That’s the idea at Half Moon Bay Golf Links, the famous resort near San Francisco. Like a lot of businesses, Half Moon Bay doesn’t have half as much money as it would like to pour into capital improvements. So it has come up with lower cost ways to enhance the links-style experience of its Ocean Course, an Arthur Hills design. It’s simple: drop the mower deck.
Half Moon Bay plans to cut down the rough around hazards to threaten timid or indifferent shots that once had a chance to roll by. Now they could roll in, much as they would on less merciful Scottish tracks. On the plus side, green surrounds will be only a little higher than the greens themselves, encouraging ball movement and the kind of bounces that can make for exciting play in the seaside wind. And it’s not just the mower getting into the act. Scottish-style double tees are going in, and trees will be rearranged to add about 200 yards, stretching the layout to nearly 6,900 yards.
Where’s the first tee? What’s the course record? And where can I get a pint at the other end?