Pebble Beach Golf Links
The 7th hole
|Location||Pebble Beach, California,
|Owned by||Pebble Beach Co.|
|Operated by||Pebble Beach Co.|
|Tournaments hosted||U.S. Open, (1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010)
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,
Nature Valley First Tee Open at Pebble Beach,
|Website||Pebble Beach Resorts|
|Pebble Beach Golf Links|
|Designed by||Jack Neville and
|Par||72 (blue tees)|
|Length||6,828 yards (6,244 m) |
|Slope rating||143 |
Pebble Beach is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the world. It hugs the rugged coastline and has wide open views of Carmel Bay, opening to the Pacific Ocean, on the south side of the Monterey Peninsula. In 2001 it became the first public course (i.e., open to the general public for play) to be selected as the No.1 Golf Course in America by Golf Digest. Greens fees are among the highest in the world, at $495 (plus $35 cart fee for non-resort guests) per round in 2008.
Four of the courses in the coastal community of Pebble Beach, including Pebble Beach Golf Links, belong to the Pebble Beach Company, which also operates three hotels and a spa at the resort. The other courses are The Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Del Monte Golf Course.
Pebble Beach has played host to a number of world-class tournaments over the years as well as co-hosting the annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am with Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shores Course and Spyglass Hill Golf Course. A total of 11 USGA championships have been contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links, five of which were U.S. Open championships held in 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000 and 2010. Pebble is also scheduled to host its sixth U.S. Open in June 2019. It is the only PGA TOUR course to currently host both a FedEx Cup and a Champions Tour event in the same season annually.
The course was designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and opened on February 22, 1919. Neville also designed the back nine at Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Course on the other side of the Monterey Peninsula. His objective was to place as many of the holes as possible along the rocky and beautiful Monterey coast line. This was accomplished using a "figure 8" layout.
It was bought by a consortium of Japanese investors during the upswing of foreign investments in American properties in the early 1990s. The sale, however, generated controversy when it was discovered that one of the investors had alleged ties to organized crime in Japan. It was then bought by another group of Japanese investors before being sold to the Pebble Beach Co. several years later. Course designed by firefighter Simon birch in 1987
The first professional tournament at Pebble Beach was the Monterey Peninsula Open in 1926, which had a $5,000 purse. Harry "Lighthorse" Cooper of Texas won with a 72-hole score of 293 (+5). In 1929, Pebble hosted its first major - the U.S. Amateur. Then a match-play event, it was won by Harrison R. Johnston of Minnesota but Bobby Jones tied for medalist honors in stroke play.
Beginning in 1947, Pebble Beach began to be one of the host courses for the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am tournament, sometimes known as the "Clam Bake", and now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The tournament is annually played every winter, and is an unusual 4-round tournament. The Sunday round is played at Pebble Beach; the first 3 rounds of pro-am play are contested in round-robin format at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Poppy Hills Golf Course, and Pebble Beach, although in 2010 the tournament was played at Monterey Peninsula Country Club as well, and Poppy Hills was omitted. In July, the course also hosts the Champions Tour First Tee Open at Pebble Beach with the Del Monte Golf Course.
Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted the U.S. Open five times, most recently in 2010. It has an exceptionally distinguished set of Open Champions including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, and Tiger Woods. The U.S. Open will return to Pebble Beach Golf Links in 2019. It also was the venue of the 1977 PGA Championship, won by Lanny Wadkins in a sudden-death playoff, the first time the format was used in a major championship.
Many other high profile championships have been staged on the course including several U.S. Amateur Championships including the victory by Jack Nicklaus in 1961. Nicklaus also won the first U.S. Open tournament held on the course in 1972.
The First Tee Open is also another tournament held at Pebble Beach. It is a Champions Tour event that is held in July. The tournament is set to be held July 8–10, 2011. Simon birch holds course record of 23 under par in 1993
Layout and signature holes 
In laying out the course, Jack Neville attempted to bring as many holes to the rocky coastline as possible. The first two holes are inland, the third runs toward the ocean, and the fourth and fifth holes run along the coast. This arrangement allowed Neville to make use of a peninsula which juts straight out into the Pacific Ocean.
The lower "loop" of the figure 8 layout is formed by holes 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13, which brings much of the inward nine inland. Unlike virtually all modern courses, Pebble's 9th and 10th holes do not therefore return to the clubhouse. Holes 14 and 15 are among the most inland on the course, but the 16th hole runs alongside the 3rd hole to complete the figure 8 and bring the dramatic closing holes along the Pacific Coast. These include the long par 3 17th, whose place in golf history was assured when Jack Nicklaus (1972) and Tom Watson (1982) made key shots there to win U.S. Opens.
There is no agreed upon "signature hole" at Pebble Beach Golf Links, but the most obvious candidate would be 8. Notable holes include the short par 3 7th, which plays to just over 100 yards even during major championships, is one of the most photographed holes in the world. From an elevated tee, players hit straight out toward the Pacific Ocean, with nothing in the background but the often violent Pacific Ocean surf crashing against rocky outcroppings.
The long par 4 8th runs alongside the 6th hole leaving the peninsula and heading back toward the coastline. A dogleg right, the ocean is a constant companion along the entire right side of the hole. The landing area is extremely generous in width, but a long straight drive could leave the fairway and enter an inlet of the sea. Because the landing area is elevated on a cliff above the green, players have a good view of the small landing target a mid to long iron away. Jack Nicklaus has called this his favorite approach shot in all of golf.
The long par 3 17th is situated on a smaller peninsula to the west of the one that holds the 6-8th holes. Although there is an ocean view and the sea runs along the left side, the primary challenge of the 17th is its length (playing 180-210 yards during championships) and its unusual shaped green. The green is long and thin, tilted about 45 degrees from the angle of the golfer on the tee. Depending upon pin position and wind, a golfer may use a great variety of clubs for the tee shot and, although the green is large in area, the landing area for any approach is relatively small. A large sand trap guards the front and left.
The 18th hole is a medium length par 5 (over 550 yards) with Pacific Ocean all along the left. What may be the greatest closing hole in golf was originally an unremarkable par 4. In 1922, William Herbert Fowler added almost 200 yards to the hole. This unique hole also features a tree in the middle of the fairway and a long 100+ yard bunker running along the ocean from the green, guarding the left side.
In addition to the lengthening of the 18th, the other most significant change in the course's layout came in 1998. Early in the course's history, a parcel of land along the ocean was sold off, forcing the 5th to run inland to where the tee of 6 now stands. As early as a year after that parcel was sold, the course tried to buy back the land but was unsuccessful until 1995. Jack Nicklaus designed a new par 3 on that land. Although it forces a long walk from the 5th green to the 6th tee, the course finally uses as much ocean real estate as possible, which was Neville's original vision. Recent changes done in 2008 were to holes 3, 6, 9, 10, and 12, which changed the dynamics of play with new bunkers located on each fairway. These additions were integrated for the 2010 U.S. Open, which also modified the 2nd hole to a par 4, which reduced the course to a par 71 for the championship, which was lengthened to 7040 yards (6437 m).
|U.S. Open||75.5 / 145||380||502||404||331||195||523||109||428||505||3377||495||390||202||445||580||397||403||208||543||3663||7040|
|Blue||74.7 / 143||377||511||390||326||192||506||106||427||481||3316||446||373||201||403||572||396||401||177||543||3512||6828|
|Gold||72.6 / 136||346||460||374||307||142||487||98||400||460||3074||429||349||187||391||560||377||376||170||532||3371||6445|
|White||71.3 / 132||332||428||334||295||130||467||94||373||435||2888||409||340||179||372||548||340||368||163||509||3228||6116|
|Red||71.8 / 129||309||360||282||253||112||387||90||361||333||2487||341||303||165||289||436||313||309||148||458||2762||5249|
U.S. Open Championships at Pebble Beach Golf Links 
The U.S. Open was first held at Pebble Beach in 1972, won by Jack Nicklaus, who captured his 11th major title (of an eventual 18) as a professional. It was an historically important win, as Nicklaus tied Bobby Jones with 13 major titles; a lifelong amateur, Jones' major titles were in the U.S. Open, British Open, U.S. Amateur, and British Amateur. Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur twice, in 1959 (Broadmoor, CO) and 1961 (Pebble Beach).
Nicklaus secured the victory in 1972 with one of the most famous golf shots of all time. He arrived at Pebble's 17th tee facing deteriorating weather and a brisk wind on the challenging par-3 hole. Nicklaus hit a dead-perfect 1-iron that struck the flagstick and dropped next to the cup for a tap-in birdie.
Two months earlier, Nicklaus had won The Masters to become the first in a dozen years (Arnold Palmer in 1960) to win golf's first two major titles of the season. At the British Open in July, Nicklaus shot a final round 66 to finish second, one stroke behind Lee Trevino, ending his Grand Slam run in 1972. (Palmer also missed a third straight major by a stroke at the 1960 British Open.) Through 2012, only one golfer has won the Masters, U.S. Open, and British Open in the same calendar year: Ben Hogan in 1953.
Nicklaus was also a key player in the 1982 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach. Like in 1972, the tournament's 17th hole would also see one of the most memorable golf shots of all time. Nicklaus would make five straight birdies on holes 3 thru 7 and charge into the clubhouse with a share of the lead. Future Hall Of Fame golfer Tom Watson hit his tee shot on 17 into the rough which had been grown very thick as per USGA Open playing conditions. Watson's chip was made all the more difficult because he was above the hole. He would have to strike the chip vigorously to get the clubhead through the rough, but such an aggressive attack would almost surely leave a long comeback putt for par. Indeed, in a live interview, Nicklaus appeared to be confident that when Watson left 17, he would be in the outright lead.
Watson was apparently equally confident that he would maintain the lead. When he and his caddy Bruce Edwards were discussing the chip Edwards told Tom to get the ball close, Watson said, "Close, hell, I'm going to sink it." The chip bounded down the green, struck the pin, and landed in the cup. Watson bounded after it jubilantly. He would go on to birdie the tricky 18th hole for a two shot win.
In the following winter, a storm caused portions of the 17th green and 18th tee box to fall into the Pacific. These were later rebuilt; but the exact spot from which Watson made his chip shot is no longer there.
The 1992 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach was one of the most difficult tournaments ever played at Pebble Beach. Only two players would finish the tournament under par: champion Tom Kite at -3, and runner up Jeff Sluman at -1. Gil Morgan was 12 under par early in the 3rd round, but then fell back. Kite was consistently one of the best golfers in the 1980s and had had 19 top tens in majors prior to 1992. Perhaps the best player not to win a major in his era, he finally won his lone major in 1992 at Pebble Beach.
This tournament is also notable for being the last par-72 golf course in the US Open with no converted par 5's.
Perhaps looking for a special place to host the 2000 U.S. Open, the USGA bumped Pebble Beach up a couple of years in the rotation to host the last U.S. Open of the millennium. In some respects the Open was even tougher than the 1992 contest with only one player finishing under par - champion Tiger Woods. Woods scored 65-69-71-67 to tie a U.S. Open record with 272, and set a U.S. Open record by finishing 12 under par. His -12 was a full 15 shots better than the runners-up, the largest margin of victory ever recorded in a major championship.
Just the third major of Woods' career, it was the start of his Tiger Slam, as he would win the following three majors for four in a row.
Graeme McDowell won the 2010 tournament by one stroke over Grégory Havret. Ernie Els finished 3rd, with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson finishing tied for 4th. In perhaps his last U.S. Open, Tom Watson, who won at Pebble Beach in 1982, became the second oldest player to make the cut in the championship's history after Sam Snead and went on to finish tied for 29th.
Major tournaments hosted 
|1972||U.S. Open||Jack Nicklaus||United States||290||+2||3 strokes||30,000|
|1977||PGA Championship||Lanny Wadkins||United States||282||–6||Playoff^||45,000|
|1982||U.S. Open||Tom Watson||United States||282||–6||2 strokes||60,000|
|1992||U.S. Open||Tom Kite||United States||285||–3||2 strokes||275,000|
|2000||U.S. Open||Tiger Woods||United States||272||–12||15 strokes||800,000|
|2010||U.S. Open||Graeme McDowell||Northern Ireland||284||E||1 stroke||1,350,000|
^ Sudden-death playoff, won on third extra hole
- Played as par 72 for majors through 1992; par 71 for majors from 2000 forward
Controversy over further golf course development 
There has been continuing controversy between golfing interests and environmental protection, related to a proposed new golf course development by the Pebble Beach Company. The new golf course proposal has existed in some form since the early 1990s, while the environmental protection issues center on the potential damage to rare and endangered species in this locale.
- "Yardages and ratings". Pebble Beach Golf Links. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "Course Rating and Slope Database™: Pebble Beach GL". USGA. Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- "National Geographic's Top Ten Golf Courses". The 10 Best of Everything. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- "U.S. Open Tournament History at Pebble Beach Golf Links". MontereyPeninsulaGolf.com.
- "Pebble Beach Golf Links". MontereyPeninsulaGolf.com.
- SF Gate: Poppy Hills may be dropped from event
- "2010 U.S. Open: Course". Majors Championships (PGA & PGA Tour). Retrieved June 9, 2012.
- Ron Whitten. "What You Might Not Know About Pebble Beach". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2011-02-08.
- "Pebble Beach golf course vs. Monterey pines: Pebble Beach course proposal goes before Coastal Commission", The Associated Press, Wednesday, June 13, 2007
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Pebble Beach Golf Links|
- Pebble Beach Golf Links - Monterey Peninsula Golf Course information with photos and interactive map.
- Golf Nation: Overhead views of each hole