Playing Pebble Beach is an experience I will never forget. The location is incredible with 9 of the holes along the rocky coastline of the Pacific Ocean and Stillwater Cove. I walked when playing and my caddie, Michael Lehotta was excellent. Mike certainly made the day enjoyable and gave me incredible insight to each of the holes. I thought the condition of the fairways, greens, tees, bunkers, and rough were all excellent. Playing a course that has hosted 5 US Opens, 1 PGA Championship, 4 US Amateurs, and 2 US Women's Amateurs definitely has a lot of history on its side. The cost is steep but I am definitely happy to have the opportunity to play here once in my lifetime. Looking forward to watching the 2019 US Open which is going to be held here on the 100th anniversary of the Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The first 2 holes are inland and are relatively easy. The first is a 377 yard dogleg right par 4 and the second is a 511 yard par 5. The third hole is a 390 yard dogleg left par 4 that goes back toward the Pacific Ocean and you can cut off as much of the dogleg as you can handle. Holes 4 through 10 are all along Stillwater Cove and the Pacific Ocean, this is where the views are unforgettable. The fourth is a short uphill 326 yard par 4 with Stillwater Cove on the right and accuracy is key. The fifth is an uphill 192 yard par 3 designed by Jack Nicklaus with the green sitting up on the bluffs overlooking Stillwater. The sixth is a 506 yard par 5 with Stillwater Cove on the right with the drive downhill and the second shot up the hill. Accuracy is again key on the second shot with bunkers left and Stillwater to the right. The 106 yard par 3 seventh might be one of the most spectacular short holes I have ever played. I can see why it is one of the most photographed holes in golf. Holes 8, 9, and 10 are all spectacular par 4s that measure 427, 481, and 446 yards with the Pacific Ocean on the right of these holes. The second shot on number 8 over the oceanic chasm ranks as one the most spectacular I have ever seen.
The uphill 373 yard par 4 eleventh starts going to some inland holes again. While the holes are not oceanside the Pacific is clearly in view. The 201 yard par 3 twelfth is an excellent short hole and is the farthest point from the clubhouse. The uphill thirteenth is a nice 403 yard par 4 with bunkers protecting the tee shot. The green slopes right to left and is the most severely sloped on the course. The 572 yard par 5 fourteenth was using a temporary green on the day I played. It is a 3 shot hole for most players where the green will be located. The 396 yard par 4 fifteenth is a solid hole with bunkers protecting the fairway on the left with trees to the right. The green again slopes to the left as the ocean is on that side. The 401 yard par 4 sixteenth looked different that I was expecting. I always remember seeing the 2 big trees that seemed to frame the green while watching on television. Mike said these 2 trees came down and were replaced by the smaller trees that are there now. The seventeenth is a 177 yard par 3 that goes directly in the direction of Stillwater Cove. The long narrow green distance can vary by about 40 yards depending where the pin is placed. The eighteenth is a 543 yard par 5 with the Pacific Ocean on the entire left side of the hole. I can still picture Jack Nicklaus sitting on the fence to the left of the tee on his last competitive round at Pebble. A great finishing hole and a nice way to end a day I will never forget.
Pebble Beach was an outstanding experience and would highly recommend it to any golfer that makes a journey to the Monterey area. Click below to see a You Tube slideshow of some pictures I took during my visit.
Date: May 30, 2016