BY JAMES BUCKLEY
A Golfer’s Paradise
n our search for a weekend getaway, all we wanted to do was play golf, as much golf as we could get in during the shorter days of the fall.
What we found instead, however, at The Resort at Pelican Hill was not only a golfer’s wonderland, but also a weekend destination where
we could have – should have – brought our respective wives and/or families along. The resort is 122 miles or 214,720 yards as the golf ball
flies from Montecito, down 101 to the 405, and it hugs the Orange County coast just outside Newport Beach.
Our Pelican Hill idyll wasn’t set to begin until Sunday afternoon. So
’s Dennis Franz and I left Montecito a little after 9 am on
Sunday just to be sure – in case we ran into heavy traffic – to make our 12:30 tee time at Oak Creek Golf Club in Irvine, owned and operated
by the Irvine Company that also runs the nearby Resort at Pelican Hill. We ran into
traffic, however; it took just over two hours to get to
Oak Creek, so we had more than an hour to kill before teeing off. Which worked out just fine, as Oak Creek’s practice facility has been named
one of the top 50 public ranges in the U.S. by the Golf Range Association of America.
Dennis and I have a longstanding golf rivalry, and it is one of which we both keep track. As of our departure from Montecito, I’m
proud to report that I was up $22 for the year (and since it is I who is writing this, that figure will go uncontested). As for our 18 holes at
Oak Creek, the course turned out to be a challenging, well-maintained inland layout that was fun to play, with lots of clearly delineated
landing zones and greens that were neither lightning fast nor municipal slow. They were... just right. More importantly, I won $5, increasing
my yearly bounty to $27.
The big, brawny, beautiful Ocean North Course
at Pelican Hill is worth every penny, nickel, dime,
and dollar you may spend to play it; there’s an
Ocean South Course, too