Last Update :6/23/2006
GOLF Magazine- June 2006
KING OF THE HILLS
Monarch Dunes, Nipomo, California
Golfers driving north from Santa Barbara in search of a worthy course usually have just one impulse: step on the gas for Pebble Beach. Any mention of California's central coast draws little more than blank stares. But Monarch Dunes, a new layout that opened in April, provides 18 legitimate reasons to slow down and pull over.
Situated 80 miles north of Santa Barbara, Monarch Dunes is run by the same folks who manage Bandon Dunes Resort. While Monarch's dunes won't make you forget Bandon's, they're pretty scenic in their own right—and the course is much easier to get to. Architect Damian Pascuzzo, with help from Steve Pate, sculpted the first 18 (of a planned 45) through eucalyptus forest, with some ocean views and frequent, stiff coastal breezes.
The most memorable holes on this par-71, 6,810-yard layout are the 560-yard, uphill, risk/reward par-5 sixth, which features one of the course's six lakes and the 423-yard, downhill par-4 13th, where you must avoid dunes, trees and a strategically placed greenside bunker. The bottom line: Where value is concerned, this Monarch is regal.
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