Pebble Beach conjures up an image in the mind but we suspect only a few people out there will know much about the private Monterey Peninsula Country Club which is also located close to 17-Mile Drive. There are two courses at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Dunes and Shore. The Dunes layout is the layout that once received the accolades but the Shore course is now considered the better of the two by those in the know.
Originally designed by Bob Baldock back in 1962 and host to the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1965 and 1966, the Shore course was always a decent track and it even made 13th in CA State in Golf Digest’s 1997-98 awards. But that was before the late Mike Strantz was commissioned to restore the course. All 18 holes were re-routed alongside the largest removal of non-indigenous vegetation that the West Coast had ever seen.
In 2004, the Strantz restoration was complete and the result has been said to represent “as close to pure artistry as he ever achieved on a golf course”. The fairways pitch and roll in a similar manner to a true seaside links but the magic is really the way in which the course blends into the topography. This is golf ‘au naturale’ and perhaps the finest architectural swan song.
In 2010, the Shore layout returned to the rotation of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (the successor to the Bing Crosby Pro-Am) and has become a firm favourite course for many Tour players.