Not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one too, with 9 holes perched immediately above the crashing Pacific surf – the 4th through 10th plus the 17th and 18th. Pebble’s 6th through 8th are golf’s real Amen Corner. Any golfer, regardless of their experience and skill level, will be tested rigorously in this famed stretch of holes.
Jack Nicklaus has stated on many occasions that if he had only one round of golf left it would be played at this most iconic of American courses. Perennially ranked in the Top 10 in the US and practically always ranked No 1 in public access, a golfing visit to Carmel must include a round at Pebble Beach, accompanied by a luxurious stay at the famed Pebble Beach Lodge. As a golfer, the tradition of staying at The Lodge while overlooking the most famous finishing hole in the game is a proud rite of passage.
Pebble has hosted multiple US Opens and created many memorable moments, such as Jack Nicklaus’ incredible 1 iron shot in 1972 that collected the flag and finished inches from the hole at No 17 on the way to his 3rd of 4 US Open triumphs. The same hole saw Tom Watson’s dramatic chip in from gnarly green side rough in the 1982 US Open, the momentum gained from this outrageously good shot propelling him to a last hole birdie and a 2-shot victory over Nicklaus himself. In more recent times, in perhaps the greatest stretch of Championship golf ever played, a young Tiger Woods decimated the field with a 15-stroke victory at Pebble. The Open in 2019 saw Gary Woodland produce magic of his own at 17 with a deft chip (played from the putting surface) from one side of the green to the other to help secure victory from Brooks Koepka.
Not unlike a pilgrimage to The Masters at Augusta National, Pebble Beach is the equivalent bucket list of golf playing experiences.