TEMECULA, Calif. – 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 32,000–40,000 more than when it opened it 2008. It also offers some of the most unique play and programs anywhere, according to Director of Golf Scott 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 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 (877) 711-2946 or visit Follow Pechanga Resort & Casino on Facebook and on Twitter @PechangaCasino.


Bio: Scott Mallory – Director of Golf & PGA Pro

Scott Mallory brings more than 25 years of experience in the golf industry to his role at Journey at Pechanga. Hired on at the public course that services the Western United States’ largest resort/casino in 2008 as PGA Pro and promoted to Director of Golf in 2010, Scott ensures that all guests – those who play the championship course, those who browse the extensive pro shop and those who dine in and utilize the clubhouse – have an unforgettable experience.

Born in Lawrence, Kansas and raised in Topeka, Scott graduated a full-blooded Jayhawk from the University of Kansas. He began his golf career at the Lawrence Country Club, just outside of Topeka. Right after getting married, Scott was offered an assistant pro position in the southwest at the Sun City Country Club in Phoenix and then moving a few months later to Camelback GC in Scottsdale, AZ. After completing and passing the rigorous PGA testing process, he became a PGA member in 1991. After several years spent in the desert the San Diego area came calling. Scott accepted the position of Head golf professional for the Rancho Bernardo Inn. A fast-growing community named Temecula began hearing good things about Scott and several years later, the SCGA Members’ Club in Murrieta, Calif. beckoned him as their golf pro. After moving to Riverside County, Scott held Head golf pro positions with Bear Creek Golf Club and Glendora Country Club before being hand-picked as PGA Pro for Journey at Pechanga. Now as the Director of Golf, he stands by the resort’s Four Diamond level of service to each and every guest.
Scott is married and has two daughters in their 20s.


Bio: Randy Chang – Director of Instruction for Journey Golf Academy

With more than 30 years of golf experience, Randy Chang, Director of Instruction for Journey Golf Academy, oversees six programs taught at Journey at Pechanga golf course. These include individual lessons, group lessons, junior performance program, the junior golf academy and Tiny Tees and the online golf academy. He has been recognized by the PGA with numerous golf industry awards such as 2010 SCPGA Section Teacher of the Year, 2009 SCPGA Metro Teacher of the Year and many more.
Born of Chinese and Japanese parents, Randy Chang was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He attended the University of Portland in the state of Oregon on a three-year golf scholarship. Even though he graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering, Business Management and Philosophy, it was his love of golf that led him to a career. After college, Randy turned professional and played on various mini-tours in Southern California and Canada.

Randy has worked within the golfing industry as a Head Professional, Director of Golf, General Manager, and Teaching Professional / Custom club fitter. His knowledge of the golf swing and his flexible style of teaching complement each student’s specific goals and physical abilities. Randy’s goal is to make golf fun and keeping the swing simple. He believes that today’s technology and training techniques help to speed up the learning process for the student, which makes it more enjoyable and easier to comprehend.


Native American Heritage at Journey

The native history of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians is deeply implanted in every fertile yard of Journey at Pechanga. The cultural heritage and connection to the land runs deep and is virtually inseparable. The very name Pechanga means “place where the water drips” – a fitting description in keeping with the beautiful and natural water features that abound on the course.

Journey is built on a portion of Pechanga’s ancestral land that has been their home for countless generations. This land is also the place where The Great Oak, one of the largest, natural-growing, indigenous coastal live oak trees in the United States, grows. In the center is the massive trunk, which is 20 feet around. Each branch, larger than most live oak trunks, rises up 96 feet, comes down to rest on the ground, and then rises up again to form the outer canopy. Estimates put it anywhere from 850 to 1,500 years old.

To the Pechanga people, the land Journey is built upon, and the Great Oak that stands upon it, carries meaning that far transcends mere physical presence. The Great Oak, for example, has come to embody the very identity and character of the Pechanga Band: strength, wisdom, longevity and determination.

Journey at Pechanga is one of the only courses in the country to have Native American heritage woven through the 18-holes. Each of the holes bears a Luiseño name that gives a hint into what golfers may experience there. Golfers will also see kiicha, the Luiseño word for “home,” at various points throughout the course. They will see an ancient grinding stone that ancestors used to pulverize acorns in order to extract the meal inside. If golfers look hard enough, they will spot an adobe wall, hundreds of years old, between holes 5 and 6. To give visitors a real sense of how the Pechanga people may have lived, the course features a replica village along hole ???. Golfers, or those who want to take a stroll out to view the village, will see kiicha huts, hanging corn, and more that gives onlookers an up close look at how Native people lived and survived hundreds of years ago.

The Pechanga Tribe’s devotion and deep connection to the land makes playing the course at Journey all that more awe-inspiring. When you are out there on the pristine greens, enjoying every exhilarating minute, take a moment to pause, breathe deeply and appreciate your surroundings. You may feel the connection to this very special land that the Pechanga people hold so dear.

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