The Shore Course
MPCC opened in 1926 with a Seth Raynor course and added The Shore course with design work by Jack Neville ( of Pebble Beach fame ) in the 50's.
In 2003 the club appointed Mike Stranz to revitalise the Shore course, and Stranz turned the course upside down, actually routing many of the holes in the reverse direction to the original design.
I am a real fan of Stranz's work. I first became aware of him with his design at Tobacco Road near Pinehurst - one of THE most fun courses I have ever played.
Unfortunately Mike Stranz died of tongue cancer and MPCC Shore course was his last project -but he leaves a legacy of spectacular, artistic golf courses.
So playing The Shore course today was a real treat.
The course started quietly with some elegant holes through the pine trees and housing estate toward the renowned Monterey coastline.
By hole 5 the ocean is in view, and you can hear the seals, birds and rolling surf.
And this is where the Stranz influence really kicks in with a cluster of holes sculpted by a real artist. Stranz uses dramatic bunkering to complement the rocky outcrops, cypress pines and huge marine backdrop...
MPCC is a very private club, and a relatively busy one. The course is not a championship course nor a resort course - as such it is not unnecessarily tricked up in any way. It is challenging, strategic, gorgeously visual, and although the greens have plenty of movement and interest they are capable of being entirely fair to regular club competition players.
Unusually the configuration is five par 5's, five par 3's and eight par 4's.
The par 3's showed real variety with uphill and downhill shots in different terrains and with different lengths, and I thought they were particularly good.
There were so many good holes I would hate to name a favourite - perhaps the long par 4 , 14th with skyline green, or maybe the par 5, 6th with it's green sitting in a rocky promontory...
Needless to say I rate MPCC Shore course highly, and enjoyed my day.
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