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Trip report: Chase Avios Half Moon Bay Golf Weekend June 2023

Trip report: Chase Avios Half Moon Bay Golf Weekend June 2023

Old Aug 11, 2023, 8:42 pm
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Trip report: Chase Avios Half Moon Bay Golf Weekend June 2023

Here's my trip report for the latest event I attended back in June.
Here's a link to the information I posted previously about it around the time it was advertised.

Chase and Avios: The Half Moon Bay Golf Weekend Experience Jun 23-25 2023

Chase and Avios run spectacular events for British Airways Chase cardmembers and this is just the latest in the series of events on the schedule.

This event was hosted at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay pictured below.



Golfmad took a golf-mad friend this time and I was a little nervous because we were supposed to share accommodation and neither of us were used to that. We called to find out whether we could have separate rooms but discovered that the additional cost for a standard room per night would be an extra $1,400 so a little under $3k for two nights. However, with an immense amount of good luck the resort was very busy when we arrived and we were upgraded into a two bedroom suite. And not just any two-room suite. We were fortunate to have what I would consider the prime location which I've highlighted in the photo below. He had his own room complete with patio and fire pit and I had the larger bedroom featuring a living room and an enormous set of bay windows and patio with ridiculously large fire pit with lots of outdoor furniture. This came in handy at the end of the first night as a group of us commandeered some bottles of wine and sat outside into the small hours.



The suite overlooked the spectacular finishing hole on the Old Course at Half Moon Bay.

The agenda for the event was as follows:
  • Friday 23rd June
    • 10am Tee time at the Old Course (this was an extra we arranged and not part of the main event)
    • Event registration
    • Welcome cocktail reception at the 10th Tee Reflection Pond with heavy hors d'oeuvres
  • Saturday 24th June
    • Breakfast from 7am
    • 7-11am Free time to test drive the world's fastest luxury SUV - Aston Martin DBX707
    • 11:30am Golf Clinic with Sean Foley at the Half Moon Bay Golf Links
    • 1pm First tee time at the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay Golf Links
    • 6:30pm Cocktail reception at the Observatory Room Terrace (which was the floor directly above our suite)
    • 7:30pm A wine paired dinner in the Observatory Room
  • Sunday 25th June
    • Farewell breakfast within the Miramontes Room
For those that don't know it, Half Moon Bay is a little south of San Francisco and west of San Jose. It's just north of the Monterey Bay which features Pebble Beach with equally breathtaking scenery but I'll come to that a little later.

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Last edited by golfmad; Aug 13, 2023 at 2:06 am
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 8:46 pm
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Friday 23rd June

Arrived for a 10am tee time on the Old Course. The resort at Half Moon Bay has two courses; The Old Course and The Ocean Course. The Old Course is tougher, being a bit tighter with well protected greens. The Ocean Course is best known for its spectacular views on many holes but it's quite wide open with fewer areas of trouble if you're able to avoid the Pacific Ocean. In the pictures above, the Ocean Course starts and ends behind the hotel but the Old Course is the one that finishes along the coast in front of the hotel facing our accommodation. The 18th hole has the Ocean all the way down the right. I managed a straightforward par on the 18th with a drive down the middle of the fairway, an approach just short of the front of the green, a decent chip and putt. Here's some pictures of the 18th.

This is the view of 18 looking at it from outside our room. The tee is way off in the distance and the green is just past the patio furniture.



Here is the view from the tee, from my second shot and the putt for par.







After the golf we checked into the hotel and as I said above we were really fortunate with our rooms!! I'm not too sure about marble floors in bathrooms especially when the shower area is a bit of a wet room but that's another story for a personal injury lawyer (for the avoidance of doubt no one was sued as a result of this stay).











The cocktail reception at the 10th Tee Reflection Pond featured a chipping challenge. Land balls in the small boat. It was a lot of fun for golfers and non-golfers alike. I have a lot of photos including some featuring the organizers but I probably shouldn't publish them without their permission.






It became a little chilly towards the end of the evening so a few of us grabbed some drinks and headed back to the larger of the fire pits for a very pleasant chat. The evidence was still there in the morning.




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Last edited by golfmad; Aug 12, 2023 at 8:16 pm
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 8:47 pm
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Saturday 24th June

Chase provided a very generous voucher for breakfast in the morning which was delicious. I was too busy eating my pancakes to take many pictures.






I skipped the Aston Martin test drive which was probably a good idea after the previous evening's indulgence which was probably not great preparation for sitting behind the wheel and taking charge of a $236K vehicle!





And so it was on to the Golf Clinic with Sean Foley. For those not familiar with Sean, he is one of the leading golf coaches on the professional circuit and once coached Tiger Woods. He coaches several current Tour players. He was very approachable and it was very interesting to hear his thoughts on technique which is some respects were quite different to traditional teaching methods. We had some guidance on chipping and bunker play. As you would expect from a coach he has excellent communication skills and was able to convey his messages clearly. He also had a sense of humour.





This was followed by our tee times on the Ocean Course. Sean joined each group and gave some individual tuition. Here's me in learning mode with him on the first par 5 of the Ocean Course asking him about technique for fairway woods. I just wish I could afford his hourly rate which is 15x higher than my PGA coach in Scotland who is himself ranked in the top 50 coaches in the UK. Towards the end of the hole I chipped from just off the green and he complimented me on my chipping technique which I assured him was just because I was very experienced in missing greens







The Ocean Course had spectacular views. Here's some shots.









Above is the 18th tee shot and below is the approach to the 18th green.



On cue and organized by the Chase Avios team, this was then followed by a formation pelican flypast.


This was followed by a drinks reception and dinner with a few words from our host from Chase and Sean Foley.













The night ended enjoying a cigar by the fire pit outside my room. A full day was now complete.




Last edited by golfmad; Aug 12, 2023 at 9:02 pm
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 8:47 pm
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Sunday 25th June

Chase tend to end their events with an informal breakfast on the last morning giving people time to travel home. We left with some special gifts and a lot of fabulous memories.









Neither I nor my guest were particularly enamored with the idea of the red eye back east on Sunday night so we decided to travel back on the day flight Monday morning. As it was a golf trip we went and played TPC Harding Park which was reasonably close to SFO. Neither of us were overly impressed by Harding Park which hosted the 2020 PGA Championship. For me, the best part of it was the view across the river of The Olympic Club. That's maybe a bit harsh but that's honestly how I felt about it.

I took a really early flight on American Airlines to CLT and back to TPA Monday morning which was pleasantly uneventful.

Chase organize fantastic events like this for cardmembers and my understanding is that there are two more lined up for 2023. This includes the marquee event in Italy which is set out in the link below and one other towards the end of the year:

https://creditcards.chase.com/above-...ian-grand-prix
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Last edited by golfmad; Aug 12, 2023 at 9:46 pm
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Old Aug 11, 2023, 8:48 pm
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Pre-event activities

This was a golf trip so it seemed to make sense to throw in some other activities on the way to Half Moon Bay. We were fortunate to be able to meet up with an acquaintance who is on staff at Stanford who gave us a tour of the campus and what a remarkable place it is. Their achievements in sports is even more impressive when one considers the academic standards required to gain entry. Unlike many schools in the US who take people because of their sports skills, Stanford requires students to pass a high academic bar before being admitted.




1st Tee










The football team's gym.

The golf team have superb facilities. This is a bunker designed so that it mimics the traditional revetted bunkers found on UK links courses so that they may prepare before heading to tournaments.

The following day and just prior to heading to Half Moon Bay we played the Cal Club. The course was originally laid out by A V Macan and then enhanced in 1927 by Alistair MacKenzie. Terrific course and another top US 100 crossed off the list.











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Last edited by golfmad; Aug 12, 2023 at 9:36 pm
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 2:05 am
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What a fantastic experience golfmad and thank you for sharing this.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 2:22 am
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Thanks for this trip report. I really enjoy reading about your Chase golf weekends.
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Old Aug 13, 2023, 2:32 am
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Not a golfer, but very good TR. I would go just to see the locations!
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 9:19 am
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One important point I omitted is that this was the first Chase Avios event I had attended where the pricing was cash rather than Avios. The cost for the weekend was $1,500 with no option to pay with points. It's not clear whether this will be true of all future events or not. I hope not as it's been a great way to use Avios over the years. Having said that, $1,500 still represented excellent value.
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 10:05 am
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Wow, thank you for that TR - I am very envious. I thought I was doing well with getting on Royal Dornoch. What a trip!
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 10:15 am
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Originally Posted by TheChangingMan
Wow, thank you for that TR - I am very envious. I thought I was doing well with getting on Royal Dornoch. What a trip!
Thats one of my favourites. Did you play Brora too while you were in the area? If not I would recommend it very highly.
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 10:57 am
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Very jealous, this was one of the Chase events I really wanted to attend but just couldnt due to other commitments. Nice photos and beautiful property.
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Last edited by TangoOneSeven; Aug 14, 2023 at 1:40 pm
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 1:35 pm
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Originally Posted by golfmad
Thats one of my favourites. Did you play Brora too while you were in the area? If not I would recommend it very highly.
My sister lives in Golspie so I am fortunate enough to visit quite frequently. Brora is a great course but spoiled for choice on the North East Riviera (stretching a point a bit!) I'm still envious of your trip however :-)
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Old Aug 14, 2023, 8:50 pm
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Great TR and nice to my local neighborhood being reported on! There are some fantastic courses all over the SF Bay Area.
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Old Aug 15, 2023, 8:49 am
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Looks like a fantastic trip. Even though Im not a golfer, it still looks great. Also nice to see that theres real value in the Chase events.
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