It’s nearly impossible to think of bucket list golf destinations without counting the iconic Pebble Beach. Beyond its namesake golf course, the Pebble Beach portfolio also includes The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Del Monte Golf Course, the latter which resides outside of the designated Pebble Beach community.
Though some would disagree, Pebble Beach Golf Links is the bucket list course to play if time only allows you to play one of these courses. So, what’s so great about this 100+ year old golf course, beyond its name recognition?
No. 7 appears along the coast of the ocean at Pebble Beach.
Nestled in the Del Monte forest along the central coast of California, Pebble Beach is located in a pristine location that many visit just for scenic 17-Mile Drive. But, for the golfers with a mission, a round at Pebble offers breathtaking vistas on the Pacific Ocean and nearby Carmel-by-the-Sea, a small artists’ beach community.
No. 7 and No. 18 can be recognized even by non-golfers, as they are set against views that have now become synonymous with the game.
The first Pebble Beach Lodge was constructed in 1909 to accommodate the traffic on 17 Mile Drive and burned down mysteriously in 1917 while the course was being constructed. The Pebble Beach Golf Course was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, and along with the newly built lodge, opened in 1919.
Since 1926, Pebble Beach became a mainstay for numerous tournaments, with the most notable being the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am tournament (aka the “Clam Bake) and now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am every February. The course has hosted the U.S. Open in six times and has seen historic wins from the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
Time and time again, Pebble Beach is rated one of the best courses in the world.
Among its accolades, Pebble Beach has been named the “greatest public golf course in America” by Golf Digest since 2003, as well as one of the top 50 courses in the U.S. by Golf Advisor, Golf Magazine’s Top 100 courses in the world, and appointed Golfweek’s best resort course. With a plethora of awards, it’s hard not to be curious about how the course actually plays.
Finally, we come to the reason why we’re talking about it in the first place: the course, of course!
Jack Nicklaus redesigned No. 5 and Arnold Palmer provided recommendations for course alterations in 2010 before the U.S. Open. So many greats have touched – and played – this course, that it may feel a bit intimidating to walk up to the first tee. But any trepidation will fade away as you wind your way along the oceanfront land and especially when you land at what Pebble Beach deemed itself “the best finishing hole in golf”: No. 18.
Sure, there will be frustration. Sure, some profanity – that’s expected. Regardless of how you’ll perform, your round at Pebble Beach will be one you’ll tell your grandchildren – with some details certainly left out.