a short scenic drive to the Inn at Spanish Bay and order drinks sitting outside by the gas fireplaces and watch the Piper play the bagpipes as the sun sets over the deep blue Pacific. Having experienced both, “the piper playing on the ocean at sunset at Pebble Beach is better than Mass at the Vatican.”
Carmel-by-the-Sea is a short distance from Spanish Bay and there are many affordable places to stay and enjoy this refined and very special town. Downtown Carmel is like being in a movie. Happy people from all over the world stroll down the street breathing fresh sea air as they enjoy the many art galleries, restaurants and wine bars.
After eating at one of the many great restaurants, nearby Mission Ranch is a fun way to end the day. Owner and local celebrity Clint Eastwood is often at the Ranch. Last time I was there, he sang along with the many patrons at the circular piano bar late into the night.
After getting a good night’s rest, there are lots of other courses to play. Two courses that are very interesting are affordable are Pacific Grove Links voted in the top 50 courses in America to play for under $50.00 and Poppy Hills. Pacific Grove is located near 17 Mile Drive and the back nine have beautiful ocean vistas on almost every hole. Two time US Amateur Champion Chandler Egan designed the first 9 holes. Jack Neville, who also designed Pebble Beach Links, did the spectacular back nine.30281103_s
Poppy Hills was one of the three golf courses played during the AT&T Pro-Am for many years. Famous designer Robert Trent Jones Jr. did a multimillion dollar redesign that completed in April 2014. If you are a member of the Northern California Golf Association, you can play this world class course for under $100.00. If not, you can play for around $210.00 which is a lot less than Pebble Beach and getting rave reviews from avid golfers and professionals. Five time AT&T Pro-Am winner Mark O’Meara said, “I think it is amazing. Nothing beats being on the Monterey Peninsula. It is beautiful. It is really nice.”
The bottom line is that golf on the Monterey Peninsula is the best in the world. Spending a few days in the Carmel area is a great way to recharge your batteries, play golf at God’s home of golf and soothe your soul from the rigors of the rat race.
Mike L. Mc Colgan has been writing about golf, food, wine and travel for 20 years. He has written 5 successful golf books with his son MJ who is 3 time National Special Olympics Golf Champion and has been inducted into 3 Hall Of Fames. They have played golf all over the world. In addition, he also has a food column with his wife Linda and trying to hit all 3000 San Francisco restaurants and have been to over 500. His email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org