Annual Invitational set for May 14

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club is accepting entries for its annual Invitational tournament, scheduled for Tuesday, May 14, 2019.

Check-in for the event will begin at 6:30 a.m. for an 8 a.m. shotgun start. The format will be four-person team modified waltz.

SUN SPOT — Large tree casts expansive shadows and spotlights the new bridge at No. 1.

“Our Club is proud to continue the tradition of this legacy tournament on the beautiful Rancho Bernardo Inn golf course,” said Romona Smith, Club president. “We are grateful for the opportunity to share this special day with so many women golfers across the region.”

This year, entries opened on March 4 and will close on April 15. The entry fee is $105 per player, which includes greens fees, golf cart, range balls, continental breakfast, magic putt, lunch and prizes. The tournament theme is, “Swingin’ Safari.”

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club was founded in 1963. The first Invitational was a three-day event in spring 1964 and has since grown into one of the premier women’s golfing events in the county.

Rancho Bernardo Inn, located at 17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive in north San Diego County, is a destination resort known for its superb golf and spa facilities and for its exceptional cuisine.

The 18-hole championship golf course opened for play in 1962 and was originally designed by William Francis Bell, also the architect of Torrey Pines and several other top-rated courses in Southern California. RBI is managed by JC Golf Management and has a championship rating of 72.3. More information about the course is available at 888-976-4417 or at

RBI Chef’s Garden inspires

By Diane Borden

At the turn, just after leaving the No. 9 green, golfers at Rancho Bernardo Inn encounter a delightful garden along the cart path that curves up the hill toward the Veranda restaurant. This chef’s garden – diverse in color and species and size – was envisioned by Trish Kydd, a member of the gardening team at RBI.

A veteran landscape artist, Kydd created the potager (French kitchen) garden when she began work at RBI in fall 2016. Such a garden encourages the planting of vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs in groups, not rows, near a kitchen, so that the freshest produce may be harvested for meals. What makes the RBI garden unique are the small “sets” within the design itself.

GARDEN VIGNETTE — Landscape artist Trish Kydd sits in one of the delightful garden spaces she created at RBI. (Photo by Diane Borden)

“I try to visualize spaces within the garden that are small vignettes,” Kydd said. “They make the garden more interesting, more accessible and more beautiful.”

One such vignette displays a weathered bench artfully placed just off a rock path among blooming white daisies, inviting a visitor to sit and enjoy the sights, sounds and fragrances of the garden.

“Every time I bring a friend or family member to the Inn, I pile them into our golf cart and drive them over to see the garden,” said Karen Stelman, a member of the RBI Women’s Golf Club. “It is such a beautiful place and constantly changing with the seasons – never a weed, anywhere. Wish I knew how Trish does it.”

Another member of RBIWGC described the experience this way: “After we leave the ninth green, we always slow down the golf cart to see what’s new in the chef’s garden. It allows us to take a breath and momentarily enjoy this fun and inspiring space before we continue on to the back nine.”

(Please click here for more photos of the chef’s garden at Rancho Bernardo Inn.)

Kydd received a bachelor of fine arts degree in theater from Avila College (now Avila University) in Kansas City, Mo., and moved to San Diego in the early 1980s. She said that in the early 1990s, she studied with influential English garden designer Rosemary Verey and later served as the owner and manager of Anderson’s La Costa Nursery in Encinitas for a number of years.

She describes the chef’s garden at RBI as a no-till garden to which she adds compost and mulch but no animal manures and no pesticides. She said that she rotates the crops every three months. In April, for example, she said she had 20 yards of compost hauled in and then she hand-planted more than 1,000 plants. The garden has a drip-irrigation system, and Kydd also waters by hand. She said that she thinks the garden this year was most attractive in June.

Kydd works with the food and beverage staff at RBI to get ideas for the garden, and also researches what garden fare is currently in vogue.

“Trish and her garden have been a great inspiration to the cuisine we feature at the Rancho Bernardo Inn,” said Travis Watson, RBI’s executive chef. “Trish took a blank canvas and turned it into a botanical masterpiece.”

He added: “[She] takes my ideas and suggestions and expounds upon them – and creates a harvestable bounty of edible artwork that anyone who dines with us on property and enjoys our fresh produce has eaten (whether they know it or not). We are truly lucky to have her.”

Among the variety of current plantings are baby purple carrots and turnips, raspberries and strawberries, Anna apples, cilantro, watermelon cucumber, wild Galapagos tomatoes, micro greens (in amethyst and garnet), violets, roses, nasturtiums, wild garlic, amethyst basil, lemon cucumber, kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts.

Invitational marks Club’s 55th year

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club marked its 55th anniversary as an organization at the Club’s Invitational tournament on May 15 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course.

The tournament drew a full field of 144 golfers on a cloudy, windy day. The gloomy weather was no match, however, for the excitement and energy of the 36 foursomes as they caravanned out to their starting tee assignments.

SUPER GROOVY FLOWER POWER – Hearkening the culture of the 1960s, the team of Lauri Heath, Suzanne LaTour, Karen Dye and Mary Lynne Bachman won the prize for most creative team costume. (Photo by Rick Berlin)

In keeping with the Invitational theme, “America the beautiful: Celebrating state flowers across the nation,” a variety of floral arrangements dotted the course – at tee boxes, on the patio fireplace at breakfast and on the tables at lunch. A prize was awarded for the most creative team “costume” in keeping with the flower theme. (See photo at left).

Sixteen teams won prizes for low scores for the tournament format (four-person team modified waltz), and individuals were rewarded for closest to the pin on the four par-threes, for the longest drive on hole No. 12 and for the straightest drive on hole No. 8.

Golfers began their early day with a continental breakfast on the Rancho Bernardo Inn patio and then proceeded to their starting tee assignments for an 8 a.m. shotgun start. After the round, players gathered in the Bernardo Room for a three-course gourmet luncheon.

To help celebrate the Club’s 55th anniversary, RBIWGC President Dena Marvel announced the re-formation of the Legacy Club, a group of former members from the area. The 2018 honorees in attendance at the luncheon included Terry Bell, Pat Ford, Jean Kunberger, Marge Peterson, Carol Robbins, Helene Shaughnessy, Joan Sjoblom and Bev Zirkle.

A large group of RBIWGC volunteers planned and produced the 2018 tournament. Sue Haskell served as Invitational Committee chair. Other committee chairs included Hilary Quinn, registration; Mary Jo Rice, prizes; Romona Smith, tee-sign sponsors; Judi Berlin, handicaps; Liz Burchill, breakfast; and Diane Borden, communications. Several other Club members volunteered to serve on the various committees.

Among the Rancho Bernardo Inn staff who contributed to the success of the tournament were Bryon Penfield, director of golf; Matt Loflen, tournament director; Paul Kipfstuhl, tournament coordinator; Nolan Schmuckle, first assistant; John Sullivan and Calvin Nollner, banquet managers; and all golf outside staff.

The Rancho Bernardo Inn Women’s Golf Club was founded in 1963. The first Invitational was held in spring 1964 and has since grown into one of the premier women’s golfing events in San Diego County. (For more on the Club’s history, please click here.)