It’s a good course, but not great. The first five holes are unique, majestic, and supremely enjoyable. The next thirteen are somehow both extremely challenging and extremely unmemorable. It’s 1960s blah target golf at its finest, and on top of that seemingly every long hole is narrow with an uphill approach. Perhaps that’s enjoyable architecture to some people, but not to me. The first five holes and the set of par threes on the course prevent it from being a complete miserable slog.
I’d be very interested to see how Spyglass would be received if the course routing was completely reversed – as in the golfer from green to tee on every hole from 18 to 1, with modern green complexes designed by Hanse or Doak or the like. I’d wager a fair bit of money that it would be a better course. Certainly the finishing stretch climbing to the clubhouse would be classic.
Among the courses on the Peninsula that I’ve played, I would rank Spyglass as my least favorite, and certainly for the money I would play Spanish Bay or Pacific Grove which are easier and either the same or more scenic.
Date: March 20, 2019