Service is impeccable, the staff is well-versed. The grounds, exceptional. This is centered in the heart of "Old money" newps aka pre-1990's residents. I take my daughter here for swim lessons every summer, and have spent countless Holiday brunches, family dinners, and special celebrations here.
Although the thing I do not care for are the patrons sometimes! Rather,the housewives that sit by the pool. Condescending, filthy and ill-mannered. New money types that think an arrogance seperates them from lower classes. I've literally pulled my kid from the pool to say "Let's get outta here" after the children who are bratty, rude and toy-snatching from toddlers half their age. While the mother watches on, with blank stares as she condescends the others around her, probably because she is depressed her sugar daddy husband spends more time at the office than giving the attention she needs. Whatever. My rating does not reflect the despicables! But rather give demonstration to why I left Newport Beach altogether. Evolution before Revolution?
What an experience! I was invited to an excellent dinner by a well respected and long time member of the club. I very much enjoyed a four course dinner highlighted by an outstanding filet and an outstanding table of well established business professionals where an intellectual conversation soon followed! Looking forward to going back to the Wine Cellar Room soon!
I was recently fortunate enough to qualify for the US Senior Amateur @ Big Canyon CC. This was a dream come true and a memory which will never be forgotten.
My wife and I arrived in Newport Beach on Sept 11, my first practice round scheduled for early afternoon. The shuttle dropped me off with my clubs, immediatly to be welcomed by the staff. Within five minutes I am shaking hands and being welcomed by the club president, Tip Tippett. He directed me to the tournament registration area which was being assisted my member volunteers. I have never had a registration be more entertaining with the assistance of a member who's name is Magic. She was a hoot. There were approximatly six registration tables which needed information from or for me. One of which, was one table of information regarding conforming and non conforming golf equipment and implementation of new rules for 2014.
My Thursday practice round with Patrick and Steve from Utah was very enjoyable. The head golf professional, Mr. Pang, assisted me with my cart and the clubs golfing protocal. The golf course was in excellent condition. While playing, we discussed the rule changes regarding golf club specifications. The set of irons I have been playing are about 10 years old and I was not aware of the implementation date with the new rules being 2014.
After the practice round I approached Mr. Pang about checking the conformity of my irons. It was late in the day and said the USGA official is gone for the day and will be in first thing in the morning. First thing Friday morning, I was advised my set of irons were non conforming and I would be disqualified if I were to use them during the competition. Mr Pang allowed me to use a set from the golf shop and see if they would work for me during Friday's practice round. Unfortunatly, the specs on the loaner set, are far from what I was used to.
Having had prior experience in country club management, I know the man who can get things handled is allways the Head Locker Room attendant, whom I have always referred to as "the guy". Every good country club has "the guy". Big Canyon CC's "guy" is named Bobby. You need something, Bobby is the guy, as well as his assistant Ricardo. I approached Bobby about my situation of needing a new custom set of irons in the next 24 hrs. Immediatly, Bobby gets the ball rolling. Luckily for me, one of the members, Ben owns Roger Dunn Golf and probably would have clubs with my required specifications. I am tall, with short arms and huge hands, which requires longer, more upright and larger grips on my golf clubs. I also did not have transportation.
After about 15 minutes, Ricardo finds me in the mens grill and advised me Roger Dunn Golf is awaiting me and I was to see Ben personally. The club mamager, David Voorhees, would to driving me to Roger Dunn Golf, and waiting until my clubs were ready. All of this has transpired in approximatly 25 minutes. NOW THIS IS "OVER THE TOP" SERVICE!
Mr. Voorhees and I spent the next hour and a half getting me clubs to play with in the tournament. I am only one a 156 players. Incredible.
I was greeted at Roger Dunn Golf by Ben and within 20 minutes we had clubs picked out in my specs, only needing the grips replaced. 20 minutes later, the grips were installed and David and I were on our way back to Big Canyon CC.
It doesn't get any better than that. I could not thank everyone involved enough in helping a poor, old, golfer from Kentucky, experience his first USGA in such a memorable way.
Special Thanks to;
David Voorhees.........you are a credit to you profession and Big Canyon CC is extremely lucky to have you.
Tip Tippett...............the host with the most. Thank you for tremendous club and your hospitality.
Mr. Pang............a true PGA Golf Professional. You run a great show.
Ricardo............young man, you have a bright future in the business.
Bobby "the guy"...............YOU ARE THE MAN!
Got the invite from a long time buddy to come down for a round when I was on The Coast and I damn sure was not going to turn down the chance to hob-nob with the rich and famous of The O.C and play a little golf at a place where the initiation fee runs around 200 Large..fortunately my other buddy who lives in LA and also got invited drives a fairly new Beamer so we were not too apprehensive about being to out of place when we pulled up, so it was a little bit of a blow to the ego when the Valet parked our car with the staff cars which were all comparable or better...first impression on seeing The Clubhouse was I didn't realize Newport Beach had a Ritz Carlton and where did we make a wrong turn?...after we realized we were in the right place a guy came out and got our bags and could not have been any nicer on telling us where to go and what to do..that became a running theme at Big Canyon,everyone from the Cart Attendants to the guys in The Pro Shop..to the people on the range..to the Starter..to the people in the three dining areas could not have treated us any better even if we had been members ourselves...a pleasant change of place from a lot of Private Clubs that treat guests like Lepers(cough LACC..cough LACC)....it really made the whole experience a lot more fun and much less nerve wracking knowing Members and Staff were not watching you like a hawk just waiting for you to break a club rule so they could send your host a nasty letter...as for the course itself, its amazing this place is located less that a 1/4 mile from Fashion Island because it feels so far away and secluded in The Canyon...it is impeccably maintained and sneaky tough..it does not seem like it should be hard at less than 7000 yards, but you constantly find yourself walking off holes with bogey or worse wondering how the hell did that happen?...it happens because the greens are faster than a Jamaican Pickpocket and tougher to read than a Eye Chart in a Doctor's Office after an all-night bender...the other thing about the course, is even though it's not long you have to be in the right part of the fairway as the angles in for your approach shots are key to scoring well..I am sure that is something that can only be learned after playing many rounds here....after the round the experience only got better...first stop was the Clubhouse Bar at Big Canyon for drinks and appetizers...in a rarity these days the bar is/was "Men Only" and is strict in enforcing the rules I noticed....after a few Stone IPA Drafts and some Jalapeno Pepperoni Pizza that was excellent all while watching The NFL Playoffs, it was time to go over to Big Canyon's Formal Dining Room...I could not believe the size of the place when we walked in..The Dining Room is bigger than a lot of Clubhouses at other Clubs and it's just one of three dining areas at Big Canyon!!..the service and the food in The Dining Room were impeccable..I had a Bone-In Ribeye that rivaled anything the major steakhouses are serving these days...after a fabulous dinner, a couple post Dinner Drinks, and thanking our host for a fantastic day, it was unfortunately time to leave....as The Valet got our car, I remarked to my friend in the cool Newport Night, as soon as I move out of my Mom's House,get that promotion to Assistant Manager, and clear up a few of the dings on my credit report, I will definitely be going to The Post Office in my Ford Pinto and sending off a Membership Application to Big Canyon!!..but in all seriousness, if you are fortunate enough to get invited for a day, just accept the invitation and clear your schedule..five stars..first class all the way
this is a ridiculous course very private very well groomed and in a fantastic area.