Central Coast golf fans only get one chance a year to see PGA Tour pros in person. This happens at the Straight Down Fall Classic to be held November 14-16 at San Luis Obispo Country Club. The headliner each year is Fred Couples, who is being considered as the next Ryder Cup Captain. This event is unique in that there are no ropes in the fairway, allowing the gallery to get as close as they want. To make it even more enticing the admission is free.
This field has impressive credentials. Couples is the former Masters champion along with being the most popular player on tour. Tom Lehman has a British Open to his credit, and Scott Simpson a U.S. Open. Loren Roberts, the most famous golfer to come out of San Luis Obispo, was a standout on the PGA and still is on the Champions Tour where he has multiple Major wins to his credit. Dan Forsman also had great success on both circuits. Other names you will find familiar include Jason Gore, Bob May, and Paul Stankowski. Roger Tambellini winner of several events on the Web.com Tour is also expected to play.
If this is your first pro golf event, you will find it much more relaxed than the normal tour stop. The pros are playing with close friends or siblings, and there is bound to be a lot of good-natured ribbing. With no gallery ropes except on the tees, you will have access like never before. This is actually the way tournament golf started before the big crowds arrived.
The pros all have partners in this best ball event, including many of the top amateur golfers in the country. Tee Times begin at 8 a.m. and run to about 10 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. To find out when your favorite pro tees off, go to StraightDown.com a couple of days ahead and scroll down under “Company.” San Luis Obispo Country Club is a very amiable host and a pleasant place to spend the day. Food and beverages ares available at a very reasonable cost. There is no charge for admission to this event. When was the last time you heard that in the world of professional sports?
The best way to get to the course is to take the Price Street exit on the 101 in Pismo Beach. From here, head inland on Hinds Avenue/Price Canyon Road till you hit Highway 227, where you make a left. Soon after this another left on Los Rancheros Road will put you in the Country Club neighborhood, and there will be signs to direct you to parking.
The reason for this great event is to celebrate the success of the Straight Down Clothing Company. Founded by Michael Rowley with headquarters in San Luis Obispo, the brand has become a Central Coast icon by designing high end cool weather clothing. They are famous for men’s outerwear such as the Fairway and Foothill Fleece. The Foothill is a three-button pullover featuring recycled ECO2 cotton fibers, which give it extra comfort and durability. Their line of clothing is perfect for the climate found yearlong here on the coast and seasonally in much of the country.
Straight Down is a luxury apparel manufacturer sold mostly in the finest resorts, wineries, and pro shops. The pricing is really in line with similar items but the quality surpasses most all. All of their items are available for purchase online at StraightDown.com.
The Way Home
On your way home from San Luis Obispo, you might want to take a detour along Highway 1. Monarch Dunes Golf Club in Nipomo is about 20 minutes south of Pismo Beach and has two excellent choices for dinner. The course itself has the Butterfly Grill with a surprisingly good menu. For fine dining or just drinks, take a look at Adelina’s Bistro at the adjacent Monarch Club. If you are so inclined, try the salmon sandwich. This is a very elegant setting overlooking the front nine at Monarch Dunes Golf Course. The course, by the way, is in great condition and not too busy this time of the year.