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The Greening of Orange County

Orange County has become synonymous with opulence--everything money can buy and no rough edges. The least likely words to describe such a place might be "exotic" or "secluded" or "wild." Yet the best of the new courses evoke those very feelings. Visit the heart of Southern California livin', and you'll get no surprises--until you put your peg in the ground. Then hold your breath.

Tip From The Pro - Out of the Pelican's Nest

The Ocean North course has an abundance of deeper-than-normal greenside bunkers. Therefore, a sand shot that elevates quickly is a must to recover from wayward approaches.

First choose a higher lofted club like a sixty-degree wedge. Take your stance in the bunker and dig your feet, shoulder width apart and slightly open to the target line, well into the sand. With the ball in the middle of your stance, press your hands just ahead of the club head. This allows the hands to lead the swing. Take a three-quarter swing. The club should start outside on the backswing and slice across the ball on the downswing. Make contact with the sand two inches behind the ball. Follow through and never let the club head pass in front of your hands at impact. The ball will pop out and land softly on the green.
Joe Hough, Head Professional, Pelican Hill

Travel Agent: Juicing the Orange

Where To Play

Aliso Viejo Golf Club, Ridge, Creek and Valley nines, 25002 Golf Dr., Aliso Viejo
par/yardage: 35, 3,055 (Ridge); 35, 3,222 (Creek); 36, 3,213 (Valley)
architect: Jack Nicklaus
phone: 949-598-9200

Coyote Hills Golf Course, 1440 E. Bastanchury Rd., Fullerton
par/yardage: 70, 6,510
architects: Cal Olson and Payne Stewart
phone: 714-672-6800

Monarch Beach Golf Links, 33033 Niguel Rd., Dana Point
par/yardage: 70, 6,344
architect: Robert T. Jones Jr.
phone: 949-240-8247

Oak Creek Golf Club,1 Golf Club Dr., Irvine
par/yardage: 71, 6,827
architect: Tom Fazio
phone: 949-653-7300

Pelican Hill Golf Club, Ocean North and South courses, 22651 Pelican Hill Rd., Newport Coast
par/yardage: 70, 6,856 (North); 71, 6,634 (South)
architect: Tom Fazio
phone: 949-760-0707

Strawberry Farms Golf Club, 11 Strawberry Farms Rd., Irvine
par/yardage: 71, 6,700
architect: Jim Lipe
phone: 949-551-1811

Tijeras Creek Golf Club, 29082 Tijeras Creek Rd., Rancho Santa Margarita
par/yardage: 72, 6,601
architect: Ted Robinson
phone: 949-589-9793

Tustin Ranch Golf Club, 12442 Tustin Ranch Rd., Tustin
par/yardage: 72, 6,803
architect: Ted Robinson
phone: 714-730-1611

Where To Stay

Four Seasons Newport Beach, 690 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, 800-332-3442
Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, 1 Ritz-Carlton Dr., Dana Pt., 800-287-2706
Surf & Sand, 1555 S. Coast Hwy., Laguna Beach, 949-497-4477

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