The Beginning Place
The Beginning Place is a 520-yard opening hole waiting to be played by all those
who are ready to embark on "Journey at Pechanga". With the normally dry Pechanga
Creek paralleling the hole's right side, players will want to favor the left portion
of the fairway with their drives. A successful second shot avoids a solitary oak
on the right and flirts with a pair of strategically-placed bunkers on the left.
From the bunker zone, only a wedge is required to carry the arroyo that guards the
front and right sides of the moderately contoured green. A birdie is a realistic
possibility, but don't become overly confident. The journey has just begun!
Bobcat is a beast of a par 4 at 483 yards, although the hole is essentially straight,
there are decisions to be made along the way. A double fairway off the tee seems
spacious enough. However, the bunkers along the central diagonal face are menacing.
Choose the fairway on the right to set up an unobstructed approach angle, but beware
of the property boundary. A safe drive to the elevated fairway on the left means
carrying the bunkers and avoiding the oak grove if the putting surface is to be
reached in two. The long green welcomes long straight approach shots with a gentle
invitation for a hard-earned par.
Arrow Shaft is a par 3 and is set alongside the Pechanga Creek.
A line of beautiful oaks frames the right side of the green while a pair of bunkers
catches wayward attempts to the left on this 179-yard test. Be sure to measure the
length carefully off the tee and have the flat stick well honed for the challenging
The main goal of this 440-yard par 4 is to keep the ball in play between the two
groves of oaks that flank the fairway. However, the greatest reward will come from
favoring the left side so that an open approach to the green remains. Drives to
the right side bring two smaller oaks and two greenside bunkers into play on the
second shot. Two solid shots will create birdie opportunities, but an errant drive
can leave the player scrambling for a bogey.
Pivéesatal Kíicha (Pea-VAY-saw-tall-KEY-cha)
Bulrushes ("Tule") now provide the perfect setting for a short par 4 as we start
to leave the Pechanga Creek and work our way up the mountainside. The strategy is
simple on this 364-yard picture postcard, the more water that is carried off the
tee, the shorter the distance to the green. A convoluted putting surface provides
no guarantee of par unless the approach shot has the proper zip code. The remains
of an old house made from tule can be seen as players begin the trek up to the sixth
There’s no explanation needed for the name of this stunning, 435-yard par 4. The
landing area is larger than it looks, so don’t be afraid to pull out the driver
and start counting the hang time on the 175-foot drop. A bump and run down the broad
approach through generates the most fun and excitement if a par meets one’s goals.
The best results come from working it high and hard into the right side slope. A
modern, aerial attack is more risky, but may also make a short birdie try more likely.
A dose of target golf is offered up on this short dogleg left. Getting the ball
airborne is no problem from the tee on the high ridge above the ravine. The challenge
comes in finding the proper approach location on the broad fairway. Long and right
will avoid the fairway oak and leave a favorable angle into the smallish green complex
on the 330-yard par 4.
A true "eagle" on this 220-yard par 3 requires the shot of a lifetime and a healthy
credit line to buy the drinks after the hole-in-one. However, the easiest way to
experience an eagle here is to look to the distinctive rock formation high up on
the mountain. To keep from stumbling, use less club than normal and favor the right
side on the deceptive, downhill challenge.
If you have found the eagle, then you’ll have no trouble spotting the bear on the
mountain on this hole. However, once you turn your back on the beast, the real challenge
is in front of you. The well protected green is visible from the elevated tees.
Be sure to stay left of the stonewall on your drive on this 578-yard par 5. Two
routes are available to the green from the first landing area, but the relationship
to the big oak usually makes the decision an easy one. Most will prefer a left side
approach because the large bunker right of the green becomes less of a factor, but
everyone will need a deft putting stroke if a birdie is to be recorded on the roly-poly
contours of the putting surface.
This is a fun little drivable par 4 where the "Journey" returns to the banks of
Pechanga. Let one fly right over the oaks if the green is your target, but be prepared
for a recovery from the dry creek bed if you get a little too quick with the wrists.
The safe play is out to the right, but the approach shot over the bunker complex
to a shallow green leaves no guarantee of par. Be careful on this one so that you
can fully enjoy the "Mountain View".
Take in the majestic beauty of the specimen oak trees as you work your way around
the bend of the river on this 533-yard par 5. Accuracy is more important than length
as golfers chart their routes down the well framed corridor. The best approach angles
come from flirting with the river. Anything to the left has to deal with either
the oaks or the deep greenside bunker.
There are no fairway bunkers to worry about on this 390-yard, dogleg left par 4
that crosses the main creek. Longer drives avoid the oaks on the left, but bring
the bunker right of the green into play. The best approach angle is from the corner
beside the last oak on the left. The tiered putting surface makes proper club selection
a must if one is to have any reasonable chance for a birdie.
This is a beautiful par 5 with a fairly demanding tee shot over the corner of Little
Pechanga. A drive to the left provides a better angle around the sycamore and into
the second landing area. The cascading stream becomes more of a factor the closer
one gets to the putting surface on the 590-yard hole. Playing close to the stream
allows a better view and safer angle into the moderately contoured green.
Be sure to get everything out of your driver on this downhill 493-yard par 4. The
further that you hit the ball, the better that you can see the green complex on
the sharp dogleg left that has a splattering of bunkers at its corner. A deep gaping
bunker on the right provides all the protection that is necessary to defend the
elevated putting surface that is laced with subtle and deceptive grades throughout.
This 205-yard treat, complete with waterfalls, is the only par 3 on the golf course
where water comes into play. There’s plenty of room to miss on the right, but be
prepared to regroup with a tricky pitch shot over a pair of menacing bunkers. A
large collection area behind the green provides various recovery options for those
who choose too much club. The green has its share of intriguing cupping areas, each
with its own distinct challenge.
Nice, long, controlled draw will serve players well on this strong par 4 that swings
around the long lake. A central fairway bunker will give pause to many on the tee.
It is best to play left of the bunker or else one faces a really long and difficult
hole even though it only measures 416 yards from the back tees. The green is nestled
between a great oak and a sand bunker at the end of the lake. Miss short and right
or else go long to avoid a big number. Par is a very good score here.
‘Éesatal Kíicha (AY-sah-tall-KEY-chah)
One final ascent on the "Journey" leads to a breath taking view from the tees on
the 200-yard par 3 seventeenth. Even though the green is relatively large, proper
club selection is imperative if par is to remain a possibility. A collection of
saving bunkers ring the green to keep slightly errant shots from plummeting into
‘Á$wut Potée’i (OSH-woot-poe-TAY-ee)
As on hole 17 the "Eagle Nest" tee, complex on the finishing hole, provides
a feeling of being on top of the world. Turning back to reality, the player better
be on top of his game to walk away with a respectable score on this 442-yard, dogleg
left par 4. An accurate drive is critical, stay right of the large outcrop at the
edge of the chasm to remain safe off the tee. A target bunker way down the fairway
provides further direction. Once safely on the flat land again, a mid-iron approach
to an elevated, multi-tiered green, guarded by a formidable bunker on the left provides
the final challenge. As on most holes, a good drive followed by an accurate second
makes for distinct birdie opportunities.