Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pac Dunes or Pebble? Or Elsewhere ...

Links magazine with their monthly teaser e-mail posts such an option. Surely there is not a single answer nor can one combine GP's "criteria". Sad digression of this magazine from the days when my friend Owen headed up adverts and the magazine really sang.

From George Peper, I suppose ... (and the answers PB = Pebble Beach, PD = Pacific Dunes
Round 1: If I had just one more round PB
Round 2: Scenic splendor PB (by a cute little walrus' whisker)
Round 3: Which is the better value? PD
Round 4: Conditioning PB
Round 5: Which is better for shot-makers? PD
Round 6: Which is a better putting test? PD
Round 7: Which is better for long hitters? PB
Round 8: Which has the best par-3 hole? PB #7
Round 9: Which has the best par-4 hole? PD #13
Round 10: Which has the best par-5 hole? PB #18
Round 11: Which offers pure golf? PD
Round 12: Which is better for all golfers? PB, sure all with a G to blow on a round
Round 13: Which has the better second course? PD
Round 14: Which is easier to walk? PB
Round 15: Which is better for a buddies trip? PD
Round 16: Which has better post-round amenities? PB "World-Class" depends on who's talking
Round 17: Which has the better range? PD This is the deal-breaker, I guess
18: Overall

When practice facility, Amenities, where to go with the guys and "Pure Golf??" all share equal billing I have to wonder what is being sold here.

The hype of Pebble Beach far exceeds the reality for just about everyone paying out of their own pocket. In reality if one sets up a trip to Pebble you are probably going to blow Five Gees easily, unless the company picks it up - and that's just for a three round package. By the time you book a package, get a tee time, struggle for hours and hours watching the 10-round a year folks ahead of you getting their money's worth, you really have to ask yourself "Why didn't I go to Scotland this time?"

I had a similar dilemma last year as I had signed up for a trip to Hawaii with the Mrs. and thought it would be fun to do, problem was going to Hawaii the last time was only moderately easy and that was from DIA. From the east coast of the USA to Hawaii, well, if I am going to that much trouble I am going to visit James, Matthew, Darius and David in OZ.

My point is that a golf trip is what you can make of it, the long run short hop really comes into play.

Links did get one question and answer right in George Peper's article Pure Golf. Given that I am not really certain that there is a reason to ever go to the Monterey Peninsula to play Pebble Beach. Forget the slow play, exorbitant costs, (despite what they say) generally so-so conditioning, slow play at the adjunct courses, forget there being anything like a single answer to most of those questions (especially 'where to play a last round')and practice facility (do you really do anything but hit 6-10 balls before starting play on vacation?).

My recommendation is that if you want to play Pebble Beach the biggest reason is to say "I played it, yup", play on a cold day when you can just walk up and get out, just like your local muni - make it a part of a trip, not the single focus. Spend your big money on getting to know the "Rest of the World" the real answer to the Real Golf question. If all you've played is American Golf, you haven't played golf.

OK, redanman says! Time to get a passport if you don't have one. Maybe even start with Bermuda or Mexico, one of the other has to be easy for you to get to.

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