First Tee Open shines at Pebble Beach

By David R. Holland, Contributor

When The First Tee Open was envisioned most agreed it was a trail-blazing idea and a can't miss event. The Monterey Peninsula Foundation wanted a tournament that attracted attention and pitted Champions Tour pros with First Tee juniors.

The game's past melded with the game's future.

They started the weekend with a round at Bayonet, long known as a U.S. Open-type test, and ended the event with two days of perfect weather at Pebble Beach Golf Links.

Two Colorado residents took home the top trophies -- Craig Stadler won the Champions Tour portion and he teamed with Aaron Woodard of Denver (his dad is a former PGA Tour player and director of golf for the City of Denver) for the pro-junior competition with 22-under par.

The First Tee Open was originally planned as a way to spice up the Monterey Peninsula Foundation's Nationwide Tour event at Bayonet, which started in the fall of 2000. Seniors and juniors agreed the event was one to remember.

California tracks honored again

Golf Magazine has once again honored Pebble Beach Golf Links as No. 1 on its Top 100 You Can Play
List that is released every two years. Other California tracks listed include Spyglass Hill at No. 10; Torrey Pines South in La Jolla at No. 13; PGA West Stadium in La Quinta at No. 29; Spanish Bay in Pebble Beach at No. 46; Pelican Hill (Ocean South) Newport Beach, No. 59; Lost Canyons (Sky), Simi Valley, No. 71; La Quinta Mountain No. 73; DarkHorse Golf Club in Auburn at No. 85; and No. 100 is La Purisma in Lompoc. New to the list is the renovated municipal, Harding Park in San Francisco, at No. 50.

The magazine also published a "Thrifty 50" list, golf courses with green fees under $50. Rustic Canyon in Simi Valley was at No. 28 and Pacific Grove Municipal came in at No. 42.

Trump National closed

Ocean Trails Golf Club, now known as Trump National Golf Club, Los Angeles, has closed for major reconstruction. Officials hope to reopen in early 2005.

The scenic Pete Dye design got world attention when the 18th fairway caved into the ocean just before its grand opening. With panoramic views of Catalina Island and the Pacific, the new version will measure more than 7,200 yards and include features that make purists cringe, but please Donald Trump's ego. The new course will have three waterfalls, island greens and crushed white marble in the bunkers.

Carlsbad to get municipal golf course

The Carlsbad City Council has approved plans for a new municipal golf course. It is a $29-million project
partially funded by general use funds and the issuance of municipal bonds. City officials hope it opens in the spring of 2007.

The layout will use about 200 acres of a 400-acre site south of Faraday Avenue in an area known as the Veteran's Memorial Park. The property is bordered by two city-owned parcels, on the north and south sides of College Boulevard.

Nesting of the endangered California nuthatcher delayed start of construction. Greg Nash designed the par-72 layout that rolls out to 6,846 yards. A driving range-practice facility and a 22,000-square-foot clubhouse is included and some high parts of the property will get a view of the Pacific. It took 10 years to get approval for the project.

Skylinks set to reopen

Skylinks Golf Course in Long Beach is set to reopen after an $8-million renovation project -- that's the good news. The bad news is American Golf runs the operation and it has already proposed doubling the cost of green fees.

Long Beach residents would pay $35 on weekdays, up from $18, under the proposal and $45 on weekends, up
from $22. Non-resident fees would be $45 on weekdays and $55 on weekends, up from $24 and $29.

Did you know?

Beaumont's Oak Valley Golf Club has been voted the No. 1 non-private golf facility in Southern California for the first half of 2004 by subscribers of Voters ranked courses on green feevalue and customer service.

Award-winning Pacific Grove Municipal wants a new $3.5-million clubhouse despite demands from residents who called for a public vote. The Pacific Grove City Council instead, voted to go forward with the project even though the mayor wants a November ballot initiative.

The tiny old clubhouse would be replaced with a 7,000-square-foot facility with expanded dining areas and bathrooms, new cart barn, starter's shed and pro shop.

David R. Holland is an award-winning senior writer for and author of The Colorado Golf Bible (

David R. HollandDavid R. Holland, Contributor

David R. Holland is an award-winning former sportswriter for The Dallas Morning News, football magazine publisher, and author of The Colorado Golf Bible. Before launching a career as a travel/golf writer, he achieved the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force reserve, serving during the Vietnam and Desert Storm eras. Follow Dave on Twitter @David_R_Holland.

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