The property was purchased from the Munras family in 1953 by Frank Bishop, who along with 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 home sites 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 Country Club’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 the movie stars and moguls in the 1900’s, inspired the feel for Nicklaus Club- Monterey. “The owners wanted to create an early California hacienda, courtyard-style feeling,” noted Dave Howerton, whose 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. Both designers are from 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 October of 2013, Pasadera Country Club became rebranded as Nicklaus Club - Monterey! The new branding reflects the ongoing involvement of one of the most respected brands in golf. This new and exciting chapter in the history of the Club made Nicklaus Club - Monterey the only club in the United States to be managed and branded under the Nicklaus name.
In 2015, Nicklaus Club-Monterey became largely controlled by HNA Group, a Fortune 500 Company offering services in air transportation, real estate, retailing, financial services, tourism, logistics, and other sectors. HNA Group who also owns another property in New York and Hinan Airlines, which now offers direct flights from Beijing to San Jose International Airport. For more information on HNA, please click here.