The Monterey Peninsula is a world renowned golf destination passionate golfers dream about. This breathtaking region plays host to some of the most scenic world-class golf courses this country has to offer.
Located along its historic 17-Mile Drive are places like Spyglass, Spanish Bay, Pacific Grove and Cypress, a place so private even US Presidents have to be invited to play there.
And topping this list of courses is the iconic Pebble Beach Golf Links. This is the golf course everyone hopes they will play at some point during their lifetimes, but relatively few ever get the opportunity to do so.
But that’s not the case for 11 members of the Ontario Christian Golf Team who made the four day/three night trip to Monterey during Spring Break. Working together as a team, and with encouragement and help from parents, friends and supporters, their fundraising efforts created the opportunity for team members to experience what they are now calling their “trip of a lifetime.”
With Head Golf Coach Kevin Knutson and Assistant Coach Nick Koning along to provide guidance, the team got to experience the sights, the sounds and the excitement of all that Monterey has to offer, including playing rounds of golf at Pebble Beach, Poppy Hills and Pacific Grove on consecutive days.
“The main purpose of the trip is to grow relationships, friendships and an overall appreciation for golf and God’s creation,” says Knutson. “The team learned that when working as a team, anything is possible.”
Every four years the golf program at Ontario Christian offers this type of opportunity to those on the team to create a “trip of a lifetime” for themselves once during their high school careers. And this year’s team took full advantage.
Their first day of play began at Pebble Beach which features 18 holes of oceanfront golf with some of the most amazing history and views a golfer could ask for. And it didn’t take long for the Ontario Christian team to carve out a little piece of history for itself.
Just five holes into the round sophomore Seth Hughes added to the excitement by making one of golf’s most memorable shots, a hole-in-one on the 145-yard par three at Pebble Beach’s No. 5.
What a way to kick-start their visit. For Seth and the rest of the team, this truly was a moment they will never forget.
Day Two found the team heading deep in the Del Monte Forest to play at Poppy Hills. This hidden gem among the pine trees feels like it is worlds away from civilization. Many have called it the Pinehurst of the West. This is an intriguing layout that rides the rolling elevation changes of the land while jumping across the Riparian Corridor.
The team found itself out of the woods on Day Three and back on the Peninsula to play at Pacific Grove, a really cool layout made from two separate nine hole designs, one from the 1930’s, that offers old-world charm.
Pacific Grove has a reputation for being one of the best municipal golf courses in the State of California and has been dubbed “the poor man’s Pebble Beach” for good reason.
When not playing fantastic golf courses, the team also paid a visit to the Monterey Aquarium, Cannery Row, went bowling and played miniature golf.
The team also experienced the sights and sounds of the “17-mile Drive” with many stops along the way to marvel at some of nature’s most amazing treasures, including The Lone Cypress – one of California’s best-known and most often photographed landmarks.
There was a lot for the team to see and experience in such a short period of time, and the team won’t be forgetting any of it for a lifetime.