The Monterey Peninsula is known as a golfing haven, most notably for Pebble Beach Golf Links. However, there is more to golfing the peninsula than paying the big bucks to golf along ocean cliffs. There is great golf a bit further inland which shouldn’t be missed. A great example of that is the Bayonet Golf Course at Bayonet Black Horse — a 36 hole facility located in Seaside, California. The property features two challenging and unique courses known as Bayonet and Black Horse.
The par 72 Bayonet layout can be played at 7104 yards from the back tees and packs a lot of punch with a rating/slope of 74.8/139. The course underwent a $13 million renovation in 2008 and the five times I’ve played Bayonet have been between 2010 and 2015, so I can’t speak to the old layout. However, the 2.0 version is probably the best combination of brutally tough yet fair I have ever seen.
I love the starting hole, a challenging but playable par 5 which gives you an opportunity to get your round off to a good start:
If you pick up a stroke on the first, you’ll be glad to keep it on the par-4 2nd hole, pictured below. The hardest ranked hole on the course looks like a tree lined bowling lane from the tee. I birdied it the last time we played, so I’m not sure what all the fuss is about.
Approach to the 2nd hole:
There are no water hazards, no tricks, no gimmicks, no houses (yet) and no place where out of bounds reasonably enters your realm of thought. The tight tree lined fairways, deep penalizing bunkers, and challenging green complexes give you enough to think about. Hole for hole, it’s just a solid modern golf course. It rewards good shots and punishes marginal to poor shots.
The short par-4 3rd hole:
The approach to the par-4 5th hole:
The par-3 17th hole:
The second shot on the reachable par-5 18th:
Bayonet has a great mix of short holes and long holes, and you can’t let your guard down for any of them. The greens have been fast, firm, and rolling true every time I’ve played there.
While Bayonet golf course isn’t right on the cliffs of the ocean, don’t forget to gaze out to the horizon throughout your round as it still offers some nice ocean views, if you’re not blinded by bogeys that is. Bayonet Blackhorse also offers a largedriving range with grass tees, a large practice putting green, and a nice short game area.
On a couple of occasions we stopped in at the Bayonet Grill after our round for a beer and a snack. The food seems very good overall, and they have a nice patio if you’re still yearning for more fresh air. I recommend the lettuce wraps — rumour has it they were invented at the Bayonet Grill!
If you’re an average to skilled golfer, Bayonet is a great add to a Monterey Peninsula golf itinerary. Often times you can play for well under $100 (including cart and range balls, if you wish) if you watch for online deals. Bayonet will challenge all facets of your game while taking it fairly easy on your bank account.