Monarch Beach Links - Taxpayer Funded Golf?

Cooled by gentle ocean breezes, the course at Monarch Beach Golf Links, provides a memorable golf experience.

This masterpiece, designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr. runs along the dramatic bluffs of the Pacific Ocean and is fashioned in Scottish links tradition. It's got panoramic ocean views, and two holes adjacent to the beach.

I know... it sounds gorgeous, doesn't it? I hope to be able to play there one of these days. In the meantime though, the course, has unwittingly found itself in a not-so-welcome spotlight. You see, it's part of the ultra-luxe St. Regis Monarch Beach Resort... which is where AIG executives and sales agents partied, played golf and pampered themselves, for a week, just days after the federal government committed $85 billion of taxpayers' money to a bailout of their giant insurance company employer.

Outrage ensued, from just about every direction as congressional investigators released AIG documents showing that the post bailout bash cost AIG taxpayers nearly half a million dollars. Among other things, the expenses reflected $23,000 in mud wraps, facials, pedicures and other spa services... and a mere $7,000 for golf. Is it sexist of me to assume that that majority of the revelers were women? It probably is, but that's what I'm assuming.

In any case, AIG's new CEO, Edward M. Liddy, seems largely unapologetic, asserting that the "retreat was a pre-planned event for a top-producing subsidiary." In fact, the company has complained that the retreat was "misunderstood", and declared "that it plans to go ahead with similar events as scheduled this fall".

As for me, while I may not be going out to Monarch Beach anytime soon I'm still planning to play Morefar this fall.