Back home now in cold, wet and windy Scotland, needless to say it was the best trip i've ever been on; wall to wall sunshine and 6 incredible courses.
I'm really pleased how I struck the ball, hit driver well, hit alot of greens but didn't putt my best. We were extremely fortunate where we were able to play and the hosts and people we were paired up with were all very friendly.
The flight over was fine. We drove down to Monterey on Saturday night and got a little sleep before our 6.30am tee off time at Pebble Beach.
Pebble was simply amazing. The front 9 is the best 9 I have ever played. I birdied 6 and 7 which was nice, and 8,9,10 are stunning golf holes. The back 9 is very nice in it's own right, it's just not quite as epic as the front!
We then stayed at The Inn at Spanish Bay for 2 nights. We had to do this to get a teet time at Pebble. I'm not a fancy hotel person, and while it was very nice with service to match, it was fairly eye wateringly expensive. Worth it though for a once in a lifetime game at Pebble.
Day 2 was Pasatiempo. I heard alot of good things about this course before playing and I have to agree the layout is excellent. The par 3s in particular are lovely, and the condition of the course was great. They had just redesigned/relaid all the tees, but after just a week you would hardly know they had been touched.
Day 3 was the big one for me, Cypress Point. Safe to say it was the best golf experience of my life. It was everything I imagined and more, a superb layout combined with possibly the most spectacular location in the world of golf. I was so pleased that my golf was as good as it gets here, I hit 14 greens and scored great apart from 16 which is unbelievably hard. We played from the back tees, and after nearly holing my tee shot at 15, on a high I strode to 16 and proceeded to pump 3 balls into the pacific ocean! I now understand why Hogan, all but once, used to hit his tee shot to the bailout short left and attempted to make par from there.
After golf at Cypress we headed back up to San Francisco as checked into our Air b n b villa for 3 nights. This turned out to be an excellent choice, both for the driveway parking and for the proximity to our golf. We were 3 minutes drive from each of the next 2 courses, and had we stayed in downtown we would have strruggled to make it through traffic during morning rush hour.
Day 4 golf was at San Francisco Golf Club. This is a special place. The members were very friendly and are clearly very proud of their club. The course was immaculate, not a blade of grass out of place. The course itself is wide open, great for smashing driver around. It's definitelty a second shot golf course, you have to hit precise approach shots to leave a more simple putt or chip. It's a nice playable course which would be fun to play regularly.
Day 5 was Olympic Club Lake course. What a beast. Incredibly difficult golf course. Shaping of tee shots are required on many holes and miss the green on the wrong side (sometimes any side) at your peril! I enjoyed the course but it really is tough!
Day 6 was definitely the biggest surprise for me, Cal Club. I hadn't heard too much about this before playing. My caddy said to me on the first tee that I might enjoy this the most out of the San Fran courses and he was right, what a place. The course is very different to the others we played, very firm and very very fast. I have never played a course in the US that is as firm as our links courses, but this was every bit as firm as Carnoustie. The greens are no doubt the best I have ever putted on in my life. The caddy reckoned they were 13 on the stimp, and this put a huge premium on accurate approach shots. I loved every minute of the round and again was especially happy to have played well and scored 74 on such a tricky quick course.
After this California trip I really have reshuffled my top 10 courses of all time. Our next trip is going to have to be very special to top it!