Bunker Mulligan "Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry." ~Mark Twain

January 29, 2004

Super Bowl Weekend

Filed under: Golf — Bunker @ 6:24 am

Tomorrow I fly out to Santa Cruz, California, for the In-Law Super Bowl Weekend. I don’t follow the NFL closely any more, and the Cowboys and Packers aren’t in it, so I don’t have a lot of interest in the game. The family, however, is a different story. They keep a running weekly football pool going through email, and Mother-in-Law-Dearest is fanatic. She knows the teams and players far better than I did when I paid attention to the NFL. So they’ll all be partying and whooping and hollering.

I’m taking my golf clubs with me.

I was stationed at the Presidio of Monterey 25 years ago. I played at the Fort Ord golf courses many weekends. The Bayonet Course was prime, and the Blackhorse Course was fairly new, but growing in very nicely. I think I paid $5 a round. Now that Fort Ord is closed, the city of Seaside owns the courses. Bayonet is used in a Nationwide Tour event (I think it needs to go back to being the Hogan Tour), and Blackhorse is now also first-rate. I’ve signed up for the Super Bowl Tournament Sunday morning, and am looking forward to seeing the Bayonet Course again.

For Saturday, I considered playing Pebble Beach again, but the green fee is now up to $380–$20 per hole. I paid $25 to play it back in 1977. I also considered Spanish Bay and Spyglass. But I just didn’t want to shell out $250 without being on the course with Dad, Birdie, or Bogey. But there is another I’ve wanted to play for a long time.

I’ve become interested in golf course architecture. I enjoy looking at how different designers take a piece of property and shape a course into something that make sense. Not everyone can do it. If you start with a flat piece of bare ground, just about anyone can envision a layout. But take a property with hills and trees, streams and undergrowth, and it requires a special understanding. I also keep track of the courses I play, and want to try those designed by the best. So far, I’ve played courses designed by A.W. Tillinghast, Arnold Palmer, Bruce Devlin, Donald Ross, Frank Hummel, Gary Player, Greg Norman, Herman Hackbarth, Jack Burke, Jack Neville, John Bredemus, Pete Dye, Press Maxwell, Ralph Plummer, Rees Jones, Robert Lawrence, Robert Trent Jones, and a host of others with not-so-famous resumes.

My favorite is Donald Ross. Of the more recent designers, I enjoyed Player’s and Norman’s courses. It is interesting to see how different people approach design of 18 holes differently. One whose courses I haven’t yet played is Alister MacKenzie. He designed Augusta National and Cypress Point, and I doubt I’ll ever get the opportunity to play those. But Saturday I’ll play his design at Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz. It is rated as one of the 100 best in America.

I’ll finish by trying to stay awake during the Super Bowl. I’m sure there will be plenty of beer. I just hope I don’t snore too loudly!

1 Comment

  1. Have a fantastic trip, from me and Mrs. Bogey!

    Comment by Bogey — January 29, 2004 @ 6:58 am

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