I decided to treat my family to a 3 week Californian holiday on the basis we could stay at the The Lodge in Pebble Beach for 2 nights and I could play a round on the Pebble Beach Links.
From the moment we pulled into 17 mile drive and drove to The Lodge entrance at Pebble Beach, I experienced that magic feeling of anticipation felt when you enter one golfs great golfing regions such as St Andrews. We checked in at the reception then walked down the stairs through the restaurant to see the 18th green overlooking the ocean. I could smell the history and watched the golfers playing into the 18th and imagining how I was going to play my approach shot into the famous green the following day. After a wonderful lunch sitting on the terrace overlooking the 18th, we ventured to the par 3 course to warm up for the following days exploits.
The following morning, I prepared for my 10.20AM tee time on the range where the club arrange a courtesy bus to the excellent practice facilities and was then introduced to my caddie, Geoff who advised me to take a 5 wood on the 1st to leave a wedge into the first green. I felt nervous on the tee with pure excitement where the world seemed to come to a standstill at the top of my back swing before I unleashed my tee shot 220 yards into he middle of the fairway. Phew! Thereafter I experienced one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf. Holes 1 and 2 are pretty straightforward and then you first see the ocean for the first time on the tricky 3rd dog leg. Holes 4,5,6 are then just spectacular and then just standing on the 7th tee for the famous short par 3 in the ocean you really then feel you are playing one of the worlds most iconic golf courses. 8 and 9 are also such beautiful golf holes along the ocean whilst the next 7 holes coming home are away from the coast.
The real excitement begins again on the 17th when you imagine Watson and Nicklaus standing on the tee in 1982 looking out into the ocean where the incredible chip holed by Watson is recognised with a plaque from where he holed that magnificent chip from the rough on the edge of the green. Geoff my caddie relayed the story where Watson’s caddie said “you need to chip this close Tom “to which Tom replied “I’m going to hole the damn thing!”
Then standing on the 18th tee and looking down the fairway is even more beautiful than any photograph can do justice. I sat on the fence by the 18th tee box as Nicklaus did at his last Open whilst Geoff took photo’s then played this wonderful hole with my family watching from the clubhouse. Pebble Beach really lived up to my expectations and beyond and I cannot wait to return to this beautiful peninsula to experience this wonderful iconic mecca of golf.
Date: August 20, 2016