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/ CALIFORNIA GOLF + TRAVEL MAGAZINE /
Publisher’s Note A brief history of The Masters
In the News What’s happening in golf
LPGA West Coast Swing California tournaments draw top fields
Men’s College Golf USC’s Justin Suh ranked No. 1
Women’s College Golf Pac-12 teams in NCAA title picture
Celebrities On Course West Coast events bring out the stars
Local Contenders at The Masters What Californians will rise in Augusta?
Equipment Irons, balls, and training aids for the new season
Instruction: Dave Pelz Solid strikes on severe downhill lies
Instruction: John Burckle The modern take away
Golf & Travel California Region Guides Where to tee it up and live it up across the state
Getaways Las Vegas National
30 MARCH-APRIL 2018 VOLUME 22, ISSUE 2 GETAWAYS: LAS VEGAS NATIONAL • LPGA WEST COAST SWING
CAN CALIFORNIANS CONTEND?
TEE IT UP OUT WEST
On the cover: Phil Mickelson at Pebble Beach Photo: Michael Weinstein
Visit us online at calgolfnews.com and be sure to LIKE us at facebook.com/calgolfnews.
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A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE MASTERS Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts were trying to provide a service to golf when they decided to hold an annual tournament beginning in 1934, according to masters.com. Roberts suggested that the event be called The Masters Tournament, but Jones objected, thinking it too presumptuous. The name Augusta National Invitation Tournament was adopted and used until 1939, when Jones relented and the name was officially changed. Another early decision was whether Jones would play or serve as an official. Jones preferred not to compete, but was persuaded by the Club’s members to join the field. In the twelve tournaments that Jones played, his best finish was 13th in 1934. Many decisions made in the early years of the event remain today, including the four-day stroke playing of 18 holes each day instead of the then-customary 36 holes on the third day, eliminating qualifying rounds, and denying permission for anyone except players and caddies to be in the playing area. The first tournament, in 1934, was won by Horton Smith, and, in 1935, Gene Sarazen hit ‘the shot heard ‘round the world’ scoring a double eagle on the par-5 15th hole, tying Craig Wood and forcing a playoff. Sarazen won the 36-hole playoff the following day by five strokes.” Beginning in 1940, The Masters was scheduled during the first full week in April. In 1942, Byron Nelson defeated Ben Hogan 69-70 in a 18-hole playoff, and the 1950’s included two victories by Hogan, and the first of four for Arnold Palmer. Palmer’s win in 1958 began the tradition of “Amen Corner,” so named by the great golf writer Herbert Warren Wind in an article in Sports Illustrated. In 1960, the Par 3 Contest began, and, in 1965-1966, Jack Nicklaus became the first Masters champion to successfully defend his title. In the 1980s, Seve Ballesteros won twice, Tom Watson clinched his second title, and, in 1986 at age 46, Nicklaus donned his sixth Green Jacket. In 1997, Tiger Woods broke the four-day scoring record that stood for 32 years, in 2010, Phil Mickelson finished at 16-under 272, capturing his third title, and, in 2015, Jordan Speith tied the score set by Tiger Woods in 1997 at 18-under 270 with a Masters Tournament victory for the ages! For more information, see masters.com Enjoy your walk,
Eric Woods California Golf + Travel Publisher Eric Woods Editor Mark Spinn Art Director Long Tran Associate Editors Mike Stubbs, Suzy Evans, Ed Travis Senior Writers Jim Dover, Tom LaMarre, Feisal Patel Contributors Ian Leggatt, Ed Vyeda, Leonard Finkel, Tom Stankowski, Ken Lane, Chris Lynch, Ryan Noll Photographers Michael Weinstein, Tom Neas, Mark Susson Travel Editor Larry Feldman Equipment Editor Scott Kramer, Ed Travis Wine + Golf John Finney, Dan Weldy Contributing Instructors Eric Lohman, Kris Moe, Perry Parker, Ted Norby, Scott Heyn, John Ortega, John Burckle Accounting Jep Pickett
California Golf + Travel is published by Golf Lab Media LLC 1224 Village Way, Ste. D, Santa Ana CA 92705 Phone: (714) 542-4653 website: www.CalGolfNews.com California Golf + Travel is published bimonthly and distributed to California golf courses, country clubs, practice facilities, golf retailers, hotels, and resorts Entire contents of this publication is copyrighted Golf Lab Media LLC 2015, all rights reserved and may not be reproduced in any manner in whole or in part without the written permission from the publisher. For subscriptions, go to calgolfnews.com and sign up online or send your name, address, phone number, and $20 to Golf Lab Media at the Above address. For advertising opportunities and editorial information: Please call (714) 542-4653 or email to firstname.lastname@example.org
IN THE NEWS
Juli Inkster has been selected as captain of the United States team for the Solheim Cup for an unprecedented third time, it was announced by the LPGA Tour. The 57-year-old Inkster, from Los Altos and San Jose State, led the U.S. to victories in 2015 at Golf Club St. Leon-Rot in St. Leon-Rot, Germany, where the Americans rallied from four points down in singles to win, 14.5-13.5, and followed that with a 16.5-11.5 victory last year at Des Moines Golf and Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa. Inkster, who was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine, Fla., in 2000, has won 31 times on the LPGA Tour, including seven major championships, claimed the LPGA Tour’s Louise Suggs Rookie of the Year Award in 1984 and the Golf Writers Association of America’s Player of the Year Award in 1999. For Sean Crocker, it was the biggest fivefoot putt of his life. The 21-year-old Crocker, from Westlake Village and USC, made a birdie
PHOTO MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
clinched a dramatic playoff victory over Justin Thomas in the WGC-Mexico Championship last month, ending the longest drought of his career and capping off a final round that included Thomas holing a wedge for eagle on the final hole of regulation. Mickelson, who closed with a 5-under 66, won for the first time since the 2013 British Open at Muirfield. “I can’t put into words how much this means to me,” he said. “I knew it was going to be soon — I’ve been playing too well for it not to be. But you just never know until it happens.” Just a month after being on the verge of falling out of the top 50 in the world for the first time in two decades, Mickelson moves to No. 18 in the world.
on the final hole to tie for sixth in the SMBC Singapore Open on the Serapong Course at Sentosa Golf Club in Singapore. That gave Crocker, who was born in Zimbabwe, a berth in the 147th Open Championship at Carnoustie Golf Links in Angus, Scotland, on July 19-22. There were four spots available to those not otherwise exempt among the top 12 in Singapore as part of the Open Qualifying Series. “Very special day! First major here we come!” Crocker posted on Twitter. Before turning pro late last year, Crocker helped Westlake High win the 2014 CIF California High School Championship, won the 2015 AmateurGolf.com San Diego Amateur, the 2016 Monroe Invitational and the 2017 Italian International Amateur. Kathy Kurata is on a roll. Kurata, who plays out of Friendly Hills Country Club in Whittier, captured her third straight Southern California
Quivira Golf Club
Golf Association event, winning the Senior Women’s Amateur Championship by one stroke at Glendora Country Club. “I’ve been very fortunate,” Kurata said. “I always just come out here to do my best. Yesterday, I had a very lucky round—I got the bounces and putts just rolled in. I was just happy to hold on in the end.” Kurata carded a score of 75-85—160, 14-over-par, while Corey Weworski of Torrey Pines Golf Club in La Jolla shot 82-79—161 to tie for second with Sherry Wright of Olivas Links in Ventura, who finished at 81-80—161. Ricky Castillo finally got it done in the Rancho Santa Margarita Amateur. Castillo, from Yorba Linda, carded a score of 69-65—134, 12-under-par, to win by five strokes over Hunter Epson of Long Beach at Tijeras Creek Golf Club in Rancho Santa Margarita. Two years ago, Castillo finished third in the tournament, and he was second last year Epson was second at 66-73—139, followed by Jackson Rivera of Rancho Santa Fe at 71-71—142, Jonathan Yoshihiro of Yorba Linda at 73-70—143, Hisham Hussein of San Dimas at 74-71—145, and Kory Frost of Rancho Santa Margarita 72-74—146. Four courses in Los Cabos, Mexico have been selected by Golf Digest on its annual list of the “World 100 Greatest Golf Courses.” Quivira Golf Club is new to the list at No. 93, an epic Land’s End layout grafted by Jack Nicklaus onto a jaw-dropping site marked by huge dunes, sheer cliffs and rolling foothills. “To see photos of Quivira’s cliffhanging fifth and sixth greens, one would expect this to be a mountainous golf course,” Golf Digest said of Quivira, which opened in 2014. “But a majority of its holes are on Pacific coastline sand dunes close to sea level or along the flank of a high desert plateau dotted with torote and cardon trees.
The Aviara Golf Experience The Aviara Golf Experience
/ WEST COAST SWING /
THE WOMEN HEAD WEST LPGA’S OWN WEST COAST SWING INCLUDES GOLF’S FIRST MAJOR OF THE YEAR J
to the heart of Hollywood and put on a show in one of the largest broadcast markets in the world.” The two new tournaments in California replace the Lorena Ochoa Match Play in Mexico and the Manulife LPGA Classic in Canada. Lake Merced, where the front and back nines will be switched for the LPGA Mediheal Championship, hosted the LPGA Tour’s Swinging Skirts Classic from 2014-16. Lydia Ko of New Zealand won the tournament the first two years and Haru Nomura of Japan took the title in 2016. “We just feel it’s a better route,” Executive Director Andy Bush of Octagon, which manages the tournament, told the San Francisco Chronicle of the decision to reverse the nines. “ … The other par-5 (regularly No. 18) is a three-shot hole, but we’ll have chance to move the tees and give players a chance to reach the tournament No. 18 in two. “ … This year is about getting the LPGA re-established in San Francisco. Then we’ll start building programs the day the event ends, so it’s here for the long-term.” San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, who died suddenly in December, was a big supporter of women’s golf and successfully lobbied Whan to bring the LPGA Tour back to the San Francisco Bay Area. PHOTO MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
By Tom LaMarre ust call it West Coast Swing II. The PGA Tour opened its season, and now the new year in its wraparound season format, on this side of the United States for decades, and while the LPGA Tour is already underway, the best women in the world will be playing their next six tournaments out this way. It starts with the Bank of Hope Founders Cup at Wildfire Golf Club in Phoenix on March 15-18, followed by the Kia Classic at Aviara Resort in Carlsbad on March 22-25 and the ANA Inspiration, first major of the year on any tour, at Mission Hills Resort in Rancho Mirage on March 29-April 1. After a week off, the LPGA Tour crosses the Pacific Ocean for the Lotte Championship at Ko Olina Golf Club at Kapolei, Oahu, Hawaii, on April 11-14, before returning to California for the inauMichelle Wie gural HUGEL-JTBC LA Open at Wilshire Country ronments, and make it more enticing Club in Los Angeles on April 19-22 and for our players by strengthening this wrapping up the run with the LPGA West Coast swing. Mediheal Championship, another first“We’re very excited to take the year tournament, at refurbished Lake LPGA back to Los Angeles and historic Merced Golf Club in Daly City, on the Wilshire Country Club, adding to the outskirts of San Francisco, on April Tour’s already prominent presence in 26-29. Southern California, “These two new events are perfect We want to thank our good friends additions to our schedule,” LPGA at HUGEL, JTBC and Eiger Marketing Commissioner Mike Whan said. “We Group for providing us the opportunity believe they will offer terrific playing to bring the stars of golf’s global tour opportunities in wonderful golf envi-
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/ MEN’S COLLEGE GOLF /
PHOTO: GEORGE WALKER
SUH SETS THE STANDARD USC JUNIOR ATOP COLLEGE RANKINGS By Tom LaMarre
The biggest news in men’s college golf has been Justin Suh, a USC junior from San Jose, who has won three times this season, is ranked No. 1 in the nation and also tops the Arnold Palmer Cup, Ben Hogan Award and the Haskin Award watch lists. Suh, No. 7 in the World Amateur Rankings, opened the Spring by claiming his third victory of the season by one stroke over Matthew Wolff of topranked Oklahoma State in the Amer Ari Invitational the Waikoloa Kings’ Course in Waikoloa, Hawaii. Suh carded an eagle on the fourth hole, then rallied to win with birdies on four of the last six holes, including the last two. “Justin had another great week,” said USC Coach Chris Zambri, who has led the Trojans to two Pac-12 titles, three NCAA Regional crowns and to 11 consecutive NCAA Finals appearances. “He continues to show that he is a world class player. He birdies four of the last six holes. Big time stuff. … He’s really utilizing everything that is offered in order to become a better player. He’s kind of been a model player for us.” Suh has 12 straight top-20 finishes dating to last season, 10 of which have been inside the top nine and 11 in the top 11. He has finished in the top 10 in his last six tournaments. His three victories are the most for a Trojan in one season since Jamie Lovemark won four times in 2007. In addition, Suh has been selected Pac-12 Men’s Golfer of the Month for November and February. Also in the top 10 of the national rankings are Norman Xiong, an
14 MAR/APR 2018
JUSTIN SUH Oregon sophomore from Canyon Lake, Calif., who has won twice this season and has led the Ducks a No. 23 nation ranking, and Cal junior Collin Morikawa, who claimed his second victory of the season recently in the Wyoming Desert Intercollegiate. Suh, Xiong and Morikawa are on the Arnold Palmer Cup watch list along with Stanford junior Brandon Wu, UNLV senior Shintaro Ban from San Jose, Pepperdine junior Sahith Theegala, Cal junior KK Limbhasut of Thailand and Kaito Onishi, a USC freshman from Japan.
Another player to keep your eye on is USC sophomore Cheng Jin, who recently won the PGA Tour SeriesChina Mainland China Qualifying Tournament by a whopping 17 strokes. Unlike their women counterparts, the California men’s college teams have some work to do in order to get into the national conversation this season. In a recent poll, California was ranked 12th, one spot better than archrival Stanford, while USC checked in at No. 17, one position ahead of arch-rival UCLA, while Pepperdine was ranked 23rd.
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/ WOMEN’S COLLEGE GOLF /
EMERGING FROM THE PAC UCLA, USC, STANFORD AND ASU AMONG CONFERENCE – AND NCAA – FAVORITES With UCLA, Stanford and USC ranked among the Top 10 women’s teams in the nation this season, it appears there’s a good chance the 2018 Pacific 12 Conference Women’s Golf Championship trophy will find a place in California, although defending national champion Arizona State also figures to have a say in the matter. All four teams have taken the national title in recent years, with the Bruins winning in 2011, the Trojans taking home the title in 2013 and the Cardinal winning it all in 2015. Defending Pac-12 champion UCLA, coached by Carrie Forsyth, has been at or near the top of the national rankings all season on the strength of five victories, while Coach Anne Walker has had Stanford close with top-five finishes in all seven of its matches in 2017-18. USC was barely inside the nation’s top 10, but it was the Trojans who pulled off their third victory of the season
16 MAR/APR 2018
LILIA VU recently in the Bruin Wave Invitational at San Luis Obispo Country Club, beating UCLA by eight strokes and Stanford by 10. “We’re pretty excited,” said Coach Andrea Gaston of USC, which won the Minnesota Invitational and the East Lake Cup earlier this season. “This young team is really special and they just played their hearts out. It was a really difficult course with really difficult greens that required a lot of patience. You couldn’t let up on the round. You had to stay focused on each and every shot. “This was our third tournament in three weeks. It was a test for this young team and with a second place last week and a win today, I’m very proud of them.” Top-ranked Lilia Vu of UCLA, a junior from Fountain Valley, claimed her third victory in as many events and the seventh of her career, tying Bronte Law’s school record. Vu won the Bruin Wave Invitational for the second straight year by two strokes over Albane Valenzuela of Stanford. Vu is listed in the Arnold Palmer Cup Rankings along with sophomore Andrea Lee of Stanford, junior Bethany Wu of UCLA, freshman Mika Liu of Stanford, sophomore Mariel Galdiano of UCLA, freshmen Alyaa Abdulghany and Jennifer Chang of USC, freshman Patty Tavatanakit of Thailand and UCLA, sophomore Valenzuela of Switzerland and Stanford, and sophomore Jiyoon Jang of South Korea and California. On the Annika Award list are Lee and Vu, who both have three victories this season, and Tavatanakit.
PHOTO: UCLA ATHLETICS
By Tom LaMarre
/ GOLF & CELEBRITIES /
A-LIST CELEBRITIES AGAIN FLOCKED TO THE 2018 AT&T PEBBLE BEACH PRO-AM
By Tom LaMarre Photos Michael Weinstein
omedian Bill Murray’s place in golf history is cemented forever by his performance in “Caddyshack” as hilarious greenskeeper Carl Spackler.
Murray has been a regular in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 1992, even though then-Commissioner Deane Beman of the PGA Tour wanted to have the funnyman banned after he dragged a middle-aged women out of the gallery into a bunker and dumped her into the sand. Beman is long gone and the 67-year-old Murray keeps coming back, entertaining fans with his antics and his wardrobe, not to mention the fact that he’s a pretty good golfer.
/ GOLF & CELEBRITIES /
“Bill Murray has been great for this tournament,” an AT&T official said. “We raise money for charity. He’s been a great help and a terrific guy.” Murray teamed for years in the tournament with Scott Simpson, who won the 1987 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco and the pro said:
“(Murray) wants nothing more than for the pro to play well. He really believes that if you relax, you’re going to play your best.” That’s what happened in 2011, when D.A. Points claimed his first PGA Tour title at Pebble Beach while playing alongside Murray, who bought ice
cream for the twosome on the back nine of the final round as the pair teamed up for the Pro-Am title, a first for Murray. “The levity was the biggest help,” Points told Golf Digest, saying it was a key factor in his victory. “We were having a lot of fun.”
/ GOLF & CELEBRITIES /
CLINT EASTWOOD Murray basically replaced Jack Lemmon as the primary comedy act in what started out in 1937 as the Bing Crosby Clambake, in which fun was the objective, although there have been and still are some celebrities whose games impress even the pros. Aaron Rodgers, star quarterback of the Green Bay Packers who played up the coast at Cal, has teamed with pro Jerry Kelly in recent years and this year played alongside the winning proam team of pro Kevin Streelman and All-Pro wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. Fitzgerald became the first AfricanAmerican amateur on the winning proam team.
KELLY ROHRBACH “It’s great but I’m just hoping moving forward we don’t have to talk about color anymore,” Fitzgerald said. “It’s just about us as one as people. … But that’s quite an accomplishment.” Rodgers was coming off a season in which he missed several games because of a broken collarbone and had played golf only about five times. He said his goal was simply to make the cut with Kelly, which he said he would consider one of his top sports moments.
“I’d say in the top five,” Rodgers said. “(Winning) the Super Bowl, (winning) the MVP, dunking on a guy when I was 19 and then this would be kind of right up there.” It didn’t happen this year, but they figure to be back. Another team that draws crowds at Pebble is Wayne Gretzky, hockey’s “Great One,” and top-ranked Dustin Johnson, who is engaged the Gretzky’s daughter, Paulina, and the father of
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/ GOLF & CELEBRITIES /
MARK WAHLBERG her two children. DJ has won at Pebble twice and this year was hoping to add the pro-am title with a man who has become his mentor, but Gretzky was forced to withdraw before the final round because of a back injury when they were tied for fourth. Other athletes who are fan favorites in the tournament include quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, who played not far away at Serra High in San Mateo, plus his coach, Bill Belichick, former San
Francisco 49er tackle Harris Barton, boxing champion Sugar Ray Leonard and Cy Young Award-winner Justin Verlander of the Houston Astros. Also drawing crowds are singers Justin Timberlake, Darius Rucker and Jake Owen, and Hollywood stars Clint Eastwood, Mark Wahlberg, Kelly Rohrbach and Ray Romano. Peter Jacobsen is 63 and plays mostly on the Champions Tour these days, in addition to his gig as a commentator for the Golf Channel, but he returned
to Pebble Beach this year to play alongside singer Huey Lewis. “This event is a microcosm of what the PGA Tour is, what it should be and what it has become,” Jacobsen told the Associated Press. “If some players don’t recognize that, that’s fine. I understand that. Those who do, I admire. I’ve said to a lot of guys, ‘How much money did you make last year?’ They say, ‘$5 million.’ I say, ‘Would you sacrifice one week a year to continue to make $5 million? Go play the AT&T.’”
/MASTERS PREVIEW: CALIFORNIA CONTENDERS /
WILL THE GREEN JACKET GO WEST? PHOTO: MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
WHICH CALIFORNIA PLAYERS DO – AND DON’T – HAVE A CHANCE AT AUGUSTA RICKIE FOWLER
By Ed Travis
s this is written we are a month away from the first major of the year, the rite of spring called the Masters and it’s not too early to start the speculation over who will tame Augusta National. Indeed, will a California golfer be the one to wear a green jacket come Sunday night? Let’s make it plain we’re including in our consideration only those Masters contestants who were born in California or have some other close association with the state. That’s not putting South Carolina’s Dustin Johnson, Texan Jordan Spieth, Kentuckian
Justin Thomas or any other of the top players down in any way … just confining our guesses to “hometown talent.” Right off we can eliminate Long Beach State alum and 1998 Masters champion Mark O’Meara plus 1992 champion Fred Couples (living now in Newport Beach) by reason of their ages if not the fact neither play on the PGA Tour any longer. Brendan Steele (Irvine) would be a popular choice and he does have a win this season at the Safeway Open, but two things are against him starting with Augusta National’s very difficult and very fast greens. Steele is 109th on Tour in 3-putt avoidance and no one can win at
PHOTO: GEOFF CUNNINGHAM PHOTO: MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
Augusta without putting lights out. The second reason is in two Masters appearances he has one missed cut and a tie for 27th so his record is not encouraging. Fresno native Kevin Chappell, who attended UCLA, doesn’t get the nod even though he has two top-tens both coincidentally in state at the AT&T Pebble Beach and the CareerBuilder Challenge in 2017-2018. Also positive is his record of making cuts, having only missed one so far and he is very good off the tee, important but not vital at Augusta. But (there’s always a but) putting is also Chappell’s weakness at 106th in overall putting average. Not a good bet at the Masters.
Bryson DeChambeau, born in Modesto, has the looks of a winner and indeed has a Tour win, the 2017 John Deere Classic. But it’s the same story as with Steele and Chappell, he does not putt well enough to be a contender over Augusta National. None of his putting stats rank DeChambeau in the top 115 of Tour players …what else can be said? San Diego’s Charley Hoffman had been playing some of the best golf of his career and was picked for the Presidents Cup team last fall, but this season he is at best in the middle of the pack without a win and his highest finish was a tie for 18th at the Shriners. No realistic way can Hoffman be picked to take the Masters.
So, moving on to those Californians who can win the first major of the year and the first category is: PLAYERS UNDER 30: Patrick Cantlay from Long Beach (though he lives now in Florida) after a slow start to his career on Tour got his first win at the Shriners in November. His only Masters appearance was in 2012 where he finished 17 strokes back in a tie for 47th behind Bubba Watson. Cantlay is not D.J. or Bubba long but long enough and hits a lot of greens. Like others though his lack of experience and poor 3-putt avoidance rank plus a low ranking in total putting just about rule him out.
/MASTERS PREVIEW: CALIFORNIA CONTENDERS /
be lulled though and count him out, after all he is Tiger Woods. The another “old man” Phil Mickelson is in a great place both in his World Golf Hall of Fame career and with his game. Many have the opinion the best predictor of Masters performance is the previous six to eight weeks since there’s a variety of venues, course conditions and weather to test anyone’s game. On that basis alone, he is the favorite California golfer even though his 48th birthday is June 16 and indeed he can be considered a favorite out of the entire field … over 40 or under, period. With his win at the WGC-Mexico Championship, the re-ascendance of his game is inspiring for all us “old guys.” His tee shots haven’t all of a sudden become more accurate, but his length is top-40. One club that hasn’t been talked about, but which could play a big part at Augusta as it did for TIGER WOODS his win, is a Callaway Rogue 5 wood added before going to Mexico. He usually not having a Tour win in five years hits it long and straight and it may and that his last Masters victory was in be the answer to the ongoing ques2005. From the standpoint returning tion “what will Phil do next?” to the form resulting in 14 majors, his Mickelson may very well show us driving distance is fine, but accuracy, another jaw-dropping performance while not a big deal for Augusta’s wide around the greens where his abillanding areas, still is important and ity and creativity with a wedge in his that has lagged so far in his attempted hands has never been matched … even comeback. Around the greens he has by Woods in his prime, and that’s sayexhibited flashes of brilliance but in ing a lot. The clincher in addition to spurts so that this vital factor, a major the quality golf Lefty has shown us factor in any major, puts pressure for the past several months is his puton hitting greens where he has not ting has been absolutely the best part excelled so far. The most glaring weakof his game. Second in strokes gained ness is Tiger’s putting and as has been putting, second in putting average and the theme for all the other California first in one-putts and overall putting. Masters hopefuls, putting matters. The The conclusion is unescapable: question is can he rise to the occasion? Mickelson has the game and the desire He knows the greens as well as anyone, to win his fourth Masters. but the answer is most likely no. Don’t PHOTO MICHAEL WEINSTEIN
Xander Schauffele is a budding star and at 24 already has two Tour wins but hasn’t been as spectacular this season, yet. His best finish is a third-place tie in the first event of the year almost six months ago. He putts well at times, in fact at times very well, but having never teed it up at Augusta before it’s way too much to ask for a first timer to win. It’s only been done three times, Horton Smith the first Masters in 1934, Gene Sarazen the next year and Fuzzy Zoeller in 1979. All that leaves us with our pick for players under 30, Rickie Fowler. It’s time for him to win a major and he is far and away the best Californian in the younger bracket. He isn’t super long, but he is in the top 20 for hitting greens with the reputation of being a great putter and presently ranked at seventh in the world. The problem is this year he isn’t a great putter. In no putting stat is Fowler higher than 66th and putting is a Masters-winning requisite. Fowler’s results at the Masters starting in 2011 are: T-38, T-27, T-38, T-5, T-12, Cut, and T-11. Good but hardly compelling, however, fan-favorite Rickie has the ability to rise to the occasion, so this may be the year to remove the monkey from his back as the best-player-to-never-have-won-a-major. Moving up the age scales to the over-40 group (there are no California 30-somethings in the field) we are left with two players, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, both of whom are part of any serious green-jacket discussion irrespective of the California connection. Woods and Mickelson obviously know how to win at Augusta but for Tiger there are several obvious problems, i.e., his return from back surgery,
BY ED TRAVIS s spring approaches, it’s time to begin looking at all the new equipment golf manufacturers have for us. But the truth is, with so many makers and models, the selection can be difficult. So, our staff has done a thorough investigation for you and here are some of our favorites among the newest irons and golf balls. Note the products we have included cover a range of pricing, but the iron models all fall in the category used by most golfers: game improvement.
Golf Balls Callaway is looking to raise there share of the premium category ball market with the new Chrome Softand Chrome Soft S. Compared with the previous versions there is a larger diameter inner core and a smaller outer core which is made possible by a graphene nano-lattice that improves distance with lower driver spin and higher launch. The two core layers also give more control for mid and short irons plus a thinner urethane cover gives added spin for scoring shots around the green. Chrome Soft is the softer feeling, with somewhat more forgiveness and less tendency for curvature. Chrome Soft X will be available in white and yellow while Chrome Soft is available in four versions of the soccer ball-like Truvis pattern. Pricing is $44.99 per dozen.
Honma makes premium grade clubs and balls and has moved beyond the three, four and five-piece balls from other manufacturers with a six-layer ball, the TW-G6, for those with above average driver swing speeds. The 336-dimple cover is a new soft-spin urethane which encases a second layer of high resilience ionomer. Layer three also has high rebound characteristics while layer four is softer and layer five is the softest around a resilience soft rubber core. The combination of all these layers gives the TW-G6 the added carry distance wanted by higher swing speed players matched with the spin performance needed for control around the greens. Suggested retail $79.99 per dozen.
Srixon brand golf balls are less well known than some of the other brands but there is no doubt about their performance being proven on the worldwide tours. For weekend golfers looking for a durable ball with balanced performance we like the new Srixon Q-Star, a 2-piece ionomer cover with a redesigned and more efficient 338-dimple pattern. The core has been made softer and has a variable stiffness that offers added distance on all clubs from driver through the short irons. Greenside performance is helped by the third iteration of their Spin Skin Coating used on the Z-Star tour-category ball. In white or Tour Yellow pricing is $24.00 dozen.
The NXT Tour and NXT Tour Soft have been replaced by Titleist with the Tour Soft ball that the company found fits nicely into the spectrum of urethane cover balls less expensive than the premium price level. The Tour Soft has the largest core they have ever produced, and the company says, “it’s the softest-feeling golf ball in its category.” The cover is made with a thin urethane by the TCU Process Technology with a new spherically tiled 342-dimple pattern. Responding to consumer preferences found after extensive testing, Tour Soft comes in either white or optic yellow and both are priced at $34.99 dozen.
Irons Titleist slotted the new 718 AP3s between the traditional gameimprovement AP1s and the players-iron AP2s identifying them as “Player’s Distance Irons.” The look at address is traditional with a moderate offset and the sole is medium width. The 3 through and 5 have a hollow blade construction while the 6 iron through pitching wedge have an undercut foam-filled cavity. The faces are Titleist’s thin L-Face design and heads have an average of 84.9 grams of tungsten placed low and in the toe of long and mid irons giving a higher resistance to twisting on off center hits. AP3s with steel shafts are $185 each and with graphite $210.
Ping labelled the G400 irons as their “game enjoyment” model and everything from the look to the performance fits that description. The transition from clubhead to hosel is very clean looking, not the usual “clunky” look in this category. The top rail undercut cavity combines the 18% hotter COR-Eye face for better launch trajectory while sound and feel are helped by a 3-piece plastic badge in the cavity. The looks of the G400 really benefits from Ping’s Hydropearl chrome finish that’s not only pleasing to the eye but according to the company actually reduces friction with the turf by 40%. G400s are $125 per club for steel shafts and $137.50 for graphite shafts.
The first look at the TaylorMade P790s and everyone says what a great look they have. The facts are the forged head besides the appealing address position are a hollow head design filled with TMaG’s SpeedFoam which helps produce a classic sound and feel plus support for the thin face high rebound face. The wrap around face is a little smaller, only 1.74mm in thickness and backed by the variable thickness pattern they call Inverted Cone. This construction creates a sole channel for more flex for low on the face impacts while improving overall forgiveness. Weighting and consequently playability is accomplished with injection molded tungsten to increase the resistance to twisting. A set of 5 iron through pitching wedge with steel shafts is $975. Graphite shafts are $200 additional.
BY ED TRAVIS ome believe there’s no such thing as a training aid that works, but virtually every golf instructor makes use of at least one for his or her students from the beginner to the most advanced player. Pick the right training aid for help with your swing’s problems, and the new season can be your best ever.
FOR THE GREENS First are some aids for a part of the game we all probably can use some help …putting. It’s true much of putting success comes from having confidence, but how do you become confident? A good way is to use a training aid to help build a repeatable, efficient stroke:
Dave Pelz Putting Tutor: $49.99 pelzgolf.com– Two players that really know what they are talking about when it comes to the short game are the former rocket-scientist Dave Pelz and his longtime pupil and Hall of Fame member Phil Mickelson. So, when the two of them collaborate on a putting feedback device it must be something special. The Putting Tutor helps groove your aim, stroke quality and squareness of impact plus hone your green reading skills. A white “AimLine” shows a putt’s starting line and two metal marbles with Standard, Pro and Super settings either stay in place or become dislodged based on the quality of your stroke.
Coach Labs Gen i1: $139.00 geni1.com – High tech comes to putting with the Geni1 “smart” golf ball. The ball tracks a number of metrics and sends the data to an app on your smartphone via a sensor that plugs into the hole at the end of the putter’s grip. You will see initial direction, speed, impact force and ball rotation which then allow you to fix your putting stroke, so you can make every putt (right!!). Great for building confidence and the Geni1 can be connected to the Coach Labs video game so you can compete against friends, anywhere, anytime.
INPUTT: $89.95 inputtgolf.com – Here’s a simple portable putting training aid that identifies and corrects problems in your setup, stance, ball position to remove as many variables as possible. Once these are correct, this very simple board guides the putter on the proper path time and time again to build the muscle memory for a stroke that keeps the putter face square to the intended line.
TaylorMade Spider Interactive: $399 TaylorMadeGolf.com – What do you get when you combine the Spider Tour, TaylorMade’s most popular putter ever, with motion-capture pioneer Blast Motion and Superstroke Golf grips? The answer is the innovative Spider Interactive Powered by Blast that automatically captures valuable stroke metrics in a seamless, non-intrusive design built into the top of the putter’s grip. There’s also a matching mobile app to show you the stroke timing (backstroke time, forward stroke time, tempo), impact stroke speed and face rotation. You will be able to easily analyze each stroke immediately.
MAR/APR 201 20188
FOR THE SWING Some consider the full swing to be something of a mystery, but good players know you create a proper swing by putting together the fundamentals of the setup, take away, downswing and follow through. Training aides can help you accomplish this and they are always there in the future if problems should pop up. Here a few of the most recent swing training aids that we like: SuperSpeed: $199.99 superspeedgolf.com – Every amateur golfer wants to hit the ball farther and the biggest part of achieving more distance is swinging faster. That’s where overspeed training using the SuperSpeed training set is useful. Based on the premise of swinging progressively heavier clubs builds swing speed, the set contains three weighted shafts with grips. One is 20 percent lighter than the normal driver, one 10 percent lighter and one five percent heavier. Following the program three times a week (it takes less than 10 minutes) for four weeks retrains muscles to create more clubhead speed and more distance.
SelfieGolf Phone Clip: $28.95 selfiegolfuse.com – Video is essential to seeing ourselves swing in order to highlight problems that need correction, but when practicing alone shooting a video without a tripod is almost impossible. The Phone Clip solves that by attaching your smartphone to either an alignment stick which is then stuck into the ground or a driver shaft in your bag. Fits all phone sizes.
Impact Improver: $39.95 impactimprover.com – Here’s one of those simple ideas we all wish we had thought of and it’s a great way to improve, indoors in any weather and even if you only have a few minutes. The Impact Improver is a shield with a hook-and-loop surface that attaches to the face of an iron and a ball that sticks upon impact. When you make a swing the ball sticks to the clubface showing where on the face impact occurred allowing you to practice exact center face contact. Simple and easy to use and great for any skill level.
AFRAID OF DOWNHILL LIES? TRY THIS By Dave Pelz
ownhill wedge shots are difficult, and it doesn’t take much of a downhill slope to create a problem. Changing your orientation to the ground by tilting your shoulders is the best solution to hitting downhill shots, as long as the slope isn’t too severe. The solution to a downhill lie: The proper set-up for downhill slopes is to spread your stance (feet) more than normal to provide a wider base, then lean forward to get your spine closer to perpendicular to the sloping ground (see the image below showing the set up position compared to normal). This will also place a disproportionate and unusual loading on your forward leg, knee and ankle, and make keeping your balance as you swing a real challenge. Because this forward weight distribution is unusual doesn’t mean it’s wrong. In fact, for downhill trouble lies, it’s the exact position you need to maintain through impact in order to execute a successful, powerful escape from this lie. Set your shoulders parallel to the ground, keep your balance as well as you can on your backswing, then make a good throughswing. Allow yourself to walk forward on your follow-through to keep from falling. You can play the ball in the middle of your stance (or slightly back in your stance if you want to provide a little “fudge margin,” to avoid hitting the shot fat), and plan on the ball coming out low and running longer than normal once on the ground.
When the slope is severe: When the downslope gets too steep to stand with your shoulders parallel to the ground, make a walkthrough finish. Stand vertically, but setup aiming way left. Open your clubface and hit a cut shot from the sidehill lie you’ve created (see the set up in the Golfer’s Eye View photo above). Aiming far left changes the downhill lie to a sidehill lie, with the ball below your feet. This is still not an easy shot, but if you don’t catch the heel of your wedge on the ground before impact, you can hit a cut slice around your target. Practicing this in the mirror is a great way to internalize the adjustments and the feel of swinging form the proper position. Now you’re getting the feel of putting your body into position (wide stance and minimum spine tilt or lean) to make good solid escape swings from sloping lies. Good Scoring to You!
34 MAR/APR 2018
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YOUR GAME. ONLY BETTER.
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THE MODERN TAKE AWAY By John Burckle
oday’s PGA tour pros don’t take the club back like they used to. So many of the young tour stars start the backswing not allowing the toe of the club to rotate open as most of us were taught. The modern pro keeps the toe of the club facing the ball which to most of us would feel hooded or closed. The right arm doesn’t fold under but stays higher than the left. Notice in these pictures of today’s young stars how the club face is parallel to their spine angles on the take away. This is a modern day square position. Doing this keeps the club in front of us which is what we want. Most amateur golfers roll the toe open as the club goes back causing the club to get inside and unfortunately opening the club face which results in trying to close the club face on the down swing. If you can learn to take the club back like the modern tour pro of today your hands will feel much quieter in the swing allowing the club face to square up at impact far easier and improve your game.
JOHN BURCKLE has 27 years of professional playing experience, including the PGA Tour, Nationwide Tour, Asian Tour and local mini tour events. He has 20 years of teaching experience with students ranging from PGA Tour players to beginners. John Burckle is director of Instruction at Golf Lab Academy in Santa Ana. Contact John at email@example.com
36 MAR/APR 2018
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GOLF & TRAVEL: SAN DIEGO
San Diego County
Park Hyatt Aviara Resort
KIA CLASSIC Even you guys know it - the gals today can really play, and can really hit it. So do yourself and the ladies in your life a big favor and round up the posse for an extended interaction with this year’s Kia Classic, scheduled for March 22–25 at the Aviara Golf Club. Not only are all the top players expected to be on hand as they tune up for the season first major, the ANA Inspiration, but the ANA professional field will actually be finalized based on the results at the Kia Classic. So it’s a high-stakes affair at one of the top courses on the tour. Plan accordingly.
LA COSTA RESORT AND SPA One could talk about who did what where on what tour in what year, and how many accolades the golf courses at La Costa have garnered over the years, but here’s the most important things to know before booking a golf vacation there - both the Legends and the Champions Courses are among the most beautiful, most challenging, and well-manicured resort golf experiences you’ll ever come across. Yes, the resort was a PGA Tour staple for years, and the LPGA’s best have even had their cracks at it recently. But for sheer San Diego area resort golf, and 36 holes of it, in a Garden of Eden-type setting, La Costa has to be on everyone’s must-play-while-in-the-area list.
Park Hyatt Aviara Golf Club 7447 Batiquitos Dr. Carlsbad, CA 92011 www.kiaclassic.com (760) 603-6900
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd. Carlsbad, CA 92009 www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa/golf (760) 438-9111
OMNI LA COSTA RESORT AND SPA If you’re going to play La Costa, go on and treat yourself and stay there. La Costa’s history is long and interesting, and you can be a part of it. There are over 600 sun-splashed accommodations spread throughout the property, augmented by 17 hard and clay tennis courts, eight swimming pools (including an adult pool and a water slide), The Spa at La Costa, the world headquarters of the Chopra Center, and over 100,000 square feet of meeting space. Don’t forget, there’s a couple of pretty good golf courses there you might want to have a look at. If you’re hungry, no need to call for the car with five dining options to satisfy all tastes and all situations on property - Bob’s Steak and Chop House, Diversion’s Sports Lounge, Vue, the Marketplace, the Spa Cafe, and the Splash Cafe. You might find you like your room so much, room service is a perfectly legitimate option.
BUONA FORCHETTA You won’t have to ask around long for San Diego’s best Italian food before the name Buona Forchetta pops up. Best local hangout in South Park? Buona Forchetta. San Diego’s best calzone? Buono Forchetta. San Diego’s best pizza? Buono Forchetta. Critics and locals agree, if you want to have your Italian socks knocked off, this is the spot. The restaurant prides itself on its custom-built oven named (yes, they named their oven) Sofia, which cooks at 700 to 1000-degrees Fahrenheit, and the owners claim this is the only way to properly prepare their Neapolitan pizzas. Don’t get the impression they only do pizza - after all, it’s a pizzeria-ristorante-vineria, so utilize all three.
2100 Costa Del Mar Rd. Carlsbad, CA 92009 www.omnihotels.com/hotels/san-diego-la-costa (760) 438-9111
3001 Beech St. San Diego, CA 92102 www.buonaforchettasd.com (619) 381-4844
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501 AVENIDA VAQUERO, SAN CLEMENTE, CA 92672 (949) 492-1177 • WWW.SHORECLIFFSGOLFCLUB.COM MAR/APR 2018
GOLF & TRAVEL: ORANGE COUNTY
GET OUT: HEISLER PARK We think park spaces are underused in general, but Heisler Park may be the exception, and you’ll see why during your first visit. The park occupies a slice of land between Aster St. and Diver’s Cove, perched on the cliffs above the Pacific. There are scattered works of public art, walking trails, gardens, and a gazebo that’s quite popular with photographers, brides, and grooms. And if you want to find the perfect bench to just hang out and be, you might find it here. It might even be the actual Rock Bench, located just behind the darling little Heisler Park Amphitheater. And yes, there is a stairway down to the beach. 375 Cliff Dr. Laguna Beach, CA 92651h www.visitlagunabeach.com/listings/Heisler-Park/1563/ (949) 497-0716
EAT OUT THE CLIFF When you think of restaurants in California, many might think of a white building clinging to the cliffs above the crashing ocean, basking in sun and serving the freshest seafood and California culinary creations. Others might think of an adobe building in the sunny desert, with Saltillo tile, tile rooftops, creamy chicken enchiladas, and all sorts of crazy Baja California fusion dishes. The Cliff is the former. Sipping wine on one of the patios at The Cliff while sock-less and wearing stylish sunglasses scores maximum California points. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all scenic, compelling, and tasty. For the adventurous pallet, The Cliff offers the kind of sea-meets-imagination dishes so many Californians - and part-time Californians - crave. 577 S Coast Hwy Laguna Beach, CA 92651 www.thecliffrestaurant.com (949) 494-1956
HOTEL INDIGO ANAHEIM While San Francisco takes advantage of its counterculture culture to create a vibe, the Hotel Indigo in Anaheim is channeling its inner farmer. The ultra-modern, mixed media exterior is balanced by agriculturally-inspired touches and images within, reflecting on the area’s history - it is, after all, Orange County. Adults will enjoy Chambers Bar and Bistro and the fitness facility, while the kiddos will dig the classy pool. It’s within walking distance of the Anaheim Convention Center and Disneyland, so sophisticates of all ages will be satisfied.
OAK CREEK GOLF CLUB Oooooooh baby. There’s great golf in Southern California, and then there’s special golf. A round at Oak Creek qualifies for special. The green fee will let you know that, but in the end, you may find you’ve gotten your money’s worth and more. Because it’s an Irvine Company property, you know it’s going to be topnotch just like its sister courses at Pelican Hill. Like its sister courses at Pelican Hill, it’s a Tom Fazio design. However, unlike the coastal setting at Pelican Hill, Oak Creek utilizes the naturally-hilly terrain just inland from the coast to create a course that would make Texans swear they’re in the Hill Country west of Austin. The place also has a pretty darn fancy range that’s lit up until 10 p.m. every night and offers a practice facility membership for those who like to practice at first-class facilities, as well as play them.
2705 Spyglass Drive, 435 W Katella Ave. Anaheim, CA 92802 www.ihg.com/hotelindigo (714) 772-7755
1 Golf Club Dr. Irvine, CA 92618 www.oakcreekgolfclub.com (949) 653-5300
GOLF & TRAVEL: THE DESERT
DON'T MISS: ANA INSPIRATION The best field in women’s golf will assemble once again for the first major championship of the 2018 golf season when the LPGA’s top players, top amateurs, and special qualifiers gather for the ANA Inspiration March 29-April 1 at its traditional home, Mission Hills Country Club. The tournament is well-known for generating some sort of amazing drama, and it usually happens on the par -5 18th on Sunday, where hole-outs, eagles, and short missed putts have all factored in the tournament’s recent history. The tournament always concludes with its famous tradition - the winner and her entourage make the plunge into Poppie’s Pond, the swimming pool-like feature that doubles as a water hazard right of the 18th green.
PLAY DESERT DUNES GOLF CLUB When golfers come to the Coachella Valley, it’s easy to get caught up in the La Quinta-Palm Desert-Rancho Mirage scene. It’s true, there’s a heavy concentration of high-quality golf courses there. But outside the friendly confines of the valley, north of the 10, lies a true golf gem for those who dare to venture into Desert Hot Springs. Desert Dunes is a constantlychallenging Robert Trent Jones Jr. course that lies just across the way from all those huge fans you see in publicity photos of Palm Springs. Some will say if you arrive and cannot open your car door (because of the wind), don’t get out. But you shouldn’t let local bluster like that stop you from taking it on - it’s not like Jones Jr. didn’t know how to design for prevailing winds. And if you get one of those golden, windless days while you’re there, take advantage and shoot a score that will encourage you to extend that day in the bar, where other lovers of the course await your stories of conquest. 9300 Palm Dr. Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240 desertdunesgc.com (760) 251-5370
Mission Hills Country Club 34600 Mission Hills Dr. Rancho Mirage, CA 92270 www.anainspiration.com (760) 324-9400
STAY: MORONGO CASINO RESORT Come on, you know you’ve been driving down the 10 and seen the Morongo Casino Resort rising up over the desert, and said to yourself: “Self, that looks like great fun. We’ve got to stay and play there one day.” Well, the MCR is ready when you are. Yes, it’s as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside, with 272 rooms and 36 suites on 27 floors, offering commanding views of the stark desert on either side of the tower. That doesn’t include the Casitas at the Oasis, luxury accommodations with private swimming pools. There’s the crazy-elaborate Oasis Pool, a handful restaurants AND a food court, at least three bars including the VIBE Nightclub, and of course, the 148,000-square foot casino. If you’ve still got the energy and time after all that, you might want to inquire about the Morongo at Tukwet golf courses, where resort guests enjoy resort rates. 49500 Seminole Dr. Cabazon, CA 92230 morongocasinoresort.com (951) 849-3080
GET OUT: IOA CHAMPIONSHIP PRESENTED BY MORONGO CASINO The Symetra Tour, the official developmental tour of the LPGA, will scarcely be underway in 2018 when the gals return to the IOA Championship, once again conducted at the Morongo at Tukwet facility in Beaumont. This year’s event will be the second on the 2018 Symetra Tour schedule, and one skillful - and possibly lucky - participant will hope to get their season started in the same manner as Daniela Darquea of Quito, Ecuador did in 2017. Darquea made birdie on the 18th hole in last year’s event to shoot a final-round 67, good for a threeshot win over Benyapa Niphatsophon and Anne-Catherine Tanguay. Morongo at Tukwet 36211 Champions Dr. Beaumont, CA 92223 www.symetratour.com/tournaments/ioa-championship/overview (951) 845-0014
Come see the future stars of the LPGA at Tukwet Canyon Golf Club, Beaumont, CA
APRIL 6-8, 2018
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36211 Champions Dr, Beaumont, CA 92223 | www.ioachampionship.com
GOLF & TRAVEL: LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles County EAT OUT NORM’S Yes, it’s a chain. But it’s our chain. Former used car salesman Norm Roybark opened his first restaurant in 1949 near Sunset and Vine, and there are now 17 locations in the greater Los Angeles area serving comfort foods, grilled favorites, fountain items, desserts, and breakfast. The decor is intentionally mid-century greasy spoon (there are booths, tables, and counters), the portions are, for lack of a better term, “Texassized,” and the quality of the product is consistent from location to location. Of course, Norm’s knows life happens 24 hours a day in the Los Angeles area, so every location operates ‘round the clock, seven days a week. There’s a location near you in Southern California, and the website will help you find it. Locations throughout the Los Angeles area www.normsrestaurants.com
GET OUT: SANTA ANITA PARK Remember when you used to go to Las Vegas and feel like a comfortable stranger in town, and you could become a different mysterious gambler just by walking across the street to another casino? That’s sort of the feeling you can still get at Santa Anita Park. On a first visit, patrons can quickly assume the role of the bleacher rat who’s skipped out of work just to catch the five-race card on a Friday afternoon. The classic facility screams art deco, having opened on Christmas Day 1934, and has hosted eight Breeder’s Cups. The joint underwent a $15 million renovation in 2013, but it’s generallyunmolested appearance has been used in many a Hollywood film, including, appropriately, “Seabiscuit” in 2002. 285 Huntington Dr. Arcadia, CA 91007 www.santaanita.com (626) 574-7223
HOLLYWOOD BOWL Come on, really. If you love golf, it doesn’t matter if you’re a member at the snootiest club in Southern California, or play a majority of your rounds at an “upscale” daily fee course, there’s nothing like the feeling of playing at a fully-outfitted, big city-owned municipal course. Los Angeles is fortunate to have Rancho Park, a 6,600-yard, par 71 course opened in 1949 and designed by William Johnson and William P. “Billy” Bell. While the period-example golf course is the main attraction, Rancho Park has the goods to keep you all day, including a coffee shop and full-sized driving range with covered hitting spaces. It’s stationed in a densely-populated area of West L.A., so gather up a foursome of friends and prepare to take it as it comes.
VENICE BEACH SUITES Like the vibe on Ocean Front Walk, a.k.a The Venice Beach Boardwalk? Why not stay there? Take the elevator or stairs down from your room at the Venice Beach Suites, pop out the front door, and there you are, right tin the middle of one of the world’s great scenes. A suite accommodation in the front of the hotel guarantees a bird’s-eye view of the action below, and an expansive view of Venice Beach and the Pacific Ocean beyond. The owners of the hotel are constantly improving what needs to be improved, while keeping alive the older touches that make the building burst with character, like the old-school “cage”-style elevator. Make sure you shut the gate completely behind you as a courtesy to other guests.
2301 N Highland Ave Los Angeles, CA 90068 www.hollywoodbowl.com (323) 850-2000
1305 Ocean Front Walk Venice, CA 90291 www.venicebeachsuites.com (310) 396-4559
Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club is an incredible 240-acre golf club that is ready for you to experience. Enjoy lunch or cocktails at O’Neill’s Bar & Grill. Schedule your special event in our beautiful Trabuco Ballroom that overlooks the 18th hole. 26772 Avery Parkway Mission Viejo, CA 92692 | 949.305.5100 | www.arroyotrabuco.com
THE OLDEST AND FAVORITE GOLF COURSE IN O.C. Centrally located in O.C. Willowick Golf Course offers a classic layout and reasonable prices! Huge bar and restaurant.
$26 GOLF AND LUNCH!
INCLUDES GREEN FEE, HOTDOG & SODA.*
Use WILLOWICK18 to book online or present coupon at front desk. *$39 w/ cart. Not valid weekdays & holidays. Expires 4/30/18
3017 W 5th St, Santa Ana, CA 92703 • www.willowickgolf.com • 714-554-0672 MAR/APR 2018
GOLF & TRAVEL: CENTRAL COAST
BAYONET BLACKHORSE While its neighbors across the bay have always thrived, luring golfers from across the country and around the world, the two courses at Fort Ord sort of muddled along. Oh they were classics all right, originally built in 1954 (Bayonet) and 1964 (Blackhorse) for base play, and still useful. The City of Seaside bought the facility in 1997, and around 10 years later, brought in Gene Bates to redesign all 36 holes. The facility went from having two sort of ho-hum courses, choked by the native trees that make the Monterey Peninsula special, into two world-class plays, complete with amazing views of Monterey Bay. Stay-and-play packages are available through a handful of nearby select hotels.
THE CLASSIC AT PISMO BEACH CAR SHOW There are classic car shows all around this great country, but the ones in California always seem to have just that little bit more flair. That’s certainly the case at The Classic at Pismo Beach car show, set for June 1-3 in downtown Pismo Beach, where the streets are closed down just for the event. Now entering its 32nd year, the show features galas, live music, plenty of food and drink, and of course, lots and lots of the finest vehicles ever produced. Potential participants, right down to weekend visitors, can find all the information they need at the show’s website.
1 McClure Way Seaside, CA 93955 www.bayonetblackhorse.com (831) 899-7271
150 Pomeroy Ave. Downtown Pismo Beach, CA 93449 www.theclassicatpismobeach.com (951) 801-2334
BIG SUR RIVER INN The story of Big Sur River Inn is the story of Big Sur. Brave pioneers started an inn, eventually built a gas station, and when the paved road came through, so did the tourists. Since 1934, Big Sur River Inn has been known as the quintessential Big Sur accommodation, passing through different family ownerships before being modernized into the inn we see today. However, one should expect to rough it properly, and carry their story-telling abilities with them, as the lodge is happily television-free. Many visitors choose to tell their stories in Adirondack chairs that actually sit in the river, a tradition that stretches back decades.
EDDIE’S GRILL Ask a local in Lompoc where the best place to eat in town is, and they’ll ask you if you eat meat. If you say yes, chances are they’ll direct you to Eddie’s. Not that a vegetarian can’t find something to eat - the menu actually has a wide variety of salads, and wraps with healthy proteins. But it’s the meat thing that drives most patrons to the table, looking for Eddie’s famous sandwiches and burgers. There are 11 styles of burger to choose from, including the Santa Barbara Burger, the restaurant’s take on the traditional Theta burger. If you’re a little further up the central coast, there’s another Eddie’s location in San Luis Obispo.
46800 California 1 Big Sur, CA 93920 www.bigsurriverinn.com (831) 667-2700
1325 N H St Lompoc, CA 93436 www.eddiesgrills.com (805) 735-4488
GOLF & TRAVEL: SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA
San Francisco Bay Area GET OUT: WENTE VINEYARDS If you’re in California, why keep yourself from visiting "the oldest continuously operating, family-owned winery in the United States”? Don’t do it. The Wente Estate, a California Historical Landmark, is located in Livermore, just west of Pleasanton beyond the East Bay, and a fifth generation of family members are currently turning out some of “the best quality wines we’ve ever grown.” There are tours, tasting rooms, shops, and even 18 holes of golf at The Course at Wente Vineyards to keep everyone busy. Once you’ve taken in the Wente Vineyards experience, it’s easy to stay in touch through one of its wine clubs. 5565 Tesla Rd. Livermore, CA 94550 wentevineyards.com (925) 456-2305
STAY: PLAY GOLDEN GATE PARK GOLF COURSE Yup, it’s a par-3 course and we don’t usually recommend those. But we are here, simply for the fact that the course exists within one of the most amazing urban spaces in the continental 48 states. Golden Gate Park may be the only public park in the country that can hang with New York’s Central Park, and it’s towering trees and verdant flowers make it a true wonderland in the heart of the city. Along with Stow Lake, the Conservatory of Flowers, the Polo Field, it’s Botanical Gardens, and old Kezar Stadium, there’s also the par-3 course based in the western end of the park near the Dutch Windmill, just a stone’s throw from the beach. With holes ranging from 101 to 194 yards, the course is also one of the home bases of the First Tee of San Francisco. 970 47th Ave San Francisco, CA 94121 www.goldengateparkgolf.com (415) 751-8987
HOTEL ZEPPELIN We love San Francisco’s willingness to hang on to, and even perpetuate, it’s homegrown counterculture movement. Hotel Zeppelin, conveniently located within walking distance of Union Square, checks a lot of the boxes that makes the city what it is. The traditional exterior belies the avant-garde meets mid-century modern interior that awaits guests. There are an assortment of room sizes and styles to choose from, and even the suites typically clock in under $300 per night. The Mantel Bar and The Den game room bolster the hotel’s whimsical attitude. 545 Post St. San Francisco, CA 94102 www.viceroyhotelsandresorts.com/en/zeppelin (415) 563-0303
PLAY RIVERSIDE GOLF COURSE If you’ve grown tired of too-frequent visits to Tom Fazio’s sprawling green and bunker complexes, or you’re weary hoisting yourself out of Tom Lehman/John Fought bunkers, take that trip to Fresno and try out Riverside Golf Course. Riverside is an unmolested William P. “Billy” Bell design, a perfect example of what Bell was famous for. While the course has never been remodeled, the greens’ subsoil has been brought up to current USGA standards. Built in 1939 as a Works Progress Administration project for the city of Fresno - part of the reason it’s known as the “Big Muni” - it’s literally the golf course built by the public, for the public, and priced for the public. 7492 North Riverside Dr. Fresno, CA 93722 www.playriverside.com (559) 275-5900
SCPGA JUNIOR TOUR 2018 MEMBERSHIP SCPGA FOUNDATION
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GET BACK ON YOUR FEET ARE YOU SUFFERING FROM ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS IN YOUR LEGS, FEET, OR HANDS? • NUMBNESS OR TINGLING SENSATION • PAIN, GENERALLY DESCRIBED AS STABBING, BURNING, OR SHOOTING PAIN • WEAKNESS IN LEGS • LOSS OF BALANCE AND COORDINATION • INCREASED SENSITIVITY TO TOUCH
An estimated 20 million people in the United States have some form of Peripheral Neuropathy, a condition that develops as a result of damage to the peripheral nervous system. - National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
Peripheral neuropathy is a serious and often debilitating condition which can get worse if left undiagnosed and untreated. It is important to seek appropriate care immediately. Our non-invasive, non-surgical, state-of-the-art, painless treatments have a proven success rate. To see if you are a candidate for treatment we are offering a Consultation with the Doctor for $99 and the first 2 treatments at no charge. (Medicare rules apply. New patients only.)
Contact us at 818-824-8244 or visit www.LAPainLaserCenter.com to make an appointment. Dr. Jeffrey D. Katlein, DC
14622 VENTURA BLVD. STE. 205 • SHERMAN OAKS, CALIFORNIA MAR/APR 2018
BE COOL LIKE TIGER, JACK AT HISTORIC LAS VEGAS NATIONAL
ENJOY VALUE, RIDE GOLF BOARDS OR GOLF SCOOTERS PLUS EXPERIENCE HISTORY IN THE HEART OF VEGAS By Brian Hurlburt, LasVegasGolfInsider.com as Vegas National Golf Club—located just minutes from the Las Vegas Strip--has been a favorite of visitors and local golfers since its debut in 1961, when it was known as the Stardust Country Club. Since then, the names who have stalked the traditional, tree-lined fairways during PGA Tour and LPGA Tour events, and friendly rounds with most likely a wager on the line, include Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Mickey Wright and many, many more. There’s so much history at the National that the official Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame exhibit is located in the clubhouse and is free and open during business hours. In the exhibit is the first PGA Tour trophy Woods ever won, historic photos from Vegas’ Golden Years and much more. Enjoy the his-
tory prior to or following your round while enjoying food and libations in the Rat Pack Bar and Grill. But make no mistake, this course, and its management and ownership, aren’t stuck in the past as they continually look to the future to deliver a true, Vegas golf value experience. The course was among the first in the United States to offer a full fleet of Golf Boards (think surfing while golfing) and now the course also offers the ultra-cool Golf Scooters (think riding a Harley while golfing). “We definitely have a variety of ways for players to enjoy themselves during their round,” said Joe Kelly, director of sales and marketing and a member of the Las Vegas Golf Hall of Fame. “We have golf carts. We have pull carts if they are looking to get in a little exercise. We have 20 Golf Boards and two Golf Scooters to add a little more fun to their round. We’re only a half-mile from
the Strip and there’s easy access from the freeway. We have great conditions, tree-lined fairways and a variety of distances to challenge players. It’s just an all-around great facility to play golf.” Las Vegas National was designed by Bert Stamps, and is a par-71 layout. The aforementioned tree-lined fairways not only transport players back to a simpler time, but offer nearly complete shade throughout a round at National. The trees shadow the tee boxes, fairways and greens, and on those warmer Vegas days, playing here is much cooler than other area courses that are wide open to the sun and other elements. Deals and value is also the name of the game at National. Readers who mention California Golf+Travel Magazine will receive a FREE golf board rental with their paid round of golf. Visit LasVegasNational.com, follow their social media or call 866-6951961.
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50 MAR/APR 2018
California Golf + Travel March/April 2018