Nicklaus Club Monterey

Settled in the late 1700s by Spanish missionaries from Mexico, the land on which The Club at Pasadera was built was originally named Rancho Laguna Seca. As part of what then was Alta California, in 1821 it fell from Spanish rule to Mexico until the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848. The rich, rolling landscape, part of which makes up present-day The Club at Pasadera, was eventually granted to Catalina Manzanelli de Munras in 1865. She was the wife of 19th-century artist Esteban Carlos Munras, a native of Barcelona who settled in Monterey in 1812 and established a trading company, importing fine household furnishings and necessities to the earliest settlers in what became California’s first capital.

The property was purchased from the Munras family in 1953 by Frank Bishop, who, along with his wife Connie, transformed it into a sizable thoroughbred horse farm with 36 stalls. Renamed Laguna Seca Ranch, the spread was originally planted in Kentucky bluegrass and became the breeding ground for 1974 Kentucky Derby competitor Ga Hai, which that year won the Derby Trial. The Bishop family, which developed some of Laguna Seca Ranch into homesites as early as 1958, divested their final holdings of the property in the early 1990s. In 1999 the development of Pasadera Country Club took shape, with the new golf course and gated community unveiled in 2000 becoming the centerpiece of the 565-acre master-planned Pasadera community.

The Spanish history has been captured in the exquisite architecture of The Club at Pasadera’s 38,000-square-foot clubhouse, which is the crown jewel of the community. The Southern California architecture of Wallace Neff, who designed homes for movie stars and moguls in the 1900’s, inspired the feel for The Club at Pasadera. “The owners wanted to create an early California hacienda, courtyard-style feeling,” noted Dave Howerton, whose San Francisco-based company, Hart-Howerton Architects, designed the Club-related structures. This theme is further enhanced by the efforts of Joszi Meskan, the Club’s interior Designer, also of San Francisco.
The clubhouse also exhibits somewhat of a Moorish influence. The Club owners worked with a number of craftsmen, artists and local professional designers to create a timeless look. The collection of interiors represents several trips to Europe. The tapestry wall hanging from France, rugs from Tibet and a boardroom table from Spain are just a few of the influences present. Hand-painted frescos, walls, ceilings and borders combined with the elaborate Italian tile flooring and reclaimed train trestle timber ceilings all contribute to this eclectic and successful project.
In November 2018, a prominent group of investors with deep local roots has purchased the Club from Pasadera International, LLC, an affiliate of Chinese conglomerate HNA that had owned the private country club since 2009. With the personal support of the golf course’s designer, Jack Nicklaus, the club was renamed “The Club at Pasadera” (TCAP), a nod to its origins in 2000 as the Pasadera Country Club.
The investment group, known as Pasadera Golf & Country Club, LLC, is comprised of several prominent local business executives and companies including Inns of Monterey, led by renowned entrepreneur Ted Balestreri; Craig Geiler, MD; William Hines; Rohit Khanna; managing member Chris Laver; Tom Maher; Michael Maidy; Michael McMillan; David Milligan; Tom Rohrs; and attorney Bob Rosenthal.


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