Good golf flawless conditions at Quail Lodge in Carmel
CARMEL, Calif. – Although Quail Lodge Golf Club no longer offers the lodge portion of the property as a resort, there's still good reason to make the trip to the Carmel Valley to play this charming Robert Muir Graves-designed layout.
The club still offers a high-end, semi-private golf course with attention paid to every detail. The course is plush, the food and beverage service is top tier and the golf shop is among the best stocked on the entire Monterey Peninsula.
Visitors used to be able to stay at the lodge when it was called the Quail Lodge Golf Resort, but a struggling economy no longer makes that operation viable. The hotel portion of Quail Lodge closed in late 2009, but the Quail Lodge Golf Club, Quail Lodge Golf Academy and Edgar's Restaurant remain open.
What also remains is a good side trip for those who play or watch golf at Pebble Beach.
Right away golfers know they are in for a treat at Quail Lodge as they drive up to the bag drop in front of the two-story clubhouse and outstanding practice facilities, which include a large practice putting green, short-game area and grass range. Inside the clubhouse you'll find Edgar's Restaurant, an excellent stop for a sit-down breakfast, lunch or dinner. Golfers coming to Quail Lodge really should make a day of it.
The star of the show at Quail Lodge remains the golf course. Always in excellent shape, the course is eminently walkable and enjoyable. Although it plays just 6,500 yards, the par 71 presents plenty of challenge. With 10 lakes and the Carmel River coming into play as well as scores of bunkers, there is no shortage of trouble or interest.
The parkland-style course is routed up and down gently rolling hills and valleys, beckoning golfers to shape shots with the terrain and pin positions. Greens always run smooth, and reading their subtle undulations can sometimes be tricky.
The golf course offers a superb collection of par 3s. Three of them play some 200 yards or longer from the back set of tees, including the 12th, which is a daunting 227 yards over a barranca. The fifth, at 197 yards, might be considered one of the signature holes on the course, with a pond to the right of the green, while the 17th, which also has water and sand, is part of a terrific finishing stretch on the course. That finishing stretch includes the dogleg left par-5 15th, which presents a tricky tee shot but a good opportunity for birdie. The finishing hole is an uphill par 4 with water on the left.
Golf lessons at Quail Lodge
The Quail Lodge Golf Academy, led by Director of Instruction Katherine Marren and Head Professional Ross Kroeker, offers one-, two- and three-day programs for both adults and children as well as individual lessons. Both Marren and Kroeker have extensive teaching and distinguished backgrounds. The school offers both private and group instruction and uses state-of-the-art video software and hardware in its teaching program.
The Golf Academy programs also include the best and most current technologies for teaching and clubfitting, including the MAT-T 3-D motion analysis for both clubfitting and instruction.
The club also, from time to time, hosts its Impact Zone Golf Schools, which not only feature Marren and Kroeker, but guest instructor Bobby Clampett, a former PGA Tour player and TV golf commentator.
Quail Lodge Golf Club: The verdict
Although the Quail Lodge is priced far less than Pebble Beach Golf Links and some of the other pricier options on the Monterey Peninsula, you can still expect to pay between $125 to $150 for green fees, which include cart and range balls. It's not exactly bargain golf, but it's certainly in line with its surroundings.
The fee structure is certainly justified when you consider the condition of the golf course. You would be hard pressed to find a bare spot anywhere on it, the landscaping is perfect, and the greens roll as good as any you'll find in the area.
Customer service is also first-rate, from Edgar's Restaurant and halfway house at the turn to the folks in the golf shop, where you can find anything you need on the course and then some. If you're taking a trip to the Monterey Peninsula, Quail Lodge is more than a worthy candidate in the 'other courses to play' category.
This story originally published on GolfCalifornia.com.
What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm
Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:
Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft
Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts
Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff
Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.
While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.
Watching Andrew Landry and Jon Rahm in playoff. Walking off tee talking to each other. Are you kidding me ? Talking at all. ?— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.
0 words— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
The issue is I don’t want to make you a bit relaxed or comfortable. High pressure, good.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you watch the end of the NFL games yesterday ? Enough said.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
I didn’t say you couldn’t be friends and competitive. But in a playoff, 1 tiny mistake and you lose, and that devastated me. Friends before and after, competitors during play.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
Did you win ? It’s all about surviving the competition to test yourself.— Curtis Strange (@golf_strange) January 22, 2018
So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.
Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over
The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.
As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.
Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.
And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.
And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.
McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.
The Ryder Cup topped his list.
Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.
When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.
“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”
McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.
Or similar assertions from TV analysts.
“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”
European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.
And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.
The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.
Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.
And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.
Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.
The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.
The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.
More bulletin board material, too.
Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.
Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions
Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.
The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.
It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.
The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.
“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”
Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.