Day One Entry: Aug 20, 2015

Monarch Beach. Golf OC in Style.

The Monarch Beach Golf Links at the St Regis in Dana Point was the host for this edition of the GK Plays. Admittedly it’s a bit pricey for this budget minded golfer but it’s always nice to experience how the affluent experience golf. I would consider the golf experience more than compensates for the green fees.

Simply said, you won’t be disappointed.

The staff top is notch; very accommodating, courteous and attentive. The golf – WOW! Great views coupled with great conditions. This is a resort course so expect foot traffic and the occasional shuttle whisking guests to and from the beach to the hotel.

Greens rolled true. They started slow but as the day wore on they did get faster. The rough was unjust and punishing. The fairways with the exception of a few areas was well covered, green and lush. The bunkers I would say would be my only gripe but they are hazards after all. Tee boxes were all flat.

We foolishly played the tips. And it made for a long round. The experience was fun. It was tough but fun. The wind and tricky greens at Monarch made golf a challenge. At 6600 yards approx it may not seem long but throw in the wind and rolling hills you play made some holes extremely difficult.

The only concern I would have would be the areas in front of the greens. Unlike Redhawk who had to water their greens under extreme heat (once you water you have to continue to water the greens unless you want to cook and quickly kill your fescue) Monarch watered the areas in front of their greens. That made for shots that would stick instead of release as you would expect for a links course. Then again I don’t think of Monarch as a Links style course. I would characterize it more as a really high-end ritzy course with some links features.

Overall I enjoyed my round despite my poor effort. The conditions were great. In the future I know to play perhaps the gold tees instead of the black. But that will be another day and another round. Personally I am looking forward to it.

70° Clear
Ritz Cove Dr, Dana Point, CA, United States

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