Tuesday, October 23, 2018
You can't help but get a small George Thomas vibe when you go around San Dimas. There is the classic elevated tee box on the first hole. The course winds it way along a canyon with houses on top also reminiscent of Thomas' designs in SoCal.
Somehow Dan Murray in the 60s put in hints and shadows of golf's golden age into a rather straightforward parkland golf course. As I went around the course, I kept wondering how great this course would have been as a 12 hole course.
The routing is very accordion-like with multiple greens and tee boxes folding in on themselves because Dan just didn't have the room and need to get to 18 holes. There are really interesting holes like the third hole which features a bling shot, water on the left and an amazing downhill second shot so the bones are there for this puppy.
The greens are where the course really shines. Sure they were punched the day I was there but the sloping was something to behold and there was definitely a wrong side of the green.
San Dimas falls down where many SoCal public courses do, tee times. The course was packed with a tournament and 8 minute tee times thereafter. The routing only causes more backups with a short par 4 starting hole a par 3 and then a short par 5 third. Packed tee sheet, poor course routing leads to a very long day.
I would love to see this course get a makeover and get those bones to shine, it could be a really special place.
For more info on San Dimas check out this link: https://www.sandimasgc.com/
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
As I am starting to gear up for the Fall golf season here in SoCal, I have been looking back at my golf adventures over the last year and came up with a random list of "bests". This isn't a top 100 course things but just random best experiences with golf:
1) Best Ice Cream Sandwich:
Sand Valley seems to be on the tip of many a golfer's tongue nowadays and for good reason with a Coore Crenshaw course, the outrageous Mammoth Dunes course and a new sub 6,000 course on the docket. Still the number one best thing are the ice cream sandwiches made by Nye's and imported from North Carolina. My favorite was the strawberry shortcake but they are all good.
2) Best Shampoo:
Everyone talks about Bandon Dunes. It is THE premiere golf destination in America. What amazed me the most about the resort was the level of attentiveness and thoughtfulness that the staff and the rooms exude. Yes you are there for the golf but the resort also wants you to relaxxxxx. This shampoo in the rooms is named calm and it is so true. The scent is calming. The Lilly Pond is calming. The golf may or may not raise your blood pressure but this is the best shampoo I have encountered on my travels.
3) Best Logo- Course Played:
Those who know me know that I rave about Black Sheep. It is a gem of a course and one I wish I was a member of. 27 holes with each 9s being different. It feels like you are playing a sandbelt course amongst the corn. Those who also know me know that I am a sucker for a logo like this and I have many, many pieces of clothing and wallets with this logo on it. It is distinct, whimsical and if you know the history of the club, very on point. You can't ask for anything more from a logo.
4) Best Driving Range:
Clear Creek Tahoe is one hell of a course. It is one of my top 10 favorites of all time. If I lived anywhere near it, I would be a member in a heartbeat. The driving range lives up to the rest of the course. The green complexes on the range present a real feast for the eyes. The chairs and pine trees present a relaxed environment. There is also a great chipping and putting complex but the range. You could totally spend your entire day here if you wanted, making it the best.
5) Best Non-Costal Golf State:
California, Oregon, Florida, New York, North Carolina, Massachusetts, Washington State, they all have amazing golf courses and all have access to water. However, if you turn inland into the US there are fantastic golfing opportunities every where you look. My best? Nebraska.
Nebraska has (in no particular order) Sand Hills, Wild Horse, Bayside, Dismal River, Prairie Club, Tatanka, etc. etc. The prairie grasses, the blown out bunkers, the minimalist design. Nebraska has it all and I want to go back!
What is on your "besties" list? Let me know in the comments!
Monday, October 8, 2018
Voyager 2 is currently crossing the void between our solar system and interstellar space. Meanwhile, in my quest to play Cypress Point I have blown past the 1,000 day mark and am starting to chug along to 2,000 days on this quest.
Where are things at? Well I still have a few solid leads based on friendships. Friends who know people who know people and if there is an opportunity to be a fourth in a group like that, my name is on the list. Otherwise, my Pebble Beach trip earlier this year yielded no strong leads other than increasing my jealousy watching clearly members of CPC play rounds of golf inside the ropes.
I don't begrudge the members of playing in the Pro Am and flaunting their CPC bags and headcovers. If I lived in Monterey and was a member of CPC I would live it up to golfing excess.
What the Pro-Am does bring into stark relief is that members of golf's inner circle get the invites much like golf's inner circle gets the Augusta patron invites every year while most of us roll craps on the lottery.
There are tons of pros and celebrities that go to Cypress during their Pro-Am week and I am sure the same will happen in 2019, but on steroids, when Pebble gets the twofer of the Pro-Am and the US Open (yes, yes there is the Nature Valley Senior Tour event in the Fall, so a threefer?). Heck Pasatiempo is gearing up with US Open specials and that is a semi-private club and with CPC ranked 1-3 in the world by most sites, people will be clambering to play there all year.
So I feel like 2019 is probably out for me baring a small friends-of-friends miracle, which is ok. Now, like Voyager 2, I am making my peace with traveling beyond the known solar system into a weirder time and space. As the calendar moves forward, the days I have been on this quest seem to warp like I have fallen through the event horizon into a black hole, it will be fascinating to see how I come to view my quest the longer I am on it.
At the far, far reaches of time, there is the Walker Cup in 2025 which, if I haven't reached my goal by then, will be the hardest press in my life in order to meet and befriend members to hopefully invite me to play. Interestingly, that date is 2,525 days from now, a nice synergy with the year. I wonder where both Voyager 2 and I will be then.
Link To Check Out: The Fried Egg is one of the best golf sites in the biz and while most sites will regale you with tales of the club and specific holes, Andy at the Egg gives you all you need in this great picture album: http://www.friedegg.co/golf-courses/cypress-point
Highly recommend the site and the pics!