“Playing MPCC (Monterey Peninsula Country Club) conflicts with Tiger’s press conference next week,” I said via text to SI’s Alan Shipnuck, who was setting up tee times for the Sports Illustrated Golf Group and was kind enough to let me tag along.
He wrote back some snarky response basically telling me I was being a moron for even thinking about passing up the chance to play such a fantastic and beautiful (and exclusive) course (which received rave reviews from the pros at the AT&T Pebble Pro-Am earlier this year) to listen to Robot Tiger. Let alone the Shore course at MPCC. But I’ve never been to a Tiger presser! “You can read the transcript,” he replied.
I’ve also never played MPCC (or in the Monterey area). And I mean, it’d be totally rude for me to bail on such an indulgent invite.
Gearing into Asian tourist mode, I took lots of pictures. Aside from just loving the layout of the course, just check out the pictures (below). I mean, how could you not have an amazing time? Mind-blowing. Oh, by the way, the top picture is my foursome (from left to right): me, our gracious host, Steve John, SI‘s John Garrity and SI‘s Damon Hack — we’re on the 11th tee, arguably the best viewpoint on the course.
Others from SI, Golf Magazine and Golf.com who played were: Alan (duh), Michael Bamberger, Cameron Morfit, Gary Van Sickle and Farrell Evans. No clue who fired the low score, but I’m betting Van Sickle.
View from the first tee.
Synchronized hitting brought to you by Damon and John.
Perhaps one of the most spectacular views in the world from a halfway house (in between the 6th and 7th — I birdied the 6th. Alan made me putt out my four-footer, which actually was reasonable given my atrocious stroke).
Another pretty sight and hole.
Me on 11th tee (I think).
More 11th tee!
I believe this was 9th green. Sorry my memory sucks and I was so entrenched in the beauty that I couldn’t keep track.
Near the 18th green (left to right): Cameron, Steve, Damon, Shippy and me.
I loved the quirky character to the course. Sometimes I forgot to factor in the wind. It was tough to stay focused! And don’t get me started on the greens. It was like putting on glass. I started saying, “They’re fast and…” Damon exclaimed, “Furious!”
Our foursome! Ta-da! Thanks to Steve for hosting us and to Alan for setting it up. In my opinion, this was probably worth missing for MPCC:
Q. The one tee shot in 2000, when you whacked it in, that you hit it in there, into the bay. Talk about that?
TIGER WOODS: I hit it halfway to Japan. Yeah. (Laughter.)
Oh, I think I shot 82, which appears to be my new favorite score. The rust was definitely in play. And here’s my drive on the 16th hole. My swing sucked today — wasn’t feeling great, but I got by. I can point out five things offhand, but the video was kinda funny. Damon was behind the camera (good job, dude!).