HALF MOON BAY, Calif., Oct. 27, 2006 … Half Moon Bay Golf Links will reopen its famous 18th hole on the Old Course on Monday, Oct. 30, marking the completion of an extensive project that resulted in a larger, completely new green and remodeled tees for the par 4 that hugs the cliffs along the Pacific coastline.
"We are delighted with the success of the project, which allowed us to restore the bluffs to a more natural condition and recreate one of the most spectacular ocean holes in golf," said Lyn Nelson, general manger of the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, which is located just 30 miles south of San Francisco along California’s scenic Highway One. "The green and the bunkers look terrific and the hole plays virtually identical to its previous design."
The new green is about 25 percent larger than the old green, and the hole now plays to 411 yards from the back tees, only two yards shorter than before. The green was positioned a few yards forward from the old green and slightly inward of the cliffs, and features a gentle swale and false front reminiscent of the original green designed by Arnold Palmer more than 30 years ago. Bunkers and the bluff guard the back right of the green, which is framed by more than 1,000 native coastal flora planted around the area to enhance the rustic setting. The modified tees will offer even greater views from their new positions at the crest of the cliffs.
The green and bunkering were designed by Arthur Hills, the renowned golf course architect who remodeled the Old Course in 2000 and also designed the Ocean Course at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links in 1997.
"A bit more strategy was designed into the green," Hills said, "with the lower front level and the back right hole placement close to the ocean. The green is a little lower and therefore fits nicely into the grassy framework just below the hotel. Altogether the hole is a more dramatic and challenging climax to the old course."
Overall, there is hardly a noticeable change to the hole’s appearance from tee to green. It continues to showcase one of the most memorable vistas in golf and will retain its ranking as one of the finest golf holes in the country. Little has been altered to its playing scheme.
"Avoiding the barranca that crosses the fairway will remain the key off the tee," Nelson said, "and we have been able to retain the integrity of the approach shot. The orientation of the green will be more treacherous and harder to hold depending on the wind conditions. Accuracy is a plus, and an intricate chip shot will be required to make the up and down."
The initial phase, which focused on restoration to the bluffs adjacent to the picturesque finishing hole and The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, started in late May. Work included the removal of concrete and stone riprap along the cliffs, followed by the remodeling of the green and tees.
For more information about the Half Moon Bay Golf Links, call (650) 726-1800 or visit www.halfmoonbaygolf.com .
Hunter Public Relations