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The Journey Course at Pechanga - Review - Life is all about The Journey

By Jeff Rector

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Golf Magazine rated Journey #4 best new course to play


A wise man once said that "Life is not about what's at the end of the road, it's about the journey that takes you there". Truer words were never spoken. In this case, the Journey is Pechanga Resort & Casinos beautiful 7,219 yard, 72-par championship golf course. And the road is the 7-mile cart path that takes you there. Journey is a beautifully landscaped work-of-art designed by world-renowned golf course architect Arthur Hills and his partner Steve Forrest. The course winds its way across the Pechanga River, over rustic bridges and awe inspiring terrain which rises and falls a breathtaking 300 feet, often with majestic panoramic views of Temecula Valley and the surrounding countryside. This impressive world-class course, winds along a spectacular boulder strewn mountain complete with cascading creeks and a serene lake. In addition to its natural beauty, Journey actually helps to preserve the historic tribal land that it is built upon.

One of Journey's majestic holes at the foot of the San Jacinto mountains


But don't be fooled by Journey's alluring beauty, its no walk in the park. Although the holes aren't incredibly long, they are tricky, with quite a few blind doglegs. The course is in exceptional shape and the greens play pretty fast. My recommendation is to spend a little time on the putting green and driving range beforehand. There is no rhyme or reason for the breaks on the greens. They don't run down from the mountain to the valley, but they are true. Every green is different, and must be read accordingly. What you see is what you get. However, what you will get is a  pristine, stunning, and handsomely groomed world-class golf course with challenging terrain. If you keep the ball in the fairway, you'll be in good shape. The roughs are manicured but thick, and from about 2:00 in the afternoon until about 6:00 in the evening, a stiff breeze comes through the valley and definitely comes into play. I suggest an early morning start, especially when the weather heats up in the summer.

Scott B. Mallory is Journey's resident PGA Pro


Am I getting too technical? Then just go out and enjoy yourself. You'll start by climbing into one of Journeys high-tech Yamaha golf carts equipped with state-of-the-art GPS systems. Each on-board computer (which actually talks to you), and helps with course tips and computer graphics to guide you from a choice of five tee boxes, to the hole. There is even a video introduction to the course by PGA Touring Pro and current U.S Ryder Cup Captain, Corey Pavin. Journeys own PGA staff Pro is Scott B. Mallory who has been playing the game since age 7 and will be happy to answer any course questions. If you need a warm-up, Journey has a 30-station grass driving range, 2 large short game chipping greens and bunkers and 2 large putting greens. PGA professional instruction is available on an individual basis or in a clinic from a selection of seasoned instructors. Custom club fitting is available and if you don't have your clubs with you, Taylor Made sets are available from the Pro Shop.

A rustic bridge leads to The Clubhouse at night


The impressive Clubhouse boasts 62,000 square-feet and is as elegant and upscale as any top-of-the-line private country club around the country. Patrons enter the dramatic 4,000 square-foot foyer, which leads to the Pro Shop and restaurant. The Clubhouse Restaurant Journey's End serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and includes a large outdoor patio, which is also available for tournaments, private functions, weddings and corporate events. The 28,000 square-foot Pro Shop is the focal point of the Clubhouse. It carries the latest (top end) equipment and apparel, along with an oversized humidor stocked with with an impressive selection of premium cigars. All this is set in a comfortable atmosphere with overstuffed chairs, five plasma screen TV's and a spectacular view of the course through floor-to-ceiling plate-glass windows. The luxurious full-service Mens and Women’s Locker Rooms are equipped with towels, lotions, soaps, hairspray and on-site shoe and club repair.

The Pro Shop has an amazing selection of top end golf products


Pechanga (pe-CHONG-ah) literally means "place where the water drips". It is the name of the spring at the foot of the mountain where the Temeeku ancestors have lived since the late 1800's. Luiseno, is the native language, and from that point on became known as the people who live at Pechaa'ang - or The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. Pechanga is proud of its rich heritage and culture that can still be seen on various holes of the course where Piveesatal Kiicha Huts (tule houses) can be found. At one time, these dwellings were used as shelter and homes for the Luiseno Indian tribe. Hand-made rock sculptures also adorn different holes on various parts of the course. All eighteen holes have been given traditional Indian names starting with the first hole which is called Chuxi' vonga, which means "The beginning place".  Based upon its rich heritage, Journey at Pechanga was literally 10,000 years in the making.

Kiicha Huts on the course are a reminder of Pechanga's rich heritage


In the evening after golf, Pechanga offers up some exciting nightlife as well. SILK, is the amazing ultra-modern Nightclub that will be opening this summer. This two story high-tech dance club with its double winding staircase to the second level looks like something out of a James Bond film. The huge dance floor has ample room for plenty of gyrating bodies. Pechanga also has two smaller venues, The Cabaret Lounge and The Eagles Nest. The Cabaret is on the main floor of the Casino, which is easily accessible from any of the restaurants or gaming rooms, and The Eagles Nest has an amazing view from the very top of the casino. Need a good laugh? Pechanga has it's very own Comedy Club with top name comedians from The Tonight Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central and HBO to name a few. The Resort also has a large 1200 seat Pechanga Theater which plays host to major celebrity performers, bands and musical acts.

The beautiful 4,000 square foot Clubhouse foyer


For more information on Pechanga Casino & Resort, visit their website at www.Pechanga.com

Published on Apr 02, 2011

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