Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines serves as a warm-up for 2021 U.S. Open
With the 2021 U.S. Open set to return to Torrey Pines Golf Course in five short months, the seaside La Jolla track will get a dress rehearsal this week during the $7.5-million Farmers Insurance Open.
San Diego’s PGA Tour stop annually attracts one of the best fields outside of the major championships, and while fans can’t be on site this year due to COVID-19 restrictions, those watching on TV will see a field loaded with talent – many using it as a chance to prep for the season’s third major championship in June. The field includes 23 of the top 50 players in the Official World Golf Ranking, led by World No. 2 Jon Rahm, who won the event in 2017.
Here’s a look at the golf equipment making a splash in early 2021
The new year is off to a fast and furious start when it comes to golf equipment.
Some of the top names in the game are making a splash in early 2021 with the release of new drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons. Titleist is also rolling out new Pro V1 and Pro V1x golf balls, and there’s a host of new putters to choose from.
Here’s a look at what you can find…
Oceanfront golf resort in Dana Point becomes part of Waldorf Astoria
Since it first opened in 1985 along the shore of the Pacific Ocean in Dana Point, Monarch Beach Golf Links has long been a favorite destination for Southern California golfers as well as business and leisure travelers visiting Orange County. With its unmatched seaside location, prime course conditions and commitment to first-class service, it’s not hard to see why.
Starting in 2021, golfers and resort guests may notice upgrades, as the 400-room AAA five-diamond property has become the Waldorf Astoria Monarch Beach Resort & Club thanks to a new management contract with the world-class luxury hotel brand. Ohana Real Estate Investors, which purchased the club in 2019, will retain ownership.
While any changes to the golf experience may be subtle at first, the overall experience of guests visiting from near and far will be improved in many ways, said Eric Lohman, General Manager of Monarch Beach Golf Links.
Carlsbad-based Callaway Golf continues to revolutionize the way we play
It’s no surprise that Callaway Golf is always front and center as one of the companies making waves in the industry year after year. What else would you expect from the brand that introduced us to the Big Bertha nearly three decades ago and forever changed the way golf equipment is made?
The last half of 2020 saw Callaway release the Big Bertha B21 drivers, fairways, hybrids and irons, as well as the Big Bertha REVA line of metals, hybrids and irons for women – with REVA complete sets coming early this year.
Lower handicappers were also presented with the company’s Apex muscleback and forged cavity-back and utility irons. To say the offerings were well received would be an understatement, and excitement among Callaway loyalists remains high with new products hitting retail early this year.
3 tried-and-true tips that will help take your golf game to the next level
Most longtime golfers know that there’s no end to great (and some not-so-great) golf tips. A quick mention of golf in casual conversation more often than not leads to a discussion about the best way to do this, or the worst way to do that.
After surveying some local PGA professionals – all of whom have heard and shared plenty of golf tips over the years – we came up with these three tried-and-true tips to help get your game in tip-top shape.
Top schools in the country set to compete at PGA WEST in The Prestige
One of the top college golf events in the country, The Prestige presented by Charles Schwab returns to the PGA WEST Greg Norman Course February 13-14 for its 21st year.
The annual men’s golf tournament will feature 24 teams, including nine from California – UC Davis, Stanford, Cal, Cal Poly, Long Beach State, Pepperdine, San Diego State, USC and UCLA. Three of the top-10 teams in the Bushnell Golfweek coaches’ poll through mid January are scheduled to attend, including No. 1 Pepperdine, No. 9 Texas Tech and No. 10 Arizona State.
Brian Hughes, the PGA Clubhouse Manager and Head Golf Professional at the Greg Norman Course at PGA WEST, said the quality of the competition has been strong since the event first started, and The Prestige has steadily bolstered its reputation as one of the best college tournaments in the country.
5 top medicine ball exercises for golf
You don’t always need a lot of fancy equipment to get in a good golf workout. Sometimes, all you need is a ball.
With than in mind, here are 5 top medicine ball exercises from Mike Hansen, the owner of Hansen Fitness for Golf in Irvine.
In the video, you’ll learn the different types of medicine balls you can use – they come in a variety of shapes and sizes – as well as what weight you should consider.
West Coast Swing tees off as The American Express returns to La Quinta
The party once known as the Bob Hope Classic will be considerably tamer this year, as the PGA Tour’s annual visit to the Coachella Valley will be held without fans in attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions. But that doesn’t mean The American Express – the event is in its second year being sponsored by the credit card company – will be any less exciting.
Fans can tune in on Golf Channel from January 21-24, and with homes lining all three courses in the rotation, plenty of homeowners will likely set up in their backyards for a closer look. When they do, they’ll watch a field of 156 of the world’s top players plying their trade with a $6.7 million purse on the line, a group that already includes nine of the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Host course of The American Express has been challenging golfers for 35 years
Playing the PGA WEST Pete Dye Stadium Course in La Quinta is sort of like skiing a double black diamond, the most difficult of alpine slopes. For low handicappers, it represents a stiff challenge and truly forces you to bring your “A” game. For the rest of us, well, simply surviving is a feat in itself, and the stories you’ll be able to tell will last a lifetime.
“The Stadium Course is on everyone’s bucket list,” said Ben Dobbs, PGA WEST’s Executive Director. “Even though it’s one of the most difficult courses in the country, everyone still wants to play it. Low handicappers may go out and shoot 79 and say it’s one of the best rounds they have ever played. Then there are amateurs who stop keeping score after a few holes and just try to enjoy the experience.”
Indeed, the experience of playing the Stadium Course is unlike any other. The Pete Dye-designed track maxes out at 7,300 yards, has been named by Golf Digest as the fourth toughest course in America, and in case you weren’t already intimidated, the scorecard reveals that there are holes nicknamed Eternity, San Andreas Fault and Alcatraz.
The Celebrity Course at Indian Wells Golf Resort.
Indian Wells Golf Resort honored for finest playing conditions in SoCal
For the second time in three years, Indian Wells Golf Resort has been honored with having the best playing conditions in Southern California.
Greenskeeper.org, a well-respected online platform and social network with 75,000 members that features golf course reviews and maintenance alerts, awarded Indian Wells Golf Resort its 2020 Best Playing Conditions honor on January 4, and also in 2018.
Indian Wells Golf Resort features two championship courses, the Celebrity and the Players. Designed by Clive Clark, the Celebrity Course is a 7,038-yard, par 72 with spectacular mountain views, undulating fairways, lakes, waterfalls, flowing streams and brooks, and vibrant floral landscaping. The John Fought-designed par-72 Players Course stretches to 7,376 yards from the tips and features a classic American design complete with sculpted bunkers in a style reminiscent of Riviera and Winged Foot. Both tracks have received numerous accolades over the years.
Greetings, fellow golfers, and welcome to SoCal Golf Insider! We are Rob Lyon and Eric Marson and we've been reporting and writing about the game throughout the region since 1995. Here, we will provide you with the latest news, features, reviews and more on all things golf in Southern California. Let’s tee it up!
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