February 13, 2015
My first business trip of 2015 was to the Los Angeles area. I made sure to build a few extra days in to play both courses at Pelican Hill, as well as Trump National Los Angeles. I had been offered a chance to play Riviera C.C., but paying almost $1,000 for one round of golf not named Augusta, Pine Valley, or Cypress Point just isn't in the cards.
I was able to secure a good deal on a one night package that included a round of golf on the north course the day of arrival and a round on the south course the following day. The room was fantastic! After checking in, I made my way to my room and found a truly luxurious room with a great view from the balcony. After a round of golf and dinner, I picked up a bottle of red wine and watched the sunset from the balcony.
|The walkway to the villas.|
|A look into the one bed room from the foyer.|
|A look out onto the balcony.|
|A view of the clubhouse veranda.|
|The view from my table.|
|The sitting area in the front of the locker room.|
|The gentleman's locker room at Pelican Hill GC.|
On the previous day, my playing partners were a married couple from Michigan. Chris and Lindsey were awesome company for the round, and as it turns out, pretty darn good golfers as well. They had some college golf experience under the belts and they both played a fantastic round. It was fun watching first hand how two really good golfers attack a course. Not only did we share golf stories, we shared stories about being parents as well. I hope that our paths cross again one day.
|The tee marker found on each tee box.|
|The flag found on each hole of the South Course.|
The first hole is a 429 yard par 4 that plays downhill toward the ocean. If comfortable, you want to hit an aggressive tee shot down the right side and let it roll back toward center. You do want to be wary of the right-side fairway bunker as it sits 250 yards or so from the tee box and is easily reachable downhill, even for short to medium hitters.
|A look down the fairway from the 1st tee box.|
|A closer look towards the 1st green.|
|A look into the 1st green from 75 yards out.|
|A look down the fairway from the 2nd tee box.|
|A look into the 2nd green from 100 yards out.|
|A closer look into he 2nd green.|
The third hole is another short par 4 that plays to 334 yards. It is a dogleg right with the turn around the 240 yard mark so a 3-wood or hybrid played down the left is likely the best play off the tee. The two-tiered green is protected by two bunkers in the front, making club selection important if you want a good score.
|A look down the fairway from the 3rd tee box.|
|A look into the 3rd green from 75 yards out.|
|A look back onto the 3rd green from the hill behind it.|
The fourth hole is a par 3 that plays downhill to the green 142 yards away. Even if the wind, that usually blows from your back, isn't significant, the hole is still going to play a good bit shorter than the yardage indicates. The two-tiered green has traps located on the right side and behind it.
|A closer look into the 4th green.|
|A look onto the green from the 4th tee box.|
The fifth hole is a par 4, dogleg right that plays to 340 yards. The best approach is to the left as right is a deep valley that is a penalty in the making. My natural fade was perfect for this hole. A deep bunker guards the front right of the green, while the back has a sharp drop off to the cliff. I don';t remember a flat lie anywhere on this hole.
|A look down the fairway from the 5th tee box.|
|A look into the 5th green from 100 yards out.|
The sixth hole is a par 4 that plays uphill to 402 yards. The left side of the fairway has bunkers that start around the 230 mark so a play to the center or right is advisable. You will probably want to take an extra club for the approach shot to the elevated green. The green itself is fairly large and tilts front to back, allowing for a shot hit onto the surface to hold and not roll back down hill.
|A look down the fairway from the 6th tee box.|
|A look into the 6th green from 75 yards out.|
The seventh hole was my second favorite on the course. It is a par 3 that plays to 177 yards. The two-tiered green is guarded on three sides by sand, and there is water along the left. If the wind is blowing in, it swirls around the green, making for a tricky shot. Left center on the green is the best option.
|A look into the green from the 7th tee box.|
The eighth hole is a 552 yard, par 5 that plays slightly uphill. You want to hit the tee shot down the right side of the fairway to take advantage of the right-to-left slope. There are bunkers on the left (235 yards) and right (260 yards) sides of the fairway, but since the shot is uphill, these may or may not come into play. But, you want to at least be aware of them as they are partially concealed. The two-tiered green is very similar to the first hole as it is long and runs right to left. It is also guarded by a large sand trap on the left side.
|A look down the fairway from the 8th tee box,|
|A look into the 8th green from 180 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 8th green.|
The ninth hole is a par 4 that plays to 455 yards. You will want to keep your drive well right as the fairway slopes right-to-left towards a large, 40 yard long bunker that is around the 220 yard mark from the tee box. The green is slightly elevated, and has multiple tiers and a false front, so make sure to take plenty of club for the approach shot.
|A look down the fairway from the 9th tee box,|
|A look into the 9th green from 100 yards out.|
The tenth hole is a par 4 that plays to 440 yards uphill. There is plenty of room on the right side of the fairway to land the tee shot. The green is guarded by a bunker on the right so aim for the left side of the green and leave yourself a decent putt for birdie.
|A look down the fairway from the 10th tee box.|
|A look into the 10th green from 75 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 10th green.|
The eleventh hole is my favorite on the course. It is a par 4 that plays 350 yards towards the ocean. It is protected by trees and bunkers along the right side so hit the tee shot left. The green is guarded by dune-like bunkers on the right side and along the back.
|A look down the fairway from the 11th tee box.|
|A look into the 11th green from 140 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 11th green.|
The twelfth hole is a par 3 that plays to 154 yards. Bunkers on the left and right guard this two-tiered green so a shot to the middle is probably the best approach to a birdie.
|A look into the green from the 12th tee box.|
The thirteenth is an interesting par 3 that plays to 125 yards. It has two different greens separated by a large sand trap. Both greens are protected by a lot of sand, and if the wind is blowing in, makes for a very difficult hole. Make sure to check the yardage for whichever green is in use for that day.
|A look into the double greens from the 13th tee box.|
|A look down the coastline behind the 13th tee box,|
|A look down the coastline from the left side of the tee box.|
The fourteenth hole is a par 5 that plays to 517 yards. Trees and bunkers line the right side of the fairway so keep the tee shot left. The multi-level green undulates from left to right so make sure you note where the flag sits so you give yourself the best putt for birdie.
|A look down the fairway from the 14th tee box.|
|A look towards the 14th green from 160 yards out.|
|A closer look at the 14th green.|
The 15th hole is a dog- leg right, par 4 that plays uphill 383 yards. The right side of the fairway is your aiming point as the trap on the left starts around the 230 yard mark. The elevated, two-tiered green is protected by coastal sage scrub and bunkers on the right and trees on the left.
|A look down the fairway from the 15th tee box.|
|A look towards the green near the turn of the dogleg.|
|A closer look at the 15th green.|
The 16th hole is a par 3 that plays to 208 yards. The long green is flanked on both sides by bunkers and slopes from back to front. If the breeze is up, an extra club is a must here.
|A look into the green from the 16th tee box.|
The seventeenth hole is a par 5 that plays to 557 yards. A 60 yard bunker, starting at the 195 yard mark, guards the right, while trees guard the left. You want to make sure to favor the left side on your second shot to have the best look into the green. Bunkers guard both sides of the green.
|A look down the fairway from the 17th tee box.|
|A look into the green from 150 yards out.|
|A closer look onto the 17th green.|
|A look back onto the 17th green from the hill behind it.|
The eighteenth hole is a par 4 that plays to 440 yards. It is a very interesting design as the fairway is an island surrounded completely by large valleys. Once you hit across the valley to it, you then have to hit across another valley to reach the green. The right-to-left sloping green is protected on both sides by bunkers and has a false front. It makes for a very challenging finishing hole.
|A look down the fairway from the 18th tee box.|
|A look into the 18th green from 130 yards out.|
After the round, I had a few ales on the veranda and waited for the sun to go down. It was well worth the wait.
|A look at the sunset from the clubhouse veranda.|
On a side note, the unranked North Course does hold the distinction of appearing in The World's 500 Greatest Golf Holes and is ranked as one of the best Par 5s in the world, as well as one of the 18 most scenic holes anywhere on the planet.
|Hole 17 at the North Course.|
|Hole 17 at the North Course.|