Punch Shots: What's the best splurge on golf in northern California?

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 8, 2012, 10:57 pm

The Frys.com Open of the PGA Tour will shine the spotlight on Northern California this week, visiting CordeValle Golf Resort, an elegant Rosewood Resort property with a Robert Trent Jones Jr. design nestled among the hills of San Martin. So we asked Jason Deegan and Mike Bailey what their favorite places to splurge on golf are in NoCal.

Jason Deegan: Pebble Beach Golf Links 

If a meteor hurtled toward earth like one of those really bad movies, allowing only days of life left for all of us, I’d probably head straight for Pebble Beach Golf Links. If I’m going to go, I’m going to go down swinging at a place many of us consider paradise. Staying and playing at Pebble Beach is the ultimate golf splurge.

People complain about how expensive a golf vacation can be at the Monterey Peninsula’s signature resort, but I look at it from a different point of view. The cost of the experience makes Pebble Beach a once-in-a-lifetime trip. It’s something to be cherished. Not everybody gets to do it. Not everybody can afford it or not everybody loves golf enough to justify the cost. That exclusive feel makes Pebble Beach special. You won’t find Joe Muni there, just serious fans of the game.

There’s a lot to love about Pebble Beach. A perfect day might start with a morning round, followed by lunch at The Tap Room, the historic tavern in the Lodge. I’ve never seen inside the Spa at Pebble Beach, but I’m imagining a glorious massage that afternoon with the grand finale a night out for dinner in charming Carmel-by-the-Sea.

As for the other courses at the resort, call me a rebel, but I actually prefer the Links at Spanish Bay to Spyglass Hill. The first five holes at Spyglass are awe-inspiring, but I’d rather stay by the shore at Spanish Bay and take my chances with the target golf of Robert Trent Jones Jr. than head inland at Spyglass and get my ego handed to me by RTJ Sr. Spyglass ranks among the toughest courses in the world. I don’t want my precious few hours left on earth trying to break 100. I’d rather be staring out at the Pacific Ocean, daydreaming that heaven looks this good.

Mike Bailey: Carmel Valley Ranch

I've always said that there are three courses that should be on every avid golfer's bucket list, and Pebble Beach would be one of the three (the other two are the Old Course at St. Andrews and Augusta National). But in northern California, there is resort life other than Pebble Beach, and it's pretty good. One that shouldn't be overlooked is Carmel Valley Ranch. The Pete Dye design-golf course there won't make you forget Pebble, but it's not too shabby.

But what really makes Carmel Valley Ranch special is the overall experience. It's nothing like Pebble Beach. CMV is secluded, tranquil and incredibly therapeutic. It's been defined as summer camp for adults, but it's so much more.

The 500-acre resort is covered with lavender, which attracts deer as well as bees, which means the resort harvests its own honey and lavender, the latter of which is used in the spa and other applications.

The spa is world class as is the food, which takes the farm to table concept to the highest levels. There is also great hiking, bocce ball, swimming, a terrific tennis program (with hard courts and clay), two outstanding workout facilities, basketball courts and fire pits for conversation and S’mores at night. And the accommodations – all suites – feature fireplaces, huge tubs and great views of the hillsides, which are covered with vineyards.

And when the weather is dreary at Pebble Beach, chances are it's sunny and warm at Carmel Valley Ranch, which is set in the sunny foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains of Carmel Valley.

As for the golf course, the recently renovated layout might not be what you call championship at 6,100 yards, but it’s anything but easy or boring. It’s in great shape, and there are great views everywhere, especially on the back nine, which features several elevated tees. Dye integrated water hazards, unusual angles and doglegs to create a collection of holes that both challenging and memorable – just like the resort.

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Rose leads halted Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters when bad weather stopped play Friday during the second round.

The Englishman, who shot a 10-under 62 on Thursday, had completed 13 holes and was 5 under on the day at the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat (64) was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew wit on the 11th hole at 2 under for the day after shooting an opening 72.

There was no reason given for his withdrawal, but the American has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

Playing with the pros

Tiger, DJ and Faxon

Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

Rory faces criticism

Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

President at the Presidents Cup

Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

Cart on the green

Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

Trump golf properties


Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

Reportedly fake TIME covers

Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

Pros comment on the president

Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

Getty Images

Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm

Spieth, Thomas headline winter break trip to Cabo

By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.