Monterey Golf Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Golf — Full Swing Ahead

Monterey Bay California USA

Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Hole No. 3
Photo courtesy Pebble Beach Company

With eight public and private 18-hole golf courses — four of which rank among the top 100 in the U.S. — Pebble Beach is one of the world's premier golfing destinations. But recent course enhancements offer rare nuances for new and seasoned golfers, making the mecca even more magical.

By Drew Limsky

Of course, the Monterey Peninsula is synonymous with Pebble Beach, and Pebble Beach is synonymous with golf. And after the Emmy-winning success of HBO's Big Little Lies, the spectacular setting is associated with the intrigue and glamour of the hit television show as well. Still, the destination refuses to rest on its laurels and has upgraded both its greens and its amenities.

Eight public and private 18-hole golf courses call Pebble Beach their home, and one of its world-renowned public courses — Pebble Beach Golf Links — has unveiled some major enhancements. Several greens were rebuilt to United States Golf Association (USGA) specifications. Area duffers already know that in 2015 and 2016, the 17th and 14th greens, originally designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, were restored. This included enlarging greens to increase the number of hole locations, restoring greenside bunkers, and installing Sub-Air systems to help with moisture control. But in spring 2017, the 13th green was rebuilt following the same criteria, because staying legendary requires consistency.

When the restoration was in the planning stages, photographs dating back to the 1920s and '30s — viewed under the discerning eye of Arnold Palmer and his design team — especially came in handy. The goal with these renovations was to recognize the timeless design of the golf course, enhance green conditions using modern technology, and improve playability under both daily and tournament conditions. The renovations, along with other improvements, will help Pebble Beach Golf Links continue to be one of the best tests of golf during the 2019 U.S. Open Championship. (The Links was the site of the U.S. Open in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, and 2010.)

Joining Pebble Beach Golf Links as a host course of the 2018 U.S. Amateur Championship (Aug. 13–19) — the second time since 1999 — Spyglass Hill Golf Course has long been considered one of the country's toughest courses. In addition to being rated No. 11 on "America's 100 Greatest Public Courses" list by Golf Digest, Spyglass Hill has been on the tournament rotation of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am since 1967. With hole names inspired by the novel Treasure Island, Spyglass Hill challenges even the most skilled players and is an absolute must for the accomplished golfer looking to test his or her skills in a championship setting. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the layout now offers more prime tee times, which allows golfers to experience the historic course that celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2016.

As part of its 100th anniversary celebration in 2019, Pebble Beach Resorts is offering another class of accommodations to go along with The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and the newer Casa Palmero. The brand-new Fairway One at The Lodge, which overlooks the first fairway of Pebble Beach Golf Links, is a boutique property with eight guest rooms, including two stand-alone cottages: the Eastwood and the Palmer. The former was named for Clint Eastwood; the actor served as mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea from 1986 to 1988 and remains the area's most famous booster. His name is nearly as synonymous with the Monterey Peninsula as golf is.

Monterey Golf The Links at Spanish Bay

The Links at Spanish Bay
Photo courtesy Pebble Beach Company

A QUICK GUIDE TO MONTEREY BAY GOLF COURSES

Bayonet & Black Horse
Known for: panoramic Pacific views and fescueframed fairways.
SEASIDE, bayonetblackhorse.com

Del Monte Golf Course
Known for: its special history as one of the country's oldest continuously operating courses (dates from 1897).
MONTEREY, pebblebeach.com

Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course
Known for: its 18-hole championship golf course designed by Pete Dye and fabulous valley views.
CARMEL, carmelvalleyranch.com

The Links at Spanish Bay
Known for: its scenic sand dunes and design by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Tom Watson.
PEBBLE BEACH, pebblebeach.com

Monterey Pines Golf Course
Known for: its challenging 18-hole, par-69 course and best value.
MONTEREY, monterey.navylifesw.com

Pacific Grove Golf Links
Known for: affordable rates and scenic views along the renowned 17-Mile Drive.
PACIFIC GROVE, playpacificgrove.com

Pebble Beach Golf Links
Known for: its peerless coastal beauty, hosting the U.S. Open, and appearing in golf video games.
PEBBLE BEACH, pebblebeach.com

Peter Hay Golf Course
Known for: its status as the only nine-hole, par-3 course on the Peninsula and accessibility to all ages and levels.
PEBBLE BEACH, pebblebeach.com

Poppy Hills
Known for: its unique forest setting and 2014 renovation.
PEBBLE BEACH, poppyhillsgolf.com

Spyglass Hill
Known for: its challenging terrain, tree-lined fairways, opening holes with ocean views, and design by Robert Trent Jones Sr.
PEBBLE BEACH, pebblebeach.com