title>JL Lewis PGA Golfer Great Golf Courses

Great Golf Courses of the World


Interview: PGA TOUR Golfer J.L. Lewis


Golf Entertainemnt: Spectacular Golf Courses in the United States!


December 2009



J.L. Lewis

PGA TOUR player J.L. Lewis has had the chance to play on several of the world’s greatest golf courses, particularly in the United States. In this interview we will hear J.L.’s perspective on a few of these spectacular golf courses, as well as fun stories and remembrances from playing them. Read on to learn more about Augusta National Golf Club, Cypress Point Club, Pine Valley Golf Club, Pebble Beach Golf Links, and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club!



Cypress Point Club
Monterey Peninsula, Monterey, California


Cypress Point Club

Cypress Point Club is a private golf club with only 250 members. It is set at the foothills of the Santa Lucia Mountains on the very tip of the Monterey Peninsula. Seth Reynor originally designed the course but died before its completion, so Dr. Alister MacKenzie completed the course in 1928. The course is famous for holes number 16, 17, and 18, which run along the Pacific Ocean. The course has Bent Grass on the greens and Winter Rye on the fairways, with 41 – 50 sand bunkers throughout the whole course. It formerly was one of the courses used for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, last doing so in 1991.

Q: When did you play at Cypress Point Club?

A: I have played at Cypress Point on two occasions, the first time was in
1989, my first round as a PGA TOUR player.


Q: Tell us a little bit about that experience.

A:  The weather was cold and windy and I shot 77. I remember calling home and telling my wife that if every course on the tour was like Cypress Point, I was in big trouble. The course was the most dynamic layout and in my mind the greatest course I have ever seen to this day. The ice plant and crashing waves provide for the ultimate challenge along with the best views on the planet.

My second round at Cypress Point is the most memorable for me because I was in the area driving around and pulled up into the driveway of Cypress Point. Fortunately they did not run me off before I went in the pro shop and talked to the head pro. After a lengthy conservation he asked if I would like to play the course. They set me up with a caddie and I played Cypress Point by myself on a perfect day. That was the best day I have had on a golf course. The solitude of the golf course combined with the magnitude of the ocean created a surreal experience that seemed to slow time down and engrain memories that will last a lifetime. Cypress Point is one of my favorite courses because of the fantastic views. The course is located on the famous 17-Mile Drive on the Monterey Peninsula and nearby Carmel by the Sea, which are American treasures beyond compare.


Pine Valley Golf Club
Pine Valley, Camden County, New Jersey


Pine Valley Golf Club was originally designed by George Crump. The greens and fairways have Bent Grass, and there are 61-70 sand bunkers scattered throughout the course. Hazards around the course in addition to the bunkers include scrub, rough, dense woods, sometimes water, and sometimes steep falloffs. The club is highly exclusive, with about 1,000 members spread across the world. 

Q: When did you play Pine Valley Golf Club?

A: In the early nineties.

Q: What sticks out in your memory the most about the golf course itself?

A: I remember the old style clubhouse and the fact that every hole was completely different with a variety of design qualities that would be almost impossible to duplicate because of the huge costs of construction. The course has bunkering that borders each hole nearly from tee to green with just enough room to wedge the ball back to the fairway which puts a premium on accuracy. 


The Pine Valley experience is a once in a lifetime dream come true for anyone who loves the game of golf and enjoys the beauty of a super layout on a perfect piece of land. The clubhouse has as much history as any facility in the country with pictures of past Walker Cup teams as well as the winners of the past club events. The whole Pine Valley establishment is about as exclusive as it gets in the United States and it was a true privilege to play there.


Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, California


Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach Golf Links is located within earshot of the thunderous Pacific Ocean. Douglas Grant and Jack Neville laid out the course in 1919. It was then remodeled in 1929 by Henry Chandler Egan. It has hosted the prestigious U.S. Open several times since 1972 and will be the venue of the 2010 edition. The course is public, with a very high green fee. Since 1947, Pebble Beach has been one of the host courses for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, a fantastic tournament for golf entertainment with the many celebrities who attend yearly. It also hosts the Champions Tour Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach in September each year. 

Q: How many times have you played at Pebble Beach Golf Links?

A: I’ve probably played at least 30 rounds at Pebble Beach.

Q: What do you like the most about this course and the area?

A: Pebble Beach Golf Links is the most recognizable name in golf. Pebble Beach is a dynamic golf course in good and bad weather. The breathtaking views make an easy distraction from the golf game. There is plenty to watch with the beautiful ocean views and the sea otters and seals playing in the water. Depending on the weather, Pebble Beach can be quite a challenge or can play relatively easy. On the par 3, 7th hole, depending on the weather, I've hit anywhere from a 5-wood to a wedge or 9-iron to the green.


The area and history of the event, originally known as the Clambake first hosted by Bing Crosby (now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am) has been in existence for over half a century and continues to be a popular tournament. For the past twenty years I have played at Pebble Beach and I look forward to the trip each Carmel by the Seayear. The Inn at Spanish Bay, with the outdoor fireplaces and bagpiper that marches to the sea and back every day at dusk, is a popular spot for guests to stay and enjoy the fantastic coastline views. Carmel by the Sea is quite an experience, with quaint restaurants, art galleries, and eclectic stores for shoppers to browse the day away in complete tranquility. My favorite place to go on the PGA TOUR is Pebble Beach. 

Q: What is a memorable event at Pebble Beach?

A: One year during the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, I was paired with Bill Murray. It was our final round of the tournament. He spent the day walking in and out of houses along the fairway and clowning around and entertaining the spectators. On our 9th hole (#18), while I was putting he removed all of the extra golf balls in my golf bag and threw them to the crowd. I had no more balls to play with for the rest of the round other than the ball I had used on that hole. I said to Bill, "Hey, I only have one ball left!" Bill said to me, “You’re a pro - you should be able to play with one ball!”  It’s a good thing I didn’t lose my ball for the rest of that round!


Shinnecock Hills Golf Club
Southhampton, Long Island, NY

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club was designed by Willie Dunn. It has been host to the U.S. Open four times. It is a prestigious links-style golf club formed in 1891. The club house was built in 1892, and remains in use to this day.  It is also the first club to have admitted women, which it did from the start. 

Q: When did you play at Shinnecock Hills?

A: At the U.S. Open in 2005. 

Q: What do you remember about the club and the course?

A: Shinnecock Hills is in the Hamptons. It is a very upscale, quaint, and wealthy area. It is kind of like Carmel, California on the west coast, but on the east coast. Shinnecock HillsThere is tremendous history for the game of golf at this club. Some of the first golf courses were built in this Long Island area, such as Winged Foot and Westchester, in addition to Shinnecock Hills, to name a few. 

The course is very hard, with very small greens. There are small targets with tight landing areas all over the course. It is difficult to break par on this course, and extremely difficult to score well. 



Augusta National Golf Club
Augusta, Georgia



This beautiful historic course is home to the Masters. It was founded by Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones and was designed by Dr. Alister MacKenzie. The course opened in 1933 and began hosting the Masters golf tournament in 1934 and has continued to the be the host for the Masters ever since.

Q: When did you play at Augusta National Golf Club?

A: In 2004 for the Masters. I won the 84 Lumber Classic in 2003, which gave me the status I needed to be eligible to play at the 2004 Masters. 

Q: What features of the course stand out in your memory the most?

A: Augusta National Golf Club has been the home of the Masters golf tournament for nearly a century. Considered the most prestigious of the four professional major championships, the Masters is played each spring with a backdrop of azaleas surrounding one of the best golf courses ever created. Bobby Jones built the course and made it his home that he shared with the best players in the world. 

The layout has a number of distinguishing features that were way ahead of their time and have become staples of modern golf course design. The course is very undulating with greens that sharply change levels to provide numerous difficult pin positions on every hole. The course is the perfect stage for fans to witness pressure packed golf action. Many of the holes are on side hill slopes requiring players to hit all types of shots to greens designed to allow only well struck shots to end up near the hole. The wind whips around amen corner, holes 11, 12, and 13, to cause havoc on approach shots and make scoring difficult. On top of all this the green speeds are super fast and putting off the green is a regular occurrence for even the best players. The Masters is the ultimate exercise in stressed out golf and the winner is a true champion.

Q: Do you recall any memorable stories while playing at Augusta?

A: During my 2nd round, on the 2nd hole (a par 5), my second shot landed on the green 50 yards down the hill from the pin. I was on the back left of the green, and the pin was on the front right. The greens there are tricky and steep. I putted off the green and ended up making a 6 on that hole, which cost me the cut. I missed the cut that day by one shot.



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