Golfing Trip– 2022
Cypress Point , Olympic, Pebble Beach , Spy Glass, The Preserve , Pasatiempo & Harding Park – 7 courses 4 days – with Carl Emberson , Hugo Martinez , Marcelo Lopez & Mauricio Morales
From TPC Harding Park all the way through to Pebble Beach, the 7 courses we played in 4 days were truly breathtaking. We began in San Francisco at TPC Harding Park home to Colin Morkawa’s great PGA Win in the morning before slipping over to The Olympic Club nigh across the road thanks to an invitation by PM Fan Chris Vlautin. It was a great start to the trip despite this scribe not finding his swing and losing bets all day. The Olympic was one of the most manicured and best kept courses I have had the opportunity to play on while the layout was also spectacular – in my Top 3 course of this tour. A great start !!
Before moving on to the next course a special applause to my mates on the trip Hugo Martinez and Mauricio Morales from Monterrey and homeowners in Punta Mita and my colleague and friend Marcelo Lopez who just happens to be the very 1st person I player a round of golf with here in Punta Mita – great company !!!
Next was Pasatiempo a public course and one to include on any trip in that neck of the woods – Pasatiempo was designed by world-renowned golf architect Alister MacKenzie. Even though MacKenzie also designed Augusta National and Cypress Point, Pasatiempo was his favorite layout and where he made his American home, which still borders the sixth fairway. Today, this historic top 100 course is a semi-private golf club . After the round and a couple of beers we headed to the Captain’s home for dinner an Indian mate who I met recently in PM. He had mentioned it was 15 minutes however it turned out to be 40 minutes to the dismay of my mates. That said we had a nice dinner and good wine and headed down to the Lodge at Pebble Beach – along day !! Tomorrow would be even longer.
Up with the sparrows it was as we headed off to The Preserve for our 8am Tee Off – findamental as we had to be back in Pebble for our 150pm tee off !!! Once we got there we quickly headed out to the course Brian a mate of Ettienne a good friend and former Punta Mita Resident who set us up to play the course in a private club up in the hills of Carmel Located some miles inland from the glorious fivesome of 100 Greatest courses on California’s Monterey Peninsula (Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill and the two courses at Monterey Peninsula C.C.), The Preserve is dramatically different, the only golf course contained within a 20,000-acre parcel of gentle hills and mammoth oaks. Fazio moved almost no earth here, so perfect was the routing established by Poellot and Tatum. The greens are subtle, the bunkering low key, the atmosphere one of absolute tranquility.On a personal note really enjoyed this track as I was able to get out of the red in my bets.
On the betting side we had a number of different bets rolling : Induvial Matches with each other ; 2 ball each round with a rotating partner , Low net medal on each round, bonus points of closest to the pin , low net of the day so it all adds up. I really enjoy this aspect of the trip as it keep everyone engaged in their play one way or the other. If you are having a shocker you can make it up with the help of your partner in the 2 ball assuming he has a good day !!
From the Preserve it was on to the world renowned Pebble Beach – it happened to be my 2nd outing on Pebble and I have not fared well on this course – more specifically on the back nine. I fondly recall a magical biridie on the 8th made possible by a great 9 iron into the green on what Nicklaus considered one of the best 2nd shots in golf !! Hugo as in past editions handled Pebble with ease and comtinued to increase his winnings and pulling away in the net medal. The Pebble beach course deservedly features as one of the best course in the world – on this tour we played 4 courses in the Top 100 Courses in the World by GOLF.com and all in Top 100 Golf Courses in the US. After the long day – we did not even get a moment in the Pro Shop at Pebble Beach such was the tight schedule we had between the Preserve and Pebble on this very special day. So it was with pleasure we sat down to a well derserved dinner at the Lodge – a couple of Negroni’s and a good drop of Napa Cabernet Sauvignno Oak Hills I believe it was!! It was also our last evening as I had to catch a red eye back to PM the following evening straight after our Spyglass round.
Our grand finale was Cypress Point and Spyglass lets start with Cypress Point and I thank former US VP Dan Quayle and Punta Mita friend and fan for getting us on to play for the 2nd time for Hugo (3rd for Hugo ) Mauricio and I. Amongst the world of golf, few courses are as revered as Cypress Point. Cypress Point Golf Course was created by the well renown designer Alister Mackenzie and opened in 1928. Extraordinary and timeless, Alister Mackenzie masterpiece is consistently rated as one of the top 3 golf courses ever created by all major publications. Cypress Point offers natural beauty that is unmatched anywhere. Regarded as the most exclusive course in the world, it is virtually impossible to play a round unless you are invited by a member. The club decides the cost of yearly membership fees by equally dividing the total operating expenses among all members. Each member of the club is required to pay the same amount in dues, regardless of the amount of play or the number of visits to the club. I will forever recall my Par on the 15th Bogey on 16th purposedly playing to the left and playing for a bogey versus falling shirt into the water and making it a likely double or triple. On 17 I sank a 20footer for birdie and finished 18 with all matches in the bag with a bogey for a memorbable round on a memorable course. Hope to get back in 2023 for another round at Cypress Point !!
A quick bite in Pebble then we were off for the last of our 7 rounds in Paradise – Spyglass yet another magic course with a truly memorable front 9 !! Hugo stretched his lead while Marcelo was able to cut some of his losses which had accumulated somewhat over the last few rounds. In the end it was Hugo who won handsomely followed by yours truly both in positive numbers while Mauricio and Marcelo finished in the red – it was the same order in the net medal scores with Hugo winning by 7 strokes after 7 rounds. Well played Hugo and well done team it was a trip albeit short to remember!!