Next month, the brightest stars in women’s golf will shoot for the Ocean Course at Half Moon Bay, which curls along dramatic bluffs 30 miles south of San Francisco. It’s been chosen as the venue for the prestigious Samsung World Championship (October 1 to 5, www.samsung.com/golf), which features 20 of the top LPGA players in the world. Look for Lorena Ochoa, the Tiger Woods of women’s golf, along with Paula Creamer and Yani Tseng . And look for ocean views from every hole.
Talking with Paula Creamer
As she prepares for the Samsung World Championship, LPGA star and Bay Areanative Paula Creamer spills the beans on her favorite local courses, how she copes with pressure, and what she does to stay relaxed on the road.
Where in the area do you like to golf? I’ve always loved Pebble Beach and Spyglass [Hill] in Monterey. Harding Park in San Francisco is terrific too. On all of those courses, you had better come with a plan or you’re going to shoot a big number.
As a frequent flier and the daughter of an airline pilot, how do you deal with jet lag and the other strains of travel? On long plane rides, I get up and walk around. And I stretch -- a lot. I also try to time my sleep to my arrival schedule. If I’m arriving somewhere at night, I don’t want to have just woken up. That said, I dothink jet lag is more mental than physical, so once I land, I adjust my watch and get on with it.
When you’re not competing or practicing, what do you do to relax? I slip on my iPod, go for coffee, or watch a movie. I also enjoy playing tennis, though I don’t get to practice much and I don’t think I’ll be a threat on the women’s tennis circuit anytime soon.
How do you deal with the pressure of playing in front of a home crowd? No matter where I go, I usually recognize faces outside the gallery ropes. But the numbers grow whenever I come back to California. I smile at them, but I do my best to stay focused, because I really want tomake those people proud.
Where to Play...
Want to golf at some of the best Bay Area courses? Check out these options:
Five sets of tees make this rolling course perfect for golfers of alllevels, and its pristine conditions make it a pleasure year-round. $36to $63. (925) 426-6666, www.playcallippe.com
Crystal Springs Golf Course
Whether or not you make any birdies, you’ll see lots of the winged variety onthis scenic course, which overlooks a stunning reservoir. $44 to $66. (650) 342-4188, www.playcrystalsprings.com
Dublin Ranch Golf Course
When you’re itching to play but don’t have all day, have a go at this happy medium. With 11 par-threes, this course demands all the shots but not your entire afternoon. $43 to $65. (925) 556-7040, www.dublinranchgolf.com
Half Moon Bay, the Old Course
A classic counterpart to Half Moon Bay’s Ocean Course, this classic layout meanders inland before closing in high drama, with a par-fourcarved along the coast. $160 to $205. (650) 726-1800, www.halfmoonbaygolf.com
Harding Park Golf Course
San Francisco’s finest muni has been upgraded to grand standing. So grand, in fact, that it’s been chosen as the venue for the 2009 Presidents Cup. $135 to $155. (415) 664-4690, www.hardingpark.com