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The story of Del Monte Golf Course is the story of California golf itself. When the Hotel Del Monte opened in Monterey, California, it quickly became regarded as one of the grandest hotels ever built—a resort sanctuary dedicated to serving the desires of guests from around the world.
In the early 1890s, the game of golf made its way to California, and Hotel Del Monte wished to provide a golf course for its visitors. However, because the hotel’s own land was occupied by a racetrack and polo field, the 9-hole Del Monte Golf Course had to be constructed offsite, on land leased from a man named David Jacks. The course you play today is still located on the original site.
Today, only two of California’s earliest golf courses remain in operation: Del Monte Golf Course and the course at the Presidio in San Francisco, built in 1896. Because the Presidio course was temporarily converted back into a practice drill field during the Spanish-American War, Del Monte Golf Course holds the distinction of being the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River.
Age alone is only part of its nobility. Soon after opening, Del Monte Golf Course became the top venue for competitions on the West Coast. In the early part of the 20th century, it hosted many events, including the Del Monte Cup, the Pacific Coast Open and the 1916 Western Amateur Championship—making it the first time the event was ever played west of the Continental Divide.
Del Monte continues to annually host championship golf, including the Monterey Open and the Monterey City Amateur, the latter of which began at Del Monte in 1972.