Quail Lodge Golf Club in Carmel Valley Celebrates Its 50th Anniversary
June 25, 2014
It was once a dairy farm. The late Edgar Haber turned it into a Monterey Peninsula golf icon.
Quail Lodge Golf Club, located in Carmel Valley, began celebrating its 50th birthday on Wednesday by hosting a media day. The celebration will continue with other planned events through the rest of the year.
“We are proud to have played a role in the remarkable history and tradition of golf in this very special part of the golf world,” said Sarah Cruse, general manager of Quail Lodge Golf Club. “We have hosted championship golf tournaments for men and women, professionals and amateurs alike. And as stewards of a magnificent golf course, we look forward to preserving its legacy as we begin our next 50 years of golf at Quail Lodge Golf Club.”
The first golf course in the valley, what was Carmel Valley Golf and Country Club originally opened in the summer of 1964. Haber wanted a course that played along the sun-drenched valley floor out of range of the lingering marine layer and would have a traditional sand base for quick drainage.
Designed by Robert Muir Graves, the course was built on 240 acres of farmland that also served as home to thousands of native quail. Graves’ strategic layout immediately lured legends and locals alike with its warm climate and year-round playability. In 1967, Quail Lodge was added, providing players the opportunity to play and stay.
Among the first to embrace Carmel Valley Golf and Country Club was Arnold Palmer, who stayed at Quail Lodge and used the golf course and practice facility while in the area for the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1968 and 1969. Others who followed Palmer’s lead were Gary Player, Doug Sanders and David Graham, who all stayed at Quail Lodge during the 1972 U.S. Open and were shuttled to Pebble Beach on a private helicopter secured by Haber.
It was professional golf that led to the club’s name change to Quail Lodge Golf Club. During the 1990’s, Carmel Valley Golf and Country Club hosted the annual Spalding Invitational, a non-tour event that dew high caliber fields. However, TV broadcasters kept referring to the course as “the Golf Club at Quail Lodge.” In 1988, Haber chose to switch rather than fight and leveraged the “Quail” connection in officially renaming the property.
Among the many memorable moments at Quail Lodge Golf Club in its first 50 years are:
-The golf course was less than a year old when it was selected to host sectional qualifying for the 1965 U.S. Open. Bob Moore of Salinas shot 70-74 for an even par 144 to lead nine qualifiers.
-The course has been home to the California State Women’s Amateur Championship since 1987. It’s where Monterey resident Mina Harigae made national headlines, winning four straight CWAC titles from 200-1 to 2004 before being old enough to drive, and where a 12-year-old Natalie Gulbis was DQ’d from the 1995 championship for signing an incorrect scorecard.
-The practice facility has been staffed by a world-class collection of golf instructors including Ben Doyle, Laird Small, Janet Coles and Katherine Marren.
-Bobby Clampett grew up at the course, rising to become two-time Collegiate Player of the Year, a PGA Tour champion and later the prized pupil of Doyle. Coles, who played on the LPGA Tour, also was a student of Doyle’s.
-In 1975 the club was the site of the U.S. Senior Amateur, won by William F. Colm, who defeated Stephen Stimac, 4 and 3.
Other anniversary events include the unveiling of an historic photo and memorabilia display in August and a December celebration of the christening of the original clubhouse. Also, a book on the club’s first 50 years—‘The Golf Legend of Quail Lodge’ by Carmel author Gary Koeppel—is being released this summer.