Golf: One pretty picture

December 19, 2000

Richard Dunn

One week before Christmas in the millennium year, strange things

are happening: Severe and unusual weather around the nation, for sure.

Including Newport Beach.

When was the last time Southern California experienced conditions like

the Santa Ana Winds, but without the wind?

For dice-rolling television producers of the Hyundai Team Matches at


Pelican Hill Golf Club, exciting golf and perfect weather are two very

important factors over which they have zero control.

Makes you wonder? Could the Team Matches have come off any better on

television? Probably not.

And for those working the event, Mother Nature provided a stunning

sunset over Catalina Island to cap a sunny Sunday at Pelican Hill, where

temperatures reached 78 degrees with a slight ocean breeze.

As clear blue skies and a lush, green golf course covered the

television screen for the Team Matches, ABC news breaks showed pictures

of late-season tornado damage in the South and crushing blizzards in the


Talk about two different worlds.

We're watching sailboats dot the ocean and Jack Nicklaus play his best

golf of 2000, while Midwestern cars are stranded on snow-covered highways

and some mobile home owners in the South are suddenly homeless.

Thus, the world can use some feel-good stories and good television,

and, for that, the entertainment dollar reached a zenith for the new

title sponsor of the event produced by Terry Jastrow and Gaylord

Entertainment, formerly Jack Nicklaus Productions.

There's no getting around the brilliance of great December weather in

Newport Beach, especially when live television is involved.

But fans at the golf course, once again, struggled to get around.

My biggest beef is this: Many people on foot, including myself, were

confused upon reaching the main intersection of Pelican Hill's two

courses in front of the clubhouse and down the primary walkway from the

lower patio area, which leads directly to the popular practice putting


There was no signage telling people where to go. As I stood and

watched, I noticed others doing the same thing I did: Arriving at the

intersection and turning their heads like a bird in a cuckoo clock,

wondering where to go after buying a $35 ticket (I was there with a media


A shuttle service was provided to take fans from the parking lot to

the 14th hole on the Ocean North Course, but the signage wasn't enough to

draw fans' attention.

As fans walk up to Pelican Hill's clubhouse, they're seeing a lot of

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