1700 17 Mile Drive,
California (CA) 93953,
- +1 800 654 9300
3 miles NW of Carmel
Welcome book in advance
Cypress Point is the course you can’t play at Pebble Beach, but thankfully Pebble Beach Golf Links is one you can. “If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play at Pebble Beach. I loved this course from the first time I saw it. It’s possibly the best in the world.” Jack Nicklaus knows a good course when he sees one, who would argue with him?
|Dating back to the 1930s and originally known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am – as it is now called – is a 72-hole PGA Tour event which is typically held on three Californian, Monterey Peninsula courses. Pebble Beach, Cypress Point, Monterey Peninsula Country Club, Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills have all been among the trio of host courses. The cut is made after Saturday’s play and the 60 leading pros and 25 pro-am teams play Pebble Beach for the tournament and the multi-million $ purse. However, back in 1937, Sam Snead picked up a relatively modest $500 first prize.|
Pebble Beach is Mecca for so many golfers and it’s such a joy that everyone can play here if they can afford it. At more than $400 per round, it’s not the cheapest green fee on the planet, but where else can you soak up so much history?
The course opened its tees for play in 1919 and Jack Neville laid it out with a little help from Douglas Grant (the first Captain of Canterbury Golf Club in England), but the course we play today is primarily with thanks to Henry Chandler Egan who remodelled the course ahead of the 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship. The culmination of their combined efforts, with a little help from the “Golden Bear”, had probably resulted in the most spectacular and memorable golf course in the world.
“If Pine Valley is the most dramatically beautiful pine-and-lakeland course in this country,” wrote Robert Trent Jones in the Complete Golfer, “Pebble Beach is its unrivalled counterpart among our oceanside courses. I say “oceanside” and not “seaside,” because “seaside has come to imply low-lying linksland, and Pebble Beach is quite the reverse. It is routed along the craggy headlands that drop abruptly into Carmel Bay.
While the architects of Pebble Beach deserve acclaim for the intrepidity with which they seized the opportunities the headlands afforded, it remains an enigma to me why they did not invoke the same shot values for the interior holes. The interior holes could not have been bequeathed the gorgeous excitement of the holes along Carmel Bay, but the same grandeur of design could easily have been sustained.”
Pebble Beach is a classically simple out-and-back affair but it makes the adrenaline pump. If you can ignore the beauty of the surroundings and keep your mind focused on the game, you might card a decent score. If you can’t ignore the thundering Pacific, just take a deep breath and enjoy yourself. With so many great holes to mention we’ll keep it brief. Holes 7 to 10 comprise of probably the greatest sequence of holes on the planet.
Take a deep breath and get your wallet ready for the rollercoaster golfing ride of its life.
The history, the accommodations (lodge), the layout, the conditions and the atmosphere are all 9 out of 10 but the views make the place. You often find yourself distracted because of them and its one of the only places that the golf game takes a back seat. I have been extremely fortunate to play many of the best private and public courses in the US and when I leave them its a check off my list. Pebble was different. I was on the flight home trying to figure out how to get back asap!
To write a review about a course such as Pebble Beach is try and critique a Van Gogh painting or Beatles album. So many people know it so well that the review in my eyes, needs to be less about describing the course, and more about my experience of playing it.
Having walked the course at the 2019 US Open, I knew what to expect in terms of the layout and lie of the land, but nothing can prepare you for actually walking these revered fairways with your own ball in play.
My tee shot off the 1st tee was a weak fade flirting with the OB, brought on by a significant amount of major championship history induced butterflies. It took me a couple of holes to really settle down but once I did, I started to see some of the parts of the course I recognised more easily from the TV and this made for some enjoyable golf.
The marquee holes are clearly 4-10 and 17 and 18 due to their proximity to the water and the many famous highlights that have been played out across these holes over the years. Looking at the others, I actually felt the Par 5 14th is one of my favourite holes on the course, as it tests every part of your game and is much more difficult a hole seen up close and personal.
Two points to note about playing a round at Pebble Beach. Number one is that is expensive. I managed to pay the walk up rate which significantly reduced the total outlay. However normally you would need to stay in the attached resort even to be able to book a tee time, not a cheap affair. And secondly, this will not be a quick round, something that I always find difficult to deal with. You can understand at Pebble though, particularly on the front nine. People want photographs from varying vistas on the signature holes and in all honesty, the design of holes 4 through 8 encourage a lot of delays as there are blind shots, difficult holes and two thought provoking par 3’s that all combine to slow down the pace of play.
My key takeaway from playing the course is just how good you need to be from 100 yards in and how placing your drive on the correct side of the fairway is the key to having any chance of a birdie. A classic case in point is hole 11. If you don’t find the left half of this fairway or a good lie in the left rough, a par 4 is most certainly the best outcome you can hope for. These greens are incredibly small and having an angle in to a flag along a decent portion of the green is your only hope at getting close.
Another point you might not see on the TV is just now sloped and undulating a lot of these holes are, particularly on the front half. The run from 6-10 slopes invariably towards the sea, the ball being below your feet for a right handed golfer. I’m sure you’ll agree, that there is nothing more intimidating than trouble to the right with the ball below your feet.
Bucket list golf is defined by courses like Pebble Beach. It’s a pilgrimage for any golfer and is a truly iconic place in the world of golf. The memories of the tee shots at 7 and 18 will be with you until you’re grey and old, but it isn’t perfect. The cost, pace of play and playing conditions (due to the amount of traffic the course gets) mean you will possibly feel pangs of dissatisfaction. But taking a step back and taking in the magnitude of what this course means in the world of golf will, hopefully quell any negative memories that may arise. I will certainly remember this twilight round by the Pacific with the fondest of memories.
Pebble Beach is a must play for many reasons, but you really can't understate how good the land is. Holes 6-10 are pretty much as good as it gets, but Hole 12 is an example of one of the few bad golf holes on the course. I think a restoration would be more beneficial at Pebble than any other course in the Top 20, mainly by bringing back green complexes and bunkering style.
Pebble is a special place. Candidly you step on 1 and think....Am I at Pebble? You play 2 and 3 and similar thoughts rumble. You get to 5 and as you traverse thru to 11 you realize you just played maybe the best 6 holes anywhere. A few more ok holes and then 15 thru 18 are sublime. You'll have those that postulate Spyglass is better....They are uninformed. It's a big bite to play Pebble....Yes, But you can play Pebble.
Price not withstanding, a must play. Holes 5-10 and 17-18 are even more breathtaking in person than they are TV.
Wonderful experience in views that are hard to beat in the US. Like Portrush in Ireland, in my humble opinion it should be outside the top 20 and is not quite as good as Spyglass from a course perspective if you ignore the views. Still a fantastic few hours of golf and accessible unlike many others on the list.
Iconic course that I'm sure would be fun and interesting if I played there every day for the rest of my life. Of course it is hard to separate the experience from the course as some others have stated. In my opinion, the incredible ocean views and fun of playing the same holes as your idols do not cover up a course laking in any quality. The ocean stretch is sublime, but the other holes have great interest with some outrageous green complexes and slopes. For me, it's as close to perfection as I have found on a golf course and I just hope I can get another chance to spend a few perfect hours on this course.
The most over rated golf course in the Top 25. Don’t waste your money. Great experience but 4-5 average holes. 4-5 awesome ones (don’t get me wrong) but if PB was on the coast of Ecuador and not California we it wouldn’t even get a mention. More doe if Tara Iti or Cape Wickham we’re next door to it then either PB would be 50 in the world or TI and CW would be 7&8.... go there for the experience. But not the golf.
Wow, I find this is to be the most ridiculous comment I may have ever read. Obviously it's your opinion and that's fine, which are these average holes you speak of?
I play Cape Wickam once a year that place is incredible so we agree on that but to say Pebble Beach isn't worth going to play is absurd to put it kindly.
The place is steeped in history and I thoroughly enjoyed every single footstep, and every golf shot I hit was a thrill.
"if it was in Ecuador it wouldn't get a mention" guess what it's not in Ecuador mate, hypotheticals are used by people with no real argument.
This was the best-golfing experience I've had and I've had many.
Who likes controversy? Ok, I'm just going to say it, Pebble Beach is one of the Top 5 overrated courses ranked in the World Top 50 and arguably #1. That doesn't mean I don't think it's not a great course! Everything in the World Top 100 by definition is a great course so in essence we are always picking at straws when ranking them to a certain extent and then we haven't even touched on the matter of subjectivity.
So let me only speak objectively ha ha...the first 3 holes, really average, I mean they would not be special on a single course in the Top 100. The 4th, ok half the hole is decent. The 5th generally seen as great is highly debatable. Yes it has a beautiful location and it's hard with a narrow green for the length of the shot. Great it is not. 6 splits opinions, I'm going to call it a great hole because it has that rare element of quirk in the US and I really like the approach.
7 and 8 are the best holes on the course and yes all-world holes that deserve most likely to be in the lists of the best holes in the world. 9 is excellent, 10 is very good, then the holes up to 17 while good are not special. 17, I'd argue is considered great largely because of Nicklaus. Not in my book, especially because I'm looking at all courses stripped of their history when trying to rank them. What is special about putting a green that's too small and doesn't have many pin positions at the end of a long shot? Again it makes for a difficult hole but a great hole? No chance.
18 is another great hole, no arguments here. I'm counting 3 great holes, a whole bunch of sleepers and a couple others. An amazing scenic placement which is nearly impossible to think away and tons of glorious history that people can't separate from the course itself.
Doesn't sound like a World Top 20 course to me. Yet still it's ranked in the Top 10.
However, as a publicly accessible course it is most certainly one of the best in the US.
Again, don't get me wrong, it's great and I love the place. What's not to love? 6 hour rounds and a hugely tempting pro shop ala Disneyland to commemorate the experience and one of the best logos in the sport.
Love to hear your thoughts on why I'm wrong or right!
You are wrong. And, I couldn't care less about the pro shop.
The first three holes are not iconic, but the approach shot on 1 is demanding. For shorter players (me) the second shot on 2 is demanding (get close enough to the bunker and between the uprights). The tee shot on three is tough for 95% of golfers - find the fairway and not a bunker or the tree. (my scratch friends hate this shot too)
The 4th hole - I dare anyone to make the putt above the hole.
The most underrated par 5 in golf is the 6th hole. Even my scratch friends are nervous for the second shot up the hill.
If you one putt the 11th - consider yourself a golf god.
A GIR on 12 - you read the wind better than most.
14 - A par - golf god.
The most underrated moment in my golf life... Stand above your ball in the middle of the fairway on 16 awaiting your approach shot (as your best friend is trying to hack it out of the rough) and look up, stare through the trees and look out to the ocean. If you don't feel like somebody decided that today there is nothing that could be better in your life, then you have no golf soul. You will still make bogey, but you will love your life. That is what golf should be about. Bar none.
Never forget it is a tournament golf course. That is a design challenge. The scorecard is protected by some lengthy holes and some small green with enormous amounts of break.
For The Record... I don't like Spyglass. I have played PB 14 times in 9 years.
I mean, it’s Pebble Beach! Played here most recently right before the U.S. Open and it was a fantastic walk.