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 !!