I was warned: Spyglass Hill is one of the toughest courses you will play! It was tough, but the challenges the course threw at me did not diminish the pleasure I experienced playing it - on the contrary. The first five holes are in the dunes; here, one needs to use a variety of clubs off the tee for positioning. There are two great par threes in the first five holes with a great difference in distance between them. This section also features perhaps the smallest and most sliver-like green I have ever played on the 370-yard par-four # 4. I was lucky to hit the green in two, but when I got up to my put I realized how little of a landing area it actually was. The course then changes complexion as it turns into the Del Monte tree-lined fairways from #6 on. There is a premium on hitting accurate tee-shots, and avoiding the many well-placed fairway bunkers that really shape the course. If the tee-shot is well negotiated, than you are faced with well-guarded greens on your approach. Another set of great par-threes on the back nine is highlighted by the downhill 178-yard, #12. There is water in front and left of the putting surface, with bunkers and a hill on the right side and behind the green. The high difficulty of the holes makes the reward for a good shot that mush sweeter. Each hole is solid and will test you on every shot from tee to green.
Spyglass Hill was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., and opened in 1966. Spyglass has received high acclaims, and presents a tough test with a championship course rating of 75.5 and a slope of 147. This course is a must play for any golf enthusiast, and is as solid a challenge as one can face from start to finish. It offers a variety of views, perhaps not as consistent as Spanish Bay or as dramatic as Pebble Beach, but still very enjoyable. If I had to have a membership at a course that I would want to play every day, Spyglass Hill would be very close to the top of the list.
Date: January 17, 2010