In town for golf? Classy hotels not a problem at trendy Monterey Bay

Playing Seaside Resort's Bayonet and Black Horse courses? Nearby hotels offer attractive stay-and-play options

SEASIDE, Calif. - The two golf courses at Seaside Resort, Bayonet and Black Horse, have undergone a $13 million renovation, but the work is far from over at this 36-hole, public golf facility that overlooks Monterey Bay.

Plans still call for a new clubhouse and a 275-to-300-room luxury hotel that will sit where the old driving range was located.

When those two projects will take place is still up in air, especially with the tough economic times facing the country right now, said Dick Fitzgerald, project director for Seaside Resort Development, which is spearheading the renovation efforts. Most likely the company will break ground after the sale of a limited number of home sites that soon will become available.

Until the hotel is built, however, Seaside has partnered with three hotels to offer stay-and-play golf vacation packages - Sanctuary Beach Resort, Casa Munras Hotel and Embassy Suites-Seaside.

Sanctuary Beach Resort

The Sanctuary Beach Resort near Monterey is adjacent to not only the National Marine Sanctuary but also at the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The resort is located about 10 minutes north of Monterey and is only 15 minutes north of Carmel.

This spring, Sanctuary Beach Resort in Marina is offering a package for Dune View rooms at $189 per night (Sunday through Thursday) and $259 per night (Friday and Saturday), and Ocean View rooms at $219 per night (Sunday through Thursday) and $299 (Friday and Saturday). Price includes one 18-hole greens fee, cart and range balls but does not include tax. Limited availability and certain black-out dates apply. Call (877) 944-3863 for reservations or more information.

Casa Munras Hotel

Located in the heart of Monterey, Casa Munras is built around the original hacienda of Don Esteban Munras, the last Spanish diplomat to California. The hacienda was built in 1824 and was one of the first built outside the Royal Presidio of Monterey. This Monterey hotel is located near many of the most visited attractions in the Central California region - Fisherman's Wharf, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the shops and restaurants in the downtown area are just steps away.

Monterey's Casa Munras Hotel currently features weekday rates of $189 and weekend rates of $239 (single/double occupancy) for accommodations and golf at Bayonet/Black Horse. Call (800) 222-2446 for more information or reservations.

Embassy Suites-Seaside

Located two blocks from the beachfront in Seaside, the hotel offers guests good bay views as well as comfortable accommodation options. With its open atrium design, guests are treated to a complimentary full breakfast. There's also a number of other entertainment options close by such as hiking, butterfly watching, kayaking or surfing.

Golf packages at Embassy Suites this spring are $255 on weekdays and $305 on weekends (single/double occupancy) and include one 18-hole greens fee, cart and range balls at Bayonet/Black Horse. Call 831-393-1115 for more information.

About the Bayonet and Black Horse golf courses

All 36 holes at Bayonet and Black Horse re-opened in December after a $13 million renovation by Gene Bates. As part of the renovation, both golf courses have been re-grassed with Jacklin T1 bentgrass to replace the deteriorating and invasive kikuyu and Poa annua grasses on the tees, fairways and greens.

In addition, corridors and routing were refined on both courses, and trees and underbrush were cleaned up to reveal numerous views of Monterey Bay and the town of Monterey, which weren't visible before.

Bayonet, with its narrow-playing corridors and steep, penal bunkering, has long been considered one of the most difficult tests of golf on the Monterey Peninsula. Black Horse, a 7,024-yard, par-72 layout, features sweeping vistas of the Pacific and is highlighted by fescue-framed fairways, bunkers with distinctive, serrated edges and highly contoured greens.

Getting to Monterey

The Monterey Peninsula Airport offers commercial and charter air service, including direct flights to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Denver, Phoenix and Las Vegas. San Jose International Airport and San Francisco International Airport serve the area and are one and two hours north of Bayonet Black Horse, respectively.

The golf courses are also within easy driving distance of the Mineta San Jose International Airport about an hour and 15 minutes away.

Mike Bailey is a senior staff writer based in Houston. Focusing primarily on golf in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and Latin America with an occasional trip to Europe and beyond, he contributes course reviews, travel stories and features as well as the occasional equipment review. An award-winning writer and past president of Texas Golf Writers Association, he has more than 25 years in the golf industry. Before accepting his current position in 2008, he was on staff at PGA Magazine, The Golfweek Group and AvidGolfer Magazine. Follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeBaileyGA and Instagram at @MikeStefanBailey.
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Playing Seaside Resort's Bayonet and Black Horse courses? Nearby hotels offer attractive stay-and-play options