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Bay Aquarium; in Carmel By-the-Sea, music and art festivals; ubiquitous wine tours/tastings; over 60 restaurants, bistros and pubs; as well as nonstop boutique shopping and endless miles of beach along the pristine Pacific Ocean. Ed Vyeda, who covered golf for the


Monterey Herald and Santa Cruz Sentinel for over three decades, knows the courses on the Peninsula like the back of his hand. And, yes, Vyeda loves Pebble and Spyglass, but he also knows the hidden gems, which cost a lot less to play in the summertime. “One of the real sleepers is Del Monte


Golf Course, which just happens to be the oldest continuously running club west of the Mississippi (River),” noted Vyeda, who now works for Hunter Public Relations in Carmel. “It’s old (built in 1897), classic (English architect Claude Maud), beautiful, always in great shape. “A lot of golf course, especially for the


$100 green fee you’ll pay.” Actually, it’s $110 plus cart fee,


which is a very reasonable rate for the Peninsula. Pebble will cost you $495 plus caddie, Spyglass will hit you for $395 plus cart, the Links at Spanish Bay is $280 plus cart, and Poppy Hills $250 plus cart. But as Vyeda pointed out, there


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are some other bargains on the Peninsula that need to be checked out. “We have so many great courses


within the 17-Mile Drive and a little beyond,” he explained. “Like Laguna Seca Golf Ranch, the Bayonet and Black Horse courses at what used to be Fort Ord, Carmel Valley Ranch and even little Pacific Grove Golf Links, which many refer to as a “poor man’s Pebble Beach” because the back nine meanders along the ocean. “All of those I just mentioned are


around $100 or even lower, such as Pacific Grove which is a muni (city-owned golf course) you can play in the afternoon for as low as $25. Yeah, it’s expensive to play the best golf courses at Pebble, but if you look around, there are some real deals out there.” Another course that Vyeda likes a


lot is Quail Lodge Golf Club, where not only are the golf course and clubhouse stunning after recent renovations, but so is the lodge, which also has been updated and totally “California-ized.” “It’s another great old golf course and


lodge with lots of character,” Vyeda said. “People don’t know a lot about it because it’s secluded toward the valley and a couple of miles inland.


The spectacular No. 3 hole at Spyglass Hill Golf Course is one of those rare moments that make golf on the Monterey Peninsula so special. Even though the green fee is $395 plus cart, many feel Spyglass rivals nearby Pebble Beach Golf Links.


“It’s not super luxury like Pebble or


Spanish Bay, but it very, very nice, and it’s one of the originals, where the rest of the community has grown up around it.” One of golf’s classic architects, Robert


Muir Graves, created Quail Lodge Golf Course in 1964. In all, Graves built 36 courses in California, including such classics as Lake Merced in San Francisco, Big Canyon Country Club in Newport Beach and Northstar at Tahoe. He is considered by many to be pioneer of landscape architecture in golf. Quail Lodge certainly falls into that


colorful, natural beauty category. But according to Craig Barkdull, the director of sales and marketing for the resort, there is a long list of amenities that ultimately make Quail Lodge a “fantastic property for Arizonans to get away to in the summer.” “First of all there’s the weather, which


usually is very mild and soothing in the summer, running from the mid to high


SPRING 2016 | AZ GOLF Insider | 37


EVAN SCHILLER


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