Sunday, January 1, 2006
From the Monterey Peninsula to San Diego, discover golf in the Golden State
As for the Golden State, if you’re visiting the Monterey coast, expect just over an hour’s drive from the San Francisco Airport or 45 minutes from the San Jose Airport. Also, the coastline drive is fabulous, so don’t be shy to rent a comfortable rental car and enjoy the spectacular views from Highway 101.
When heading to Southern California, we advise you find ways to minimize drive time. Traffic can be a bear. Luckily, there are at least five major airports (and many more) that are in close proximity to a host of golf-friendly areas. If you’re heading to L.A. County, the obvious choices are LAX and Burbank Airport. But if you’re heading southward to places like the Newport coast, then the John Wayne Airport is a much smarter and closer choice. Ontario is a solid choice for an inland flight, and Long Beach is one of the favorite airports among Southern Californians for its fewer crowds and easy access.
Check with each golf course and/or hotel that you plan to visit, and make sure they give you not only street directions, but freeway instructions, as well.
Where To Play
|The Lodge At Pebble Beach|
The Inn At Spanish Bay
Far and away the most revered golf resort in the United States, Pebble Beach boasts three outstanding hotels, an unbeatable location on the Monterey Bay, and legendary golf courses rich with history and lore. Pebble Beach Golf Links and Spyglass Hill typically top everybody’s lifetime “must-play” lists. But don’t forget Spanish Bay: Both the course and the accommodations on the Pacific Grove end of 17 Mile Drive are superb. The Pebble Beach Golf Academy, located at Spyglass Hill, is a recommended stop, where all the latest teaching tools and excellent instruction by Laird Small and team will keep you on the course—critical on any of these classic designs. Rates at The Lodge at Pebble Beach range from $555 to $2,635; The Inn at Spanish Bay from $475 to $2,555; and at Casa Palmero from $685 to $2,250. Golf packages available.
Pebble Beach may get most of the national attention, but locals know it’s always a few degrees warmer and a whole lot sunnier in Carmel Valley. This is but one of the selling points for Quail Lodge. The golf course has long been known to offer a relaxed round of golf in a pleasant valley setting, where low-handicappers can score at will, and higher-handicappers will have a very good round. Weeping willows, colorful plantings and plenty of wildlife are seen around this design. In July 2003, this classic 97-room Carmel Valley property completed a $25 million renovation that included rooms, common areas and the clubhouse. The work done has elevated Quail Lodge once again into the elite status of California golf resorts. Rates range from $325-$795 (in season) to $275-$755 (nonpeak). Golf packages available.
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