Bayonet Golf Course

Golf Course Review by: Billy Satterfield

The Takeaway:  Long revered as the most challenging course in the Monterey area, Bayonet is more player friendly since the 2008 renovation but is far from a push over. While not as creative or visually appealing as Black Horse's design, the former military course requires more precision than its counterpart navigating the tree lined fairways and challenging greens.   Grade B-

Quick Facts

Designer:  Robert McClure in 1954; Gene Bates renovation in 2008

Cost:  $85 - $140 (cart $20 - $25) Click for current rates

Course Website:  Bayonet's official website    Phone Number:  (831) 899-7271 - info@bayonetblackhorse.com

Directions:  Get here! - 1 McClure Way, Seaside, CA 93955

Signature Hole:  17th - 225 Yard Par 3 - The signature 17th is a lengthy par three that plays less then the card indicates due to the 40 foot drop from the back tee to the green. A massive bunker frames the right side of the putting surface and will catch virtually any ball cutting off line. The sucker pin is in the back right where you would have to be ultra confident, or stupid, to attack it with such a small window of error to operate within.

17th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (225 Yard Par 3)
17th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (225 Yard Par 3)

Photos:  See additional photos of Bayonet Golf Course

Accolades:  Ranked 32nd in California on Golf Course Gurus' Best in State rankings.

What to Expect:  The original of the two courses at this Northern California facility, Bayonet was long talked about as the place to play near Monterey to truly test your game. The tight tree lined fairways and punishing rough combined to produce a U.S. Open like experience for the average Joe. In 2008 the course attempted to redefine itself with a Gene Bates renovation that thinned out the trees and softened the overall challenge at Bayonet. The result was a more player friendly course that still delivers plenty of challenge for guys wanting to tip it out. Thinning out the trees also opened up some welcome vistas across the property that are enjoyed on the course and from the restaurant. The rolling property can be enjoyed in a cart but is an enjoyable walk as well so you'll find plenty of players out doing both. While not as forgiving or fun as Black Horse, it is a nice compliment to its sister course and offers enough contrast to deliver a nice 36 hole experience at a price that is much more appealing than the famed Pebble Beach courses.

By the Numbers:

Tees Par Yardage Rating Slope
Black 72 7104 74.8 139
Blue 72 6641 72.8 135
White 72 5945 69.4 131
Red (Women) 72 5229 70.2 123


Individual Hole Analysis

Best Par 3:  4th - 201 Yards - With tee boxes running perpendicular to the opening hole of Black Horse, the 4th plays back towards the ocean which generally means you'll be playing into the wind. The green bends left around a bunker which makes pins in the back third a challenge to attack, so the ideal play is starting it up the right side and working the ball back to the left. With trees hanging in from the left, you'll notice the right side of the tee box gets worn out more.

4th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (201 Yard Par 3)
4th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (201 Yard Par 3)

Best Par 4:  9th - 476 Yards - A dogleg right greets you on the closing hole of the front nine where a bunker 280 yards out on the far side of the fairway acts as an aiming point to fire at or hit a cut shot off of. The approach shot plays uphill to a well protected green that features a pair of deep bunkers fronting the green. The raised green is a challenge to hit in regulation and a par here is quite the accomplishment, especially considering it is the #3 handicap.

9th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (476 Yard Par 4)
9th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (476 Yard Par 4)

Best Par 5:  18th - 527 Yards - The closing hole give players are opportunity to feel good about themselves again with a reachable par five. A tee shot that challenges the fairway bunker on the left without tumbling into the sand is ideal as it open up the angle for your approach shot. The front of the green is pinched by bunkers and narrows up the landing zone but there is more forgiveness long so be sure to take enough club to clear the trouble and set up a birdie opportunity.

18th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (527 Yard Par 5)
18th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (527 Yard Par 5)

Birdie Time:  5th - 343 Yard Par 4 - With a steady descent to the green and only a pair of greenside bunkers to contend with, this short par four is the perfect time to cut loose on your driver and get as close to the putting surface as you can with your tee shot. From there you have a flip wedge approach to a wide, but shallow green. With as challenging as Bayonet is, it would be a sad opportunity missed to walk away with anything worse than par here.

5th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (343 Yard Par 4)
5th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (343 Yard Par 4)

Bogey Beware:  13th - 479 Yard Par 4 - At 479 yards, the 13th is the longest par four at Bayonet or Black Horse and is a substantial challenge to conquer. In addition to shear length, the 13th plays into the prevailing ocean breeze which adds some distance to the effectual yardage. A pair of fairway bunkers come into play on each side of the short grass which makes the tee shot not only demanding in terms of length, but accuracy as well. Bunkers are found on either side of the green as well, so there is no reprieve while covering the yardage on this bully of a hole.

13th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (479 Yard Par 4)
13th Hole at Bayonet Golf Course (479 Yard Par 4)


Recommended Accommodations:

Monterey Tides - When you go to California you want to experience the beach and ocean as much as possible and few places rival what Monterey Tides Boutique Hotel offers with its beachside location on Monterey Bay. With oceanfront rooms and restaurant boasting expansive views of the water, your eyes will never tire of the beauty offered. You can even a bonfire and s'mores kit to enjoy on the beach after sunset. If getting salty isn't your thing then a heated pool is available to lounge in. With great good and exceptional views, Monterey Tides is a must-stay while golfing at Black Horse Bayonet. Contact:  (800) 242-8627 or mtreservations@jdvhotels.com