Talega Golf Club in Orange County: A beauty and a little bit of a beast

By Travel ArticlesJuly 12, 2012, 4:00 am

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. -- Located in the hills of San Clemente set above the 'Spanish Village by the Sea,' Talega Golf Club is a picturesque course in a very pleasant setting. Located just three miles from the coast, this elegant daily-fee facility is situated just below the Shops at Talega, a casual outdoor shopping area, offering retail outlets and eateries.

Talega Golf Club fits the same motif with a large Spanish colonial clubhouse that features an outdoor patio, Signature Grille Restaurant and banquet, and meeting facilities that match the Spanish theme.

The 6,951-yard golf course, however, is still the star.

This 2001 Fred Couples signature design features generous landing areas off the tee, plenty of water, great views and a few holes that will certainly get your attention, given some of the challenging approaches to greens.

But perhaps the most unique aspect of the course is that it has five par 3s and five par 5s, no doubt a personal touch of Couples.

The par 3s, especially on the front nine, are particularly challenging, and with Couples being known as a particularly long player who took advantage of the par 5s in his career, there are three on the back. That means there will be scoring opportunities down the stretch, but these par 5s are anything but easy.

In fact, Peter Dalkas, general manager at Talega, offers some sound strategy.

How to succeed at Talega Golf Club

'If you can manage your misses on the par 3s,' Dalkas said, 'and plan to play the par 5s in the three shots, you'll have an excellent experience and ultimately beat your playing partners.'

And if that doesn't work out, Dalkas said, try the 'aloha press' double or nothing bet on the last hole, a daunting par 4 that features an intimidating approach shot over water to a semi-island green.

And speaking of forced carries, the above-mentioned par 3s have plenty of them from the rearward tees. The third, for example, plays 228 yards over water from the back tees.

This former private course has also undergone an ownership change. Dalkas said one of the biggest problems is just getting the word out that the course is open to the public. It has that private feel throughout, both on the course and in the clubhouse.

With that said, Talega offers all sorts of pricing for juniors, seniors and memberships. Juniors can even play free with an adult at certain twilight times, and senior rates start at age 55.

Talega Golf Club: The verdict

If you like great conditions, generous fairways and nice scenery, then Talega Golf Club is a good choice. Its bentgrass greens roll true, no two holes are alike and the course features a terrific finishing stretch.

The clubhouse is also a great place to hang out. With San Clemente's year-round near perfect weather, having a cocktail on the patio with an appetizer is a perfect way to spend an afternoon, whether it follows a round of golf or not.

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Tiger Tracker: Arnold Palmer Invitational

By Tiger TrackerMarch 17, 2018, 3:00 pm

Tiger Woods teed off at 12:15PM ET alongside Justin Rose for Round 3 of the Arnold Palmer Invitational. We're tracking him at Bay Hill.

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Fowler among 5 to skip WGC-Match Play

By Ryan LavnerMarch 17, 2018, 2:24 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. – Five of the top 64 players in the world will skip next week’s WGC-Dell Match Play.

Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, Brooks Koepka and Adam Scott all will miss the second WGC event of the year, held next week at Austin Country Club.

As a result, the last man into the field is world No. 69 Luke List. Kevin Na, Charles Howell III, Joost Luiten and Keegan Bradley also got into the field.

Julian Suri and Bill Haas are the first two alternates, if anyone else withdraws from the round-robin-style match-play event.

This is the second year in a row that Rose, Fowler, Stenson and Scott will not play in Austin. Koepka reached the quarterfinals each of the past two years, but he is still recovering from a wrist injury.

The final seeding for the event will be determined after this week’s tournaments. The bracket show is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, live on Golf Channel.

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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.