Review: Nicklaus Club Monterey

Nicklaus Club Monterey, as the name suggests, is a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course located in the golfing haven of the Monterey Peninsula in California. It’s a private golf club formerly known as Pasadera Country Club, which is the first and only Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course in the Monterey Peninsula area.

Mr. Nicklaus elegantly carved the golf course through the scenic valley and utilized dramatic hills adjacent to the Santa Lucia Mountains to remind us that the beauty of the Monterey Peninsula extends far beyond ocean cliffs and sandy beaches.

The par 71 layout offers challenges for golfers of any skill level. Negotiating the undulating terrain, elevation changes, intimidating bunkers, creeks, and water hazards provides a stern yet exhilarating test of golf. The Nicklaus-type shot value you’d expect is very much present. The imaginative golfer will see the shots that Nicklaus himself imagined for the hole, while at the same time it’s as if Jack is standing next to you on the tee, drawing your attention to the dangers that lurk if that shot is not executed.

The par-3 3rd hole:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 3rd hole

Uphill approach to the par-4 5th hole:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 5th hole

Second shot on the par-5 7th hole:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 7

The par-3 8th hole:

Nicklaus Club Monterey #8

Approach to the difficult par-4 9th hole:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 9

The par-3 14th hole over a canyon to a wide but shallow green will test your insides, and your ball striking:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 14

The polarizing and dramatically elevated par-4 15th tee shot will have you hoping for some good fortune as your ball soars down into the valley:

Nicklaus Club Monterey 15th

As guests of Nicklaus Club Monterey, we were welcomed and treated with the respect of long-time members. The staff made us feel like it was our home course for the day, and made sure we had everything we needed before embarking on our journey. My impression is that it would be a fantastic place to be member.

We grabbed some lunch at the turn, and it turns out they serve up a pretty mean hot dog which even came with a side of fries. The extra energy certainly came in handy on the challenging and scenic back nine where, after a great front-nine, I managed to hang on for dear life and tally a three-birdie 78.

For a guest fee of $90, Nicklaus Club Monterey offers up some great value for the golfing experience provided. If fortunate enough to be invited back, I would jump on the opportunity to play here any time I’m visiting the Monterey Peninsula.

A special thanks to Logan and Brett for arranging our round at Nicklaus Club Monterey and giving us the chance to experience the Golden Bear’s mark on the Monterey Peninsula.

Happy golfing!


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