Posted on July 01, 2019
Fit For Royalty
By, George Fuller
The confluence of two highly respected names in hospitality at one distinctive address on the California coast is certain to deliver an extraordinary guest experience. Such is the case at Monarch Beach Golf Links, where the Monarch Beach Resort and OB Sports work hand-in-hand and golfers are the ones who benefit.
“Monarch Beach Resort is all about providing guests with genuine, personalized service and an authentic beach-house hospitality that goes well beyond expectations,” said PGA General Manager Eric Lohman. “And that merges exactly with what OB Sports strives for as well.”
The posh 400-room resort with recently refreshed guestrooms and suites looks out from its bluff-top location to the azure Pacific Ocean, as does most of the Robert Trent Jones II-designed course. Two holes play so close to the water you can feel the ocean spray on your face. Conforming nicely to the gently sloping terrain — and colorfully landscaped with red flowering coral trees, native California shrubs, towering palm and eucalyptus trees, and several varieties of pine — the first two holes play around a picturesque lake before the cart path leads under the Pacific Coast Highway and emerges on a rise immediately overlooking the ocean. Holes three and four rank among the best on the course, both for their beauty and their playing characteristics. Though a short par-4 at 315 yards from the back tees, No. 3 gives players a classic risk/reward option. Shooting straight at the ocean, a sharp dogleg left in the fairway calls for either a layup off the tee with a long-iron, or a go-for-broke shot over the corner of the dogleg and straight at the roller coaster-like green, situated paces from Salt Creek Beach and with long views of the Laguna coastline. “On some days, there are 40 or 50 surfers out there,” Lohman said. “And we see whales spouting all through the winter, as well as dolphins, and the occasional seal. It’s an exciting corner of the golf course!” A well-executed drive can result in a chance at eagle on No. 3 … but a miss right, left or short often engenders a big score. It’s also possible for big hitters to drive through the fairway and land in the waves.
Hole 4 plays away from the water and back up the hill to a par-3 green 185 yards away. After putting out, take a last look at these lovely waterfront holes, as back under the highway you go for the balance of the round. Partly due to those two standout holes, Monarch Beach Golf Links is consistently acclaimed among the top golf courses in Orange County by GOLF Magazine, Golf Digest, and other national and local publications, just as the resort is designated as a "Gold Metal Resort" by GOLF Magazine.
Guests of Monarch Beach Resort are also privy to some of the best dining options in California, led by Bourbon Steak Orange County, a Michael Mina restaurant, which is ranked the No.2 restaurant in Orange County. A newly renovated Monarch Bay Beach Club and the renowned Miraval Life in Balance Spa round out the offerings. “Monarch Beach is really the best of all worlds,” Lohman said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind resort situated on one of the most captivating coastlines in the world, with a golf course to match. That adds up to an unbeatable golf experience.” Indeed, it’s an experience fit for royalty. ▪