Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links

COURSE REVIEW

Pebble Beach Golf Links
Pebble Beach, California, USA

Images and story by Sam Gole.

Few places, if any, offer a golfing experience on a par with Pebble Beach Golf Links. It’s little wonder the Californian coastal getaway is an American icon and one of golf’s biggest brands.

It’s easy to understand guests taking a shine to Pebble Beach Golf LInks. The storied track radiates warmth from its natural beauty, genuine spirit and unpretentious ambience.

Located in Pebble Beach on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula, the seven-time host venue of major golf championships is one of the most beautiful courses in the world. Perched atop the rugged coastline with expansive views of Carmel Bay opening to the Pacific Ocean, Pebble Beach enjoys a picture postcard setting.

Immaculately presented, the par-72, 6828-yard (6243-metre) course has been a long-time favourite playground for golfers from around the world since opening in 1919. Ranked America’s number one public access golf course, Pebble Beach’s fabled links continue to stand the test of time and offer each new generation of golfer an unrivalled encounter.

Jack Neville and Douglas Grant designed the stunning course. Both men enjoyed success winning amateur golf titles but neither had any experience in designing a golf course. The fact that the course has undergone little change over the years is testament to Neville’s and Grant’s immense talent and vision.

Neville sought to position as many holes near to the rocky coastline as possible. In all, nine holes are flanked by the dramatic cliff top site, including seven consecutive holes starting with the short par-4, 4th hole.

The 4th hole and par-3, 192-yard, 5th hole are played above the pristine white sandy beach at Stillwater Cove—it’s an elegant setting that includes a bird’s eye view of the Pebble Beach Club.

From the 6th tee, the view along the fairway to the 6th green is a jaw-dropping site. With the dramatic rise in elevation from the fairway to the green, you’ll need plenty of ticker and a heap of loft on your second shot, if you want to fly your approach at the pin. It’s a solid 506-yard, par-5, that’s ranked the second hardest hole at the course.

And nothing can adequately prepare you for your first glance at Pebble Beach’s iconic 7th hole—it’s awe-inspiring. The pretty, par-3, 106-yard hole utilises all the available land at the tiny peninsula that juts into the ocean, making it one of the most photographed golf holes in the world. The elevated tee ground framed by a rustic split timber rail offers a wonderful vista of the coast. It’s just a flick with a wedge to the green in benign conditions. However, in wilder weather it can require as much as a mid-iron to find the putting surface, making this little beauty of a hole a beast to conquer.

At the par-4, 427-yard, 8th hole, the generous fairway hugging the spectacular coastline is blind from the tee. Carefully choose the right line off the tee to avoid hitting it over the cliff and onto the beach below. Then from the elevated fairway position, you’ll need a well struck mid-iron to clear the ravine and find the small green with your approach.

The par-4, 9th and 10th holes continue to head away from the clubhouse along the coastline offering spectacular views of Carmel Beach. At 446 yards and 373 yards respectively, both holes are lengthy and feature fairways that camber severely towards the sea.

From this point, the impressive layout turns inland. The 11th hole is just 373 yards long. However, the short par-4 boasts one of the smallest and trickiest greens played on the PGA Tour. Pebble Beach demands pinpoint accuracy with small greens being a distinct feature at this classic track.

After holing out at the 16th green—one of the prettiest settings on the course—Pebble Beach then closes with a pair of stunning holes immersed in golf’s rich history.

The par-3, 177-yard, 17th hole is located on another small peninsula with a picturesque ocean view. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson each collected a remarkable birdie at this hole during their final rounds to go on to win the 1972 and 1982 US Open titles respectively. The hole features a long slender green that sits at a 45-degree angle from the tee box.

Then the medium length but supremely difficult par-5, 543-yard, 18th hole provides the final challenges and glorious moments at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Featuring an impressive 100+ yard bunker running along the Pacific Ocean, the 18th hole is one of golf’s most famous and best closing holes.

The Pebble Beach experience continues well after you sink your final putt. The renowned 18th hole also features a special ambience that’s unique to Pebble Beach. After the round, most golfers head for The Bench—it’s a handy spot which features communal fire pits overlooking the 18th green and ocean. There’s an exciting energy present at the popular dining site. The laughter, cries of ‘cheers’ and sincere applauses resounding throughout ‘the pits’ typify a genuine camaraderie that exists among guests.

The sense of solidarity adds to the overall experience. There’s a supportive atmosphere here and with the caring assistance of Pebble Beach’s amazing personnel, everyone at Pebble Beach Resorts is made to feel special.

The finer things in life should be enjoyed and appreciated with time. So, when you play the exceptional Pebble Beach Golf Links, be sure to savour every wonderful moment.

Pebble Beach truly rocks.

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