96. The Preserve Golf Club
Tom Fazio, J. Michael Poellot & Sandy Tatum (2000)/Tom Fazio (2015)
Located a few miles inland from the glorious fivesome of 100 Greatest courses on California’s Monterey Peninsula (Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Spyglass Hill and the two courses at Monterey Peninsula C.C.), The Preserve is dramatically different, the only golf course contained within a 20,000-acre parcel of gentle hills and mammoth oaks. Fazio moved almost no earth here, so perfect was the routing established by Poellot and Tatum. The greens are subtle, the bunkering low key, the atmosphere one of absolute tranquility.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 2005. Highest ranking: No. 68, 2011-2012. Previous ranking: No. 93
Panelist comments, The Preserve Golf Club:
“There's about an eight-mile drive up the mountains once you drive through the gates until you get to the clubhouse, one of the more unique arrivals in golf. Clearly a significant effort went into the routing, and the result is one of the most memorable series of holes and challenges.”
“A perfect blend of golf and nature. It's a special piece of property, amazing within the sprawling hills, and the golf course flows well with the land. Plenty of width and wonderful green sites set into the hillsides and in the valleys.”
“Good use of elevation changes, variety of design, long/short, up/down, with and against prevailing wind. Greens are typical of Fazio, with some diabolical breaks and pin positions. The nuances of the greens were a treat.”
“The club has embraced firm and fast, and low maintenance of native vegetation, mowing lines, adding to the rustic nature of the site. Really in spectacular shape. And the amount of wildlife -- from wild boar to cougars, according to members, is a reminder you're in a nature preserve.”
“Impressive in scope and scale. It's certainly a solid layout with good golf holes, but some of the transition holes were mundane ... almost like the holes don't fit in."