January 4, 2017

The Valley Club of Montecito

Montecito, Calif. / 6,750 yards, Par 71 / Points: 61.5045
The Valley Club of Montecito hole 14
LC Lambrecht

80. The Valley Club of Montecito

Alister MacKenzie & Robert Hunter (1929)/William P. Bell (R. 1946)/Tom Doak (R. 1998-2001)/Todd Eckenrode (R. 2012-2013)/Jim Urbina (R. 2015)

The Valley Club is routed like an hourglass, with a wide variety of holes, including the third, hard against a barranca, the downright mountainous 10th, the gorgeous canyon-carry 14th and broad, serpentine 15th. Fairways are generous but the slant of greens demand certain angles of approach. The restored MacKenzie bunkers resemble jigsaw pieces that, observed architect Jim Urbina, seem to fit one another, left and right. An added bonus is its location, in perhaps the best golfing weather in the nation.

100 Greatest History: Ranked 1995-2002, 2005-2008 & since 2015. Highest ranking: No. 59, 2001-2002. Previous ranking: No. 83

Panelist comments:
“Valley Club is the closest course I've played to the Melbourne Sandbelt. It's not on sand, but they do a great job with bunker shapes and the surrounding grass areas being shaved down so balls will feed into them.”

“Spectacular bunker restoration of these classic MacKenzie hazards to their original form and look.”

“What a fun walk. A few holes are too short by today's standards, but this is one great parkland course in an idyllic setting.”

“Given the placement of the greensites up against a lot of the hillsides, Mackenzie/Hunter created illusions so that it's hard to know how much uphill or downhill a putt actually is.”

“It's hard to beat the view from the 14th tee looking up 14 and 15 to the clubhouse.”

LC Lambrecht

Hole No. 4

LC Lambrecht

Hole No. 14

LC Lambrecht

Hole No. 15

LC Lambrecht

Hole No. 17