Pebble Beach Golf Links is an open-to-the-public, 18-hole layout on California's Monterey Peninsula, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. It's one of the most famous - and highly regarded - golf courses in the world. It annually hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour, and regularly hosts other major tournaments including the U.S. Open. Pebble Beach Golf Links is the jewel of Pebble Beach Resorts, which includes several other well-known golf courses on the peninsula.
• Pebble Beach Golf Links pictures
Address: 1700 17 Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Phone: (800) 654-9300
Pebble Beach Origins and Architects
Pebble Beach Golf Links opened in 1919. It was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, a pair of amateur golfers doing their first course design. A few other architects have made changes to the Neville/Grant design over the years. Those touch-up artists include Arthur "Bunker" Vincent, William Fowler, H. Chandler Egan, Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer.
Yardages and Ratings
Pebble Beach Golf Links is a par-72, 6,828 yard layout from the Blue tees, which are the back tees for resort play. Additional tees known as the Black tees were in play at the 2010 U.S. Open, during which Pebble Beach played to 7,041 yard (and was played as a par-71).
The course rating from the Blue tees is 74.7, with a slope rating of 143.
Yardages from the Blue tees:
No. 1 - Par 4 - 377
No. 2 - Par 5 - 511
No. 3 - Par 4 - 390
No. 4 - Par 4 - 326
No. 5 - Par 3 - 192
No. 6 - Par 5 - 506
No. 7 - Par 3 - 106
No. 8 - Par 4 - 427
No. 9 - Par 4 - 481
No. 10 - Par 4 - 446
No. 11 - Par 4 - 373
No. 12 - Par 3 - 201
No. 13 - Par 4 - 403
No. 14 - Par 5 - 572
No. 15 - Par 4 - 396
No. 16 - Par 4 - 401
No. 17 - Par 3 - 177
No. 18 - Par 5 - 543
Significant Tournaments Hosted
Pebble Beach Golf Links has been the site of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - originally the Bing Crosby Pro-Am - every year since 1947. And it has been the site of the California State Amateur every year since 1920. And Pebble Beach has also hosted these tournaments (with their winners):
1929 U.S. Amateur: Harrison R. Johnson
1947 U.S. Amateur: Skee Riegel
1961 U.S. Amateur: Jack Nicklaus
1972 U.S. Open: Jack Nicklaus
1977 PGA Championship: Lanny Wadkins
1982 U.S. Open: Tom Watson
1992 U.S. Open: Tom Kite
1999 U.S. Amateur: David Gossett
2000 U.S. Open: Tiger Woods
2010 U.S. Open: Graeme McDowell
Pebble Beach Golf Links Trivia
- When Bobby Jones came to Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 1929 U.S. Amateur, he was trying to become the first person to win three straight Amateur championships. But he was knocked out in the first round by Johnny Goodman.
- Odd but true: At the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1967, Arnold Palmer trailed Jack Nicklaus by a stroke in the final round. On No. 14, Palmer's approach shot struck a tree and bounced out of bounds. He hit another shot, and the same thing happened. He wound up taking 9 and falling out of contention. That night, a storm hit the area and strong winds ripped "Palmer's tree" right out of the ground.
- Two of the most famous shots in golf history occurred at Pebble Beach, and both involved Jack Nicklaus. In 1972, on the par-3 17th of the final round of the U.S. Open, Nicklaus hit a 1-iron into the teeth of the wind that hit the flagstick. He birdied and won the tournament. In 1982, also on No. 17 in the final round, Tom Watson holed out a seemingly impossible chip shot to beat Nicklaus for the Open title.
- The final round of the Crosby in 1962 was delayed a day by snow. It was the first snowfall at Pebble Beach in 40 years, and it hasn't snowed there since.
- At the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in 1984, Hale Irwin reached the 18th tee in the final round trailing by one. His tee shot was well left, heading out-of-bounds. It hit the rocks on the shoreline ... and bounced back into the fairway! Irwin wound up birdying the hole, then winning the title in a playoff.
More About Pebble Beach Golf Links:
How revered is Pebble Beach Golf Links in the world of golf? Well, here's Jack Nicklaus:
"If I only had one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. I've loved this course from the first time I saw it. It's possibly the best in the world."
"Possibly" the best in the world, definitely among the best. Golf Digest has rated Pebble Beach the best course in America, the first public course so honored.
So like Nicklaus, you, too, can play Pebble Beach, since it's a public course. But two things to keep in mind if you want to play:
- Bring plenty of money. Greens fees at Pebble Beach Golf Links are measured in the hundreds of dollars. Pebble Beach's are among the highest greens fees of any golf course in the world.
- Make arrangements early. Your best bet is to arrange your rounds through a stay-and-play package (guests at The Lodge at Pebble Beach and The Inn at Spanish Bay get priority). You can, however, call the pro shop for a tee time, just like at any other course. But call very far in advance. And when tee times are canceled, open slots are listed on the Pebble Beach Web site for the coming 30 days. You can also try your luck showing up as a single - the starters will try to work you in, but there are no guarantees.
What makes Pebble Beach so special? The setting has a lot to do with it. Situated on the Monterrey Peninsula on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, there's not a bad view on the course. Marine mammals (cute otters!) frolic in the waters; the surf hits the beaches and rocky shorelines down below; sea breezes blow across the course.
Then there are those small, sloping - and fast - greens, and the challenging tee shots to narrow fairways bordered by plenty of rough. First-time visitors to Pebble Beach are often unprepared for how small and difficult the greens are.
There are sidehill lies, holes playing uphill, and deep bunkers. And the ocean waters loom for wayward shots on many holes. Plus, breezy conditions are common, and when the wind kicks up, watch out.
These tough conditions are mitigated somewhat by the fact that Pebble Beach is not a long golf course. It's actually short by modern standards, tipping out at just over 6,800 yards for daily players.
Holes 4-10 play alongside the water, with No. 7 - a downhill par-3 whose green seems to float on water, bounded on three sides by ocean - is the most famous hole in that stretch. It is also said to be one of the most-photographed holes in golf.
The course goes back up into stands of Monterrey cypress trees on No. 11. No. 17, another par-3 whose green is backed by ocean, returns the golfer to the water's edge.
And No. 18, one of the most famous finishing holes in golf, is a 543-yard par-5 with rocky coastline and ocean down its entire left side.