Above: Before and after
In response to player comments and criticism over the years, Journey at Pechanga has reworked its 18th green.
The severely undulating and taco-shaped Biarritz has been softened into a shape more resembling a curved potato chip, according to the Journey staff.
“It was a big decision,” Journey at Pechanga Director of Golf Scott Mallory said. “Ultimately we knew we had to listen to our guests. Before we softened the green, golfers may have been lucky to get off the green with a three- or four-putt. Now that it’s not so unforgiving, we have a phenomenal finishing hole. With two good shots, you can make birdie.”
Journey at Pechanga opened in 2008 after a lengthy planning and design process by Steve Forrest, Arthur Hills and the Pechanga Tribe. With Biarritz greens being an occasional calling card of Hills, Journey’s hole 18 was intended as a challenge of golfers’ forethought and skill. For pros like Mallory and others who golf often, the hole didn’t seem daunting. For weekend golfers and resort players who make up most of Journey’s customer base, however, the green became a frequent topic of contentious conversation.
“This change up makes the hole so much more fun and playable,” Mallory said.
The Journey staff points out to that the new green allows them up to eight possible pin placements, as opposed to only five before the reconstruction. Greenskeepers also like the change because it allows pin areas to recover better from foot traffic and ball marks.