Category Archives: Golf

Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

Carmel by the Sea, or simply Carmel, is California’s perennial favorite  travel destination. Formerly an artist’s colony –there seems to be more art galleries than people, tiny Carmel, population 4000, has worked hard to keep their village lifestyle.

The one-square-mile village of Carmel has no big-box stores nor chain restaurants. Don’t worry about paying to park your car – there are no parking meters and no street lights – great for star-gazing.

Monterey Cypress at Carmel Beach
Monterey Cypress at Carmel Beach photo credit: John Cameron

Carmel’s city founders favored a central post office instead of door- to-door delivery thus no addresses. Carmel street signs, carved vertically on short wooden poles, are easy to miss.

Court of the Fountains
Court of the Fountains photo credit: John Cameron

The ubiquitous Dutch doors, favored by almost all business owners, really enhance the friendly small-town feel.

Famous citizens include 93- year-old Doris Day, part owner of the dog- friendly Cypress Inn, whose movie posters adorn Terry’s Bar – an homage to her son. Another famous resident and former mayor of Carmel (1986-1988) Dirty Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) made it safe to once again eat ice cream on Carmel’s public streets.

Rated the #1 dog-friendly town in America, you can bring your pets to restaurants, bars, the beach, even wine-tasting rooms.

Where to Stay in Carmel

Hofsas House Carmel by the Sea
Hofsas House Carmel photo credit: John Cameron

Family-owned and run for three generations, the pet-friendly Hofsas House Hotel is very popular with travel-savvy Europeans. Get practical daily trip advice from the helpful concierge with a large continental breakfast featuring pastries from a local bakery.

Hofsas House Mural by Maxine Albro
Hofsas House Mural photo credit: John Cameron

The first thing guests might notice is the Bavarian themed mural opposite the Hofsas House welcome office. Donna Hofsas commissioned artist Maxine Albro to paint the mural in 1957.

Hofsas House Guest Room
Hofsas House Guest Room photo credit: John Cameron

The Hofsas House has 38 well-designed and comfortable guest rooms with Dutch doors in every room and featuring amenities like a fireplace.

Hofsas House balcony
Hofsas House balcony photo credit: Sherel Purcell

A small heated pool and a dry sauna that’s always warm and a communal rooftop deck for good views over Pebble Beach are special touches found at Hofsas House.

Hofsas House has the only poolside meeting facility in Carmel with classroom seating for up to 24.

The Hofsas House has partnerships with four different golf courses in the area. If you don’t want to pay the big bucks to golf Pebble Beach or Spanish Bay, the back nine at Pacific Grove Golf Links  has great water views. As the starter in the pro shop said,” It’s the same ocean for 300 bucks less. “

Things to do in Carmel

Taste the wines of the Monterey and Carmel Valley all within walking distance of downtown.

Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room
Scheid Vineyards Tasting Room photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Schied Vineyards at San Carlos & 7th Avenue in Carmel offers complimentary small bites to pair with featured wines and new releases on the second Tuesday of every month.

Just down Ocean Avenue at the Carmel Road Tasting Room, sample their flight of Pinot Noirs.

Carmel Road Tasting Room
Carmel Road Tasting Room photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Actor Drew Barrymore works with Carmel Road winemaker Kris Kato to produce a great rose for her signature collection, Barrymore Wines. Both Scheid and Carmel Road offer wine clubs – get a taste of Carmel sent right to your doorstep.

Wine Enthusiast named Carmel one of the top ten wine tasting destinations in the world.

Carmel is the perfect base for exploring the beautiful California coast. Steinbeck’s Cannery Row in historic Monterey is 30 minutes to the north while Point Lobos is just 15 minutes to the south. Big Sur is an hour’s drive south on scenic US 1 .

Lone Cypress photo credit: John Cameron
Lone Cypress photo credit: John Cameron

Take scenic 17-mile drive for a great introduction to the relentless beauty of the northern California coast. Tip: take your receipt for the ten-dollar entrance fee with you and have it credited to your lunch at The Bench at the Pebble Beach Lodge, overlooking beautiful Pebble Beach’s iconic 18th green.

PGA Golf Club at PGA Village Verano

With the perfect address for a golf club, PGA Golf Club, at 1916 Perfect Drive in Port St Lucie, is a golfer’s dream destination. Play three championship 18-hole golf courses, The Wanamaker, The Ryder and the Pete Dye, all owned and operated by The PGA of America.  And stay like a resident in a beautiful home on property at PGA Village Verano, minutes from the three golf courses in a resort-style golf community with a Stay & Play package.

Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano
Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano photo credit: Kolter Homes

The Wanamaker Course is one of two Tom Fazio designs on the property and does its namesake – PGA founder Rodman Wanamaker proud. Fazio designed both the Wanamaker and Ryder in 1999, but the twins are definitely fraternal and reveal different personalities.

Hole 18 on the Wanamaker Course PGA Village
Hole 18 on the Wanamaker Course PGA Village photo credit: John Cameron

Department store magnate Rodman Wanamaker helped establish the PGA of America, funded the first PGA Championship in 1916 and has his name attached to the champion’s prized trophy, The Wanamaker. Fazio’s Ryder Course honors Samuel Ryder, the namesake and founder of the Ryder Cup matches, which began in 1927. All 36 tees have plaques that unveil the storied lore of both the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup.

On the Ryder Course, Fazio transports you to North Carolina, with his holes winding among majestic pines, rolling hills and elevation changes, and recurrent red-staked hazards.

 

Pete Dye Course PGA Village
Pete Dye Course PGA Village photo credit: Sherel Purcell

Pete Dye’s eponymous course at PGA Village opened for play in 2007. Highlighting the native environment, especially the wetlands, Dye fashioned a links-style course reminiscent of the British Isles, like playing in Scotland or Ireland without the airfare.

The three courses have their own driving range and putting and chipping areas as well as the “Short Course,” six holes between 35-60 yards where you can work on your finesse shots. However, the nearby 35-acre PGA Center for Golf Learning and Performance is a golf instruction, practice, technology and fitness park all in one. Named a “2013 Golf Range Association of America Top 50 Range,” the center includes more than 100 hitting stations (many weather-protected), short-game practice areas, putting greens, three practice holes and nine separate bunkers that simulate play worldwide.

Grab lunch at the Taplow Pub in the clubhouse – the street tacos are delicious.  After your round, enjoy a drink and dinner with PGA members at the 19th hole and watch golfers approach the 18th green on the Wanamaker course.

Museum at PGA Village Golf Club
Museum at PGA Village Golf Club photo credit: John Cameron

While not a comprehensive museum on the history of golf ( for that check out the excellent World Golf Hall of Fame in St. Augustine) PGA Village does have  the on-site PGA Museum of Golf. There’s plenty here to impress the golf fan if you love the game. Open to the public, it traces the history of the PGA of America through its major championship and the Ryder Cup. Check out the Wanamaker trophy. Golf fans can see more great golf memorabilia at Sam Snead’s Grill & Tavern at the nearby Holiday Garden Inn.

Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano
Kolter Homes PGA Village Verano photo credit: Kolter Homes

During a Kolter Homes Stay & Play, visitors have access to award-winning golf on the Ryder and Pete Dye courses in addition to the Wanamaker course. 

Pool at Club Talavera
Pool at Club Talavera photo credit: Sherel Purcell

A-three day, two-night stay includes access to the new 27,000 square ft. Club Talavera Social Center with full use of all amenities including the13,000 square ft. Fitness Center, with yoga, tennis, indoor/outdoor pools, bocce ball, basketball, Har-Tru tennis courts and one round of golf for two at the adjacent PGA Golf Club.

PGA Golf Club is just off I-95 at Exit 121, 45 minutes north of Palm Beach and a two-hour drive from both Orlando and Miami.