Discover the Three P’s…Pebble Beach, Pinehurst and Torrey Pines!
Our golf travel specialist, Robin Couchman, has travelled extensively to the USA playing many of the top golfing venues. Here's Robin's review of three of the most famous courses on the US Open circuit, including advice on accommodation and the local area.
With the US Open returning to Pebble Beach this year to celebrate 100 years since the course opened, I am sure you will be tempted to play such an iconic venue and it may not be as expensive or difficult as you first think! Not only that, but two other recognisable courses, Pinehurst Number 2 and Torrey Pines are also on the rota and more amazing golfing experiences that are easily possible.
I first played Pebble Beach Golf Links in 2012 and there is that warm and fuzzy feeling as soon as you enter the town of Monterey and see the stunning coastline come into view, that features on so many of the holes.
The main lodging options are the Lodge and Inn at Spanish Bay and each cater exceptionally well for golfing groups or couples and have their little nuances that make you feel you are somewhere special, however, it’s the golf course that blows you away.
One of the most notable things, not overly publicised, is the nature surrounding this course, from dears wandering the fairways to tiger sharks in the ocean to humped back whales in the distance spouting their appreciation of my birdie for sure! The stretch from 11th – 16th does give a slight element of respite before finishing with the superb 17th and 18th holes where so many tournaments are won and lost, and I am sure will once again play a part in this years’ event.
Planning a Pebble Beach golf trip? Eagle Golf Tours can offer Pebble Beach golf holidays to include hotels and playing the course.
My best advice to do this same thing yourself is to twin centre the stay both here and in Monterey where you can stay downtown for a few days completing a 7-night stay and playing some local courses that are of a very high standard. Flights are direct on British Airways to San Jose (and free golf club carriage with Eagle Golf) means that this is a lot more affordable and a chance to walk the steps of the games’ greatest players.
It is considered an innocuous start with the first four holes leading you into this false sense of security that you might tame this beast. Only for you to play the 5th hole Par 3 across the shoreline and you suddenly realise that there is a tough stretch ahead tracing the rugged coastline …even the 7th, one of the shortest Par 3s in Championship golf is so exposed that you have to keep your wits about you (which I might add I did, making a 2 of course!).
Having been to Pinehurst three times you can already tell that I am a fan; not only of the resort with its name spelt out on the grass banks, or the Number 2 course recently restored to its original natural beauty, but of the whole village.
The village exudes an ambience gives you this overwhelming feeling of nostalgia and that it’s been like this for years and at any moment Donald Ross might pop put of his house (alongside hole 3) to say “good shot”.
The three different accommodation options suit all needs from the classic Holly Inn or elegant Carolina to the relaxed Manor Inn where groups of guys can talk about the difficulty of “those” greens! I have played Number 2 twice now, and each time I have come away feeling bruised but not beaten, it does have somewhat tricky greens that you need to be conscious of, whether you are going in with a four iron or wedge. The natural waste areas make it difficult to lose a ball, and with errant shots, you hope you have a decent enough lie to make it to the green.
Once again, this is another trip that I highly recommend you twin centre with other properties in the village such as Talamore, where they have some superb villas and golf courses to match…this is the Scotland of North America with more hidden gems than you can shake a flag stick at! Flight options are direct into Raleigh or Charlotte with American Airlines from Heathrow, and you too can be enjoying this golfing mecca.
Interested in playing Pinehurst no 2 course and would like to know what golfing packages are available? Eagle Golf Tours can offer Pinehurst golf holidays to include hotels and playing the course.
Torrey Pines South is the US Open venue of 2021 and last played in 2008 (Tiger Woods of course!) and slightly different in that it is owned by the state. Unlike Bethpage, we can book your tee times in advance when staying at the Lodge, and this is what makes the trip so enjoyable.
The rooms have this rustic and yet modern feel, and the whole ambience makes you feel like you are at home and in the right frame of mind to tackle what is regarded as one of the tougher courses in the state. The South course is a monster from the tips and with the wind blowing it is best to give yourself a chance and play from a more reasonable length which I felt was the “green tees” at 6,600 yards. As with all US Open courses, missing the fairway can mean you struggle to find your ball, but regarded as some of the most generous around, so the rest is down to you
The name as you can imagine comes from the Torrey Pine trees that are native to this area, and a prominent feature of the course and this combined with some stunning views make it another one to add to the bucket list.
My recommendation once more is to combine a couple of nights at the Lodge with five nights in San Diego playing some excellent local courses that we highly recommend and can book with ease and the direct flights are available once again on BA making this a serious contender to rival the two I have already mentioned.
If you would like to play Torrey Pines golf course and stay over, Eagle Golf Tours can offer The Lodge at Torrey Pines accommodation which is ideal for a golfing trip.
Enjoy the US Open 2019 and let’s see who conquers this famous links and maybe with this little insight, you might also final be tempted to go yourself. The final mention is for a course that I played just last week and another venue that albeit only hosted once, will definitely be having the tournament again in years to come and that is Erin Hills…I will leave that taster with you and do not hesitate to give me a call about that or any of these and many more US golfing delights, as I have been there, done that, bought way to many t-shirts (well golf shirts) and only left me wanting more.