TEMECULA, Calif. – (Oct. 7, 2013) – Opened in the midst of the worst recession in decades, Journey at Pechanga has traveled a journey of its own as a golf course. Celebrating its fifth anniversary this year and marking a record number of tee times logged so far for its entire five years, Journey at Pechanga has emerged a success story and a testament to forging ahead with a dream.
When the Journey at Pechanga opened on November 13, 2008, the United States economy was in turmoil. Stock markets had taken their infamous dire plunges, many smaller banks had closed, and some golf courses were even forced to suspend play as a result of financial demands. But the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians had been in the planning stages for Journey at Pechanga as an amenity for Pechanga Resort & Casino guests and the public for years. Like so many other times throughout their history the Pechanga people persevered, this time through a tumultuous fiscal landscape, in order to make their dream of a magnificent championship golf course a reality.
Five years later, Journey is one of the top golf facilities in all of Southern California, as noted by course raters, and it is also on track for a record year of golf rounds at 32,000–4,000 more than when it opened it 2008. It also offers some of the most unique play and programs anywhere, according to Director of Golf , Steve Mallory.
“I honestly don’t know of another course in this region, let alone all of Southern California where you have elevation changes of 300-feet throughout 18 holes and where the terrain varies and tests golfers like it does at Journey,” says Mallory. “The first four holes draw you into the course, but Hole Five is where things get interesting with a stream and some slight uphills as you go move into a canyon. Journey literally takes golfers on one [journey].”
Programs offered at Journey and rarely seen elsewhere include Tiny Tees junior golf (lessons for children as young as three years), Yoga for Golf (suspended temporarily), golf swing video analysis, and online golf coaching. These programs, offered through the Journey Academy golf school and PGA instructor Randy Chang, feature group and individual golf instruction to children and adults.
Scott Mallory and Superintendent of Golf John Martinez are especially proud of their commitment to maintaining Journey as an eco-friendly course. No pesticides and minimal chemicals are used to ward off bugs, invading plants and other forces of nature. Further, Journey is home to Pechanga Resort & Casino’s only four-legged employees. Border collies Honey and Tessa were brought on (and made actual Team Members with real Pechanga access badges) in 2011 as a kinder, gentler way to rid the course of mud hens that can overpopulate and leave acidic, toxic droppings that damage turf. Martinez opted for the dogs—who he says have the best job in golf running the course for several hours each morning—rather than apply for a license to shoot the dirty birdies.
Golfers from across Southern California and beyond call Journey at Pechanga a truly memorable course. An 80 percent player return rate backs up their accounts. “It typically takes five to seven years for a course to build up the reputation and widespread recognition that Journey has earned. In just five years, Journey has made the Top 25 rankings for all the major golf publications and we continually hear from players how much they enjoy the course,” said Patrick Murphy, President of the Pechanga Development Corporation. “That kind of acclaim is phenomenal for a relatively new property. We look forward to seeing what future anniversaries hold in store for Journey.”
Journey celebrated its 5th Anniversary on October 6 and 7 with workshops for the media and a special appearance by members of the Los Angeles Angels® baseball team. The current roster and alumni players end their season with a playoff pairing with children involved with Make-A-Wish® for a putting contest at Journey at Pechanga. The event gives Make-A-Wish® children with life-threatening illnesses a fun day of spending time with baseball sluggers, receiving hats and jerseys, and earning trophies and prizes for the best putters in the bunch.
About Journey at Pechanga
Journey at Pechanga offers a 7,219 yard, ar-72, championship, 18-hole golf course open to the public and Pechanga guests alike. Rated as one of the top 20 public courses in the state by GolfWeek magazine, the impressive, Arthur Hills-designed course winds along a spectacular boulder strewn mountain. Journey snakes across the dry ravine of the Pechanga River, over rustic wooden bridges and takes full advantage of the simply awe-inspiring terrain which rises and falls a breathtaking 300 feet – often with majestic views of the Temecula Valley. The course is challenging and enjoyable with a choice of five tee boxes. The 62,000 square-foot clubhouse, Journey’s End, with high-end resort amenities and an upscale casual restaurant, has recently been named as the absolute best in Southern California and is a popular spot for parties, weddings, banquets and other special events.
About Pechanga Resort & Casino
Pechanga Resort & Casino offers the largest and most expansive resort/casino experience anywhere in the western United States. Rated a Four Diamond property by AAA since 2003, Pechanga Resort & Casino provides an unparalleled getaway, whether for the day or for an extended luxury stay. Offering more than 3,000 of the hottest slots, table games, world-class entertainment, 517 hotel rooms, dining, spa and championship golf at Journey at Pechanga, Pechanga Resort & Casino features a destination that meets and exceeds the needs of its guests and the community. Pechanga Resort & Casino is owned and operated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians. For more information, call toll free 1-888-PECHANGA or visit www.Pechanga.com. Follow Pechanga Resort & Casino on Facebook and on Twitter @PechangaCasino. Pechanga Resort & Casino is open 24-hours. Guests must be 21 and older to enter the casino.