|Quail Lodge & Golf Club|
The course measures 6,449 yards from the back tees, with a manageable 71.4 rating/129 slope. Two other sets of tees make it fun for everyone and the reasonable green's fees encourage newbies to tee it up. There's also an excellent range, short game area, and practice green right next to Edgar's Grill, which is worth the trip itself.
Quail Lodge Golf Course, a classic Robert Muir Graves design, has recently undergone a major renovation that includes rerouting a couple of holes, redesigning and refreshing the bunkers, and rethinking the pond, lakes, and other water on the property--a timely effort given California's recent drought. Since the back nine was closed for construction during my stay, I played only the front, which was interesting enough to play twice.
One of the most challenging features of Quail Lodge is the massive tree that sits smack in the middle of the ninth fairway about 100 yards from the tee. A well-hit drive on the 541-yard par five can clear it, but don't try going around. The fairway is surprisingly narrow and there's OB on the left if you try for a big fade and a punitive bunker complex on the right if you go for a looping draw and hit the dreaded straight ball instead.
It's a great temptation to visit Carmel and focus entirely on the ocean courses, but a day spent looking eastward will yield some excellent golf.
Among many other books, Dave Donelson is the author of Weird Golf: 18 tales of fantastic, horrific, scientifically impossible, and morally reprehensible golf