Charles Blair MacDonald had been dead for over half a century when Pelican Hill was created. But his maxim—“Don’t confuse the canvas with the artwork” applies here. Only three holes lack stunning vistas of the Pacific Ocean and Santa Catalina island. Unfortunately, the hilly, canyoned land required the creation of a course that can only be navigated in a golf cart, a flaw of some note in my judgment. The resulting separation of the holes makes the course that much more unmemorable: there were a half a dozen of which I have no memory 24 hours after playing. That said, there are a number of fine holes here. Many get the player thinking about the best line for the tee shot and that strategy question carries over on the second shot on the par 5s as well—the best being the pot bunker in the middle of the 8th fairway. The greens are were fast (11.5 on my stimpmeter in January 2019) and quite tricky…..but less so once one realizes that above the hole is not a good spot to be putting from. My group rolled at least half a dozen putts right off the green, including two by a scratch golfer.
Date: January 31, 2019