Course Reviews/Travel

Tewkesbury Park is fastest-rising in GB&I Resorts Top 100 PDF Print E-mail


Andy Hiseman Public Relations


TEWKESBURY, GLOUCESTERSHIRE - - Five star family-run golf hotel

Tewkesbury Park is the fastest-rising in the new Top 100 Golf Resorts

in GB & Ireland, published every two years by Golf World magazine.

It leapt from #84 in the previous rankings, to #57 in this year’s list,

a rise of 27 places – well ahead of any other resort.

Tewkesbury Park was also named among GB & Ireland’s Top 30 Luxury

Golf Resorts in the Top 100 feature, which appears in the January 2020

issue of the magazine.


The news follows soon after Tewkesbury Park was named among

Britain’s Top 100 Hotels by The Sunday Times, in October 2019 –

an accolade shared by just three other British golf resorts, including



After being named the UK & Ireland’s Best Hotel for Weddings, Parties

and Special Occasions by publishers Condé Nast Johansens in late 2018,

and listed in National Club Golfer magazine’s Top 100 GB & I Golf Resorts

rankings in early 2019, Tewkesbury Park has quickly become one of the

UK’s most acclaimed golf resorts after its recent £10m refurbishment


“To gain such recognition so quickly after our relaunch is a source of great

pride for the team here” said Tewkesbury Park’s General Manager, Patrick

Jones. “The McIntosh family has transformed Tewkesbury Park in the last

five years, and their passion for golf is obvious to every visitor who comes

here. “Golfers often remark, after staying here, how refreshing it is to be

at a truly independent hotel, where everything from the rooms to the food

to the staff is presented in a uniquely Tewkesbury Park way.

“It’s hard to describe, so the best thing is for golfers and their friends to

come and see for themselves. Our golf course, prepared by Paul Hathaway

and his team, features some of the best greens in the west of England,

and we are a PGA tournament venue in 2020”



At the resort’s heart is The Deerpark, a 6,554 Par 72 golf course designed

by Frank Pennink on a 200-acre site adjacent to the town’s historic War Of

The Roses battlefields. In 2016 it was refurbished by Peter McEvoy OBE,

the unbeaten GB&I Walker Cup team Captain and amateur golf icon who

turned to golf course design, working with world-class golf agronomists


With two golf courses, 93 bedrooms including nine luxurious historic suites

which offer the ultimate in comfort, plus comprehensive leisure and spa

facilities, two restaurants including the highly-rated Mint, and versatile

meeting spaces for up to 200 people, Tewkesbury Park is the complete

golf resort, offering golf breaks with distinction in a perfect balance of

memorable golf, memorable food and memorably different accommodation.


For more info visit:




















Pasatiempo - The Must Play Public Access MacKenzie Design PDF Print E-mail


Story and images by Jason Bruno

Located in Santa Cruz, California - Pasatiempo was high on our list of

absolute must play experiences on our 17 day golf odyssey across the

Golden State this past summer. Perfect weather was on tap for the day

at Dr. Alister MacKenzie's must play public access gem. If you're not at

all familiar with Dr.MacKenzie and his work (that's highly unlikely), just

think Augusta, Cypress Point and Royal Melbourne. Pasatiempo,

although lesser known to the recreational golfer, is every bit as worthy.

Allowing several tee times to public play each day (Pasa is a semi-private

club), should place it at the top of your list.







Pasatiempo opened in September of 1929 to a foursome that included

Bobby Jones. The great Marion Hollins was an essential partner to

MacKenzie in the design (just as she was at Cypress Point). Nearly

seventy years after its inception, the course underwent a lengthy

restoration over several years by Tom Doak and Jim Urbina.  In 2007,

the work was completed and "Pasa" as it's known to so many, was

back to being a proper "Golden Age" classic. One of the true jewels

in American golf was once again held in the highest regard.





Course Architect extraordinaire Jay Blasi, "Turf Yoda" Josh Lewis and the

pride of (New South Wales) Sydney, Australia - Dean Lenertz joined yours

truly on a crystal clear California afternoon. After a casual lunch in the

clubhouse with Pasatiempo's superb Superintendent Justin Mandon,

we headed to the tee at the 457 yard opening hole (sans warm up).








I won't detail every hole, but here at the first you can clearly see the

approach favors coming in from the right side of the fairway. Be aware,

if you make it out to Pasatiempo, this green has a much greater right

to left/back to front tilt than this image projects. Like most golden age

designs, rarely does being short on the proper side cost you. Recoveries

are do-able if you think your way around the "Good Doctor's" home ballpark.







The slightly downhill approach at the 437 yard dogleg right second hole.








The view from greenside - notice the bold right to left tilt, and fall offs

that combine to make giant green surfaces like this one play much

smaller than they appear.









The stunning par 3 third is the first assault on your senses on the

property, and at 214 yards it plays longer due to being significantly

uphill. The tee is ingeniously cut up against the hillside, take an extra

bat and hit a gentle fade to land it softly into this brutal beauty. Alister

MacKenzie's brilliant bunkering guards one the most beautiful inland

one-shotters in existence. Par is a superb score here.










Not unique to Central California, this Santa Cruz property tilts and flows

in every direction throughout the routing. The 378 yard fourth is rarely

mentioned but deserves attention. With ample width, it's a true second

shot golf hole but hitting the fairway is imperative, especially when the pin is

tucked far right (see below).










If you manage to hit your approach here at the fourth pin high, you'll

be rewarded with a very make-able putt. Note the sharp detailing

around the bunker edges.










The green complex here on the 190 yard par 3 fifth is unlike many

you'll see or encounter anywhere. Designers today would likely be

persecuted for creating a twisty "winding road" shaped surface. That

back left pin location brings the center bunker into play.









The tee shot here on the sixth goes up through a chute of foliage and in

the direction of the game's most celebrated course designer's home in








This plaque, an ode to MacKenzie is on the path beside his house on

the sixth.










The approach to the sixth green.










One of the few confined tee shots on the property is defined by

majestic Cypress at the 347 yard seventh.









The green here at the seventh is a slightly elevated saddle.











MacKenzie was extraordinary in his creation of short golf holes, the

collection at Pasa belongs in the discussion of the finest anywhere. The

downhill 176 yard eighth shown here features a magnificent green complex

that requires not only the correct club, but also the proper trajectory/spin.

When the pin is located on the back shelf, anything short of the ridge will

spin and roll all the way down the slope. A green in regulation here means

that your work has just begun.









The eighth played down and the semi-reachable 492 yard par 5 ninth

plays back up the hill towards the clubhouse.










The tee at the 437 yard tenth, one of the truly memorable inland par 4's in all

of golf.









The downhill approach to the tenth is among the finest exams on

the course. Width and angles are the story here at Pasa, knowing

the hole location allows for setting up the proper approach, especially

to shallow and well guarded targets like the one here on the tenth.

Avoid the deep bunkering on the left at all costs. Another wicked

green that features backboards, sideboards and an inviting front

right section that includes a false front and back bunker. It's simply

a design marvel.











The par 4 eleventh is well known for its bisected "S" shape design that

features a ravine and pedestrian bridge that transports the golfer to a

second fairway and a tucked-in green complex. The closer your drive is

to the hazard, the better the angle and shorter the approach.











The slightly downhill 532 yard par 5 thirteenth plays a bit shorter than

its measurement on the scorecard. Culminating at this massive complex

that's surrounded by a myriad of sand, this is the final par 5 on the par

70 design. As you head to the par 4 fourteenth, be keenly aware that

you're about to encounter one the truly extraordinary finishing stretches

in golf.







The view from the 426 yard fourteenth seems innocent enough, but

anything left could pose problems. . .






This view looking back towards the tee shows the gully that runs along

the left edge of the fairway leaving some tough uneven lies and stances

for the approach. This is just another example of the variety of land forms

you encounter at Pasatiempo.







The right side of the fairway brings sand into play, including this cross

bunker that Mackenzie used as more of a visual element of deception

rather than a strategic challenge.








The 142 yard 15th is the shortest hole at Pasatiempo and with the hole

positioned in the front as it was during our visit, it's no more than a wedge.

Although this "shorty" rarely gets mentioned in the pantheon of great short

holes, we put it in that category and certainly among our favorites in the

Golden State along with 7 at Pebble, 15 at Cypress, 17 at Santa Ana and

16 at California Golf Club. Like those holes, this lil gem will potently sting

you if you stray in distance or direction.







A really cool view of the 15th is this one while taking the short stroll

from tee to green. Pure rustic beauty.









The magnificent 392 yard sixteenth begins with a semi-blind uphill tee

shot that must be played accurately over the peak to have a good look

at what awaits . . .









There are several thrilling approach shots at Pasa, but none quite

like this one that plays from a downhill position to a massive surface

that tilts back up towards the player. Jay Blasi flushed the ideal draw

into this left hole location, easily the finest shot of the entire California

journey, nearly jarring it, kick-in birdie.








This overhead view of the sixteenth green shows how well purposed and

designed the land on this parcel of the property is. Situated between the

boundary road left and the ravine on the right. The green is a remarkable

design that tilts severely back to front. Notice the false front that dangles

its "tongue" steeply downward - repelling any misplayed approach shot.

(photo courtesy of Pasatiempo Golf Club)








Playing Pasatiempo means that you don't want the day to end, but it

concludes in grand style here at this euphoric amphitheater setting. At

dusk is absolutely the perfect way to experience this 173 yard beauty.

The target is vast, so take dead aim, but be mindful of the pin position.

The front right features a wide landing area but a steep false front, while

the back left narrows up quite a bit allowing for the perfect Sunday sucker

pin. Center of the green is never a bad play here, anything below the hole

will leave an aggressive uphill attempt to convert.







SUMMARY - Course/Club experience:

The club at Pasatiempo has a classic vibe and pays homage to its golden

age heritage, all while keeping a very casual atmosphere. At 6495 yards

from the tips the course is all you want. It challenges the accomplished

player, it inspires shotmaking and showcases the great master's design

prowess at the height of his powers. Kudos to Ken Woods for hosting us,

and to Justin Mandon and his Agronomy team for their fine work in

presenting one the fabulous gems in American golf design in fine form.

A rare MacKenzie classic that's open to the public makes Pasatiempo an






For more info on Pasatiempo visit:
















Pebble Beach Partners with Tiger Woods to Redesign Par 3 Course PDF Print E-mail

As its Centennial celebration winds down, Pebble Beach Company looks to the future, announcing today it has entered into a partnership with Tiger Woods and his TGR Design firm to design a new short course on the former site of Peter Hay Golf Course.
“Pebble Beach has always been a special place to me,” said Tiger Woods.  “It’s an honor for TGR Design and me to partner with Pebble Beach Company to design a new short course at such an iconic location.”
Named for the former, long-time head professional at Pebble Beach, the Peter Hay Golf Course has been a focal point of the golf-centric community since its opening in 1957. Among its many uses, it has served as the home course for generations of young golfers and host to dozens of junior tournaments and charity events annually.
"It’s an honor for TGR Design and me to partner with Pebble Beach Company to design a new short course at such an iconic location."
“Peter Hay’s founding vision for this course aligns perfectly with TGR Design’s ideals – introducing new players to the game, bringing families together, and providing a fun golf experience for players of all abilities,” said Woods. “We at TGR Design look forward to building on and enhancing this vision with our redesign, which will incorporate more variety into the hole lengths and shot options, add more puttable areas within the green surrounds, and take advantage of the spectacular ocean views.”
Pebble Beach Company’s goal with the redesign is to elevate the year-round quality of its short course to that of its other golf courses (Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Del Monte Golf Course).  In addition, the new short course will leverage the first-class amenities of the adjacent Pebble Beach Golf Academy, and offer an incredible food and beverage venue with expansive ocean views.  The experience will be a “can’t miss” for golfers of all ages and abilities.
“We are thrilled to partner with Tiger Woods and TGR Design to transform the Peter Hay site into a world-class short course,” said Bill Perocchi, Chief Executive Officer of Pebble Beach Company. “Tiger Woods and TGR Design are the perfect partners for this project, given Tiger’s commitment to youth golf and experience in developing fun, creative, and playable courses for golfers of all levels.”
The project is expected to take less than a year to complete, with a Grand Reopening targeted for the fall of 2020. Pebble Beach Company and TGR Design look forward to sharing more details on the design and reopening date in the coming months.



















The Transformation of Santa Ana Country Club PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

Earlier this summer we made the cross country journey to Southern

California to experience the recent renovation of Santa Ana Country

Club in Orange County. Truthfully, renovation is an inadequate

description of what architect Jay Blasi accomplished at SACC. It's

actually a comprehensive redesign.


A true transformation.


For those of you not familiar with Blasi's work, Chambers Bay (site

of the 2015 US Open), the Patriot Golf Club in Oklahoma and the

2014 renovation of Sentry World in Stevens Point, Wisconsin (host

site of the 2019 U.S Girls Jr. Amateur) are front and center in the

design portfolio of the Wisconsin native. In a architectural sense, Blasi

is a five tool player - showing his extensive expertise of not just how

to craft thought provoking and fun golf holes, but also on routing,

infrastructure, strategy and land re-purposing. We gained valuable

perspective on his true brilliance. Not many in the business are as

generous with their time, providing us details and insight into what

the biggest challenges were on the Santa Ana project . . .


The previous version faced several challenges including:

Lack of pinnable space on Greens

Green drainage issues

Bunker drainage issues

Failing irrigation system

Using way too much water

Poor practice areas

Safety concerns

No sense of place

Too hard for most, easy for best

Lack of variety



Before -----------------------------------------------------After

Blasi won over the membership hierarchy at Santa Ana Country Club

with a comprehensive plan - convincing them that the entire property,

not just the golf course and its design had to be more functional and

sustainable. By the time the grow-in phase was complete in the fall of

2016 the critical objectives were achieved:













The New Design

The slightly downhill 358 yard par 4 - 1st known as "Santiago" is named

in homage to the original Santiago Country Club (located in Peters Canyon).

In 1923, the purchase of 144 acres became the site for what would become

Santa Ana Country Club.





Staggered sand grabs your attention right out of the gate. Avoid the left,

this bunker and tall grass natural areas make for a tough par. Kikuyu

fairways, not known for providing a fast n firm playing field, did chase

out more than expected.





The 310 yard par 4 - 2nd called "Ridgeline" features a slope that feeds

from the fairway to the well guarded putting surface. Playing quite a

bit shorter than the stated distance, choosing the proper tees brings

an enticing drivable component for many of the members (and guests).

However, if driving isn't a strength, Blasi provides several options here:

an accurate long iron, hybrid or fairway wood will provide the prudent

strategy of a wedge approach. The correct line is just right of the fairway

bunker. Any mishit approach may fall victim to one of several runoffs into

the bunker behind the green or the deep sand that guards left pin locations

(as shown). You could take this design and drop into Streamsong, Sand

Valley or Gamble Sands and it would fit perfectly. Instantly one of our

personal favorite golf holes anywhere.










The view from the tee on the 156 yard 4th "Saddleback". One the few swings

at SACC that involves a carry over water.










The 265 yard - 6th is another of those that you could play 5 times and employ

a different club/strategy off the box each time. "Narrow" plays uphill and requires

the utmost accuracy. Pick the stick you know will fly to a reliable yardage, 4 is a

solid score on this gem.









The tee at the 541 yard par 5 - 8th shows off Blasi's use of flowing Ribbon

tees and a vast "wash area" that isn't in play, but provides a substantial

drainage function and visual distraction that's just enough to take your

focus away from the need to pipe your drive on the par 5 that provides

the best "go for it" hole on the property.









The view from behind the mammoth "Biarritz" green at the 8th. Shortgame

shots around this complex are an absolute blast. Raynor himself would surely

say, "bravo Blasi."










The 563 yard par 5 - 11th "Twisted", features this massive waste area that

bisects both this and the 15th. Aptly named because of gnarled edges, some

flared corners, sideboards and backboards that both repel and funnel approach









Bank shots are encouraged . . .







. . . and this backboard comes into play with any back pin location here on the 11th.











At "Horseshoe", the uphill 340 yard 16th, big hitters can blow it over this

two tiered center bunker, everyone else must pick a side. From there a

precise wedge is all that's left.










Interesting short par 3's are a dying breed, but not at Santa Ana where Blasi

crafted a few masterpiece one-shotters. The 17th called "Beached" was my

personal favorite of the lot.









The green is anything but tame, hit the wrong quadrant and bogey

is highly likely here at 17. At only 125 yards, take dead aim.









The very reachable 479 yard finisher is an ideal opportunity to get one back

before adding up the card. The pot bunker front center acts like a catchers

mitt, we found out the hard way.




Blasi's Santa Ana plays a modest 6503 from the tips, but brings the opportunity

to use every club and shot in your arsenal, ground game included. We loved having

five par 3's and Five par 5's in the routing, it really contributes to more drama

during the round. The design left a distinct impression and the desire to play it

again, there's no better compliment than that. The greens and their surrounds

inspire creativity as well as any we've played in recent memory. Even those holes

that we didn't feature, like the "Punchbowl" 12th and "Washed Away" the par 5

- 15th still stand out several months after our visit. Since Santa Ana is a private

club the masses won't get the chance to experience it. If you get the invite, don't

pass on this Jay Blasi instant classic.






Dean Lenertz and our gracious host Jim Harmon (right), who we owe a big

thank you to for being the perfect guide around SACC.



To learn more on SACC: and

Jay Blasi Golf Design:























Hammock Dunes Club Set to Host the 73rd Florida Open PDF Print E-mail


By Jason Bruno

First held in 1942, the Florida Open is the Sunshine State's most prestigious

golf event held each year by the Florida State Golf Association (otherwise

known as the FSGA). Past champions include Bob Murphy, Bruce Fleisher,

Gary Koch, Charlie Owens, John Huston, Dudley Hart and Bart Bryant.


The 2019 edition will be hosted for the first time by Hammock Dunes

Club, which is located 30 miles south of St.Augustine in perhaps our

favorite least known coastal town in America - Palm Coast. The 660

member private club consists of two distinctively different types of course

layouts. Tom Fazio's Links design (renovated in 2016) is a seaside driver

friendly second-shot design that will allow for good scoring if the coastal

winds decide to behave.



The Rees Jones Creek course is an inland site, nearly 5 miles from the

Links clubhouse, and is known as a ball strikers exam of the highest order.

Surrounded by nearly 700 acres of undisturbed conservation area, the

Creek layout traverses its way past abundant marsh and wetland views

that dominate the landscape where wildlife is a visible fixture within its

surroundings. However, its beauty shouldn't distract from the execution

that's required to score on the Creek Course.


The 54 hole stroke play competition will consist of a round on each venue,

once the 36 hole cut is made, the remaining competitors will compete in the

final round on the Creek Course. The total purse is $100,000, with first place

estimated to be $15,000. Each course will be set up at approximately 7,000



Standouts to watch out for in this year's field Defending Champion Gabriel Lench,

2011 champion Rod Perry and current New Hampshire State Open Champion from

Royal palm Beach, Florida Michael Kartrude.


*The 40,000+ sq. ft. Oceanfront Links Clubhouse is currently enjoying a $7.2

million renovation and expansion. Spectators are welcome to attend the event

and there is no admission charge.


To learn more about the Hammock Dunes Club:










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