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Pebble TR

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I played Spyglass yesterday and Pebble Beach this morning.




I played Spyglass figuring Pebble would be too hard to get on. Their websites do show availability and I got a tee time as a single at Spyglass before I left home. I suppose I could have gotten one at Pebble ahead of time too, but waited till the last minute and the times available did not work. But I stopped in after my Spyglass round and snagged a 7:30 AM start. Woohoo!


Spyglass is a special course. Not much view of the ocean compared to Pebble but definitely beautiful. The course is fair, tricky in some spots, but not tricked out. If I had not played Pebble I would have been more than happy at just being in the nieighborhood. I generally prefer wooded courses anyway so I was very happy. But when the caddy at Spyglass said I should have no problem getting on Pebble as a single, I got greedy.


Pebble today was simply a monster. They have narrowed the fairways and OMG was the course brutally tough. The rough for the US Open is almost all grown in at a very thick 4-5 inches. The caddie today said they are going to let it grow one more inch, but it's already at the point where a shot in the rough by mere mortals meant that a GIR was not possible. They have grandstands and hospitality tents going up everywhere. The greens were in perfect shape. The one downside for Pebble was that the driving range was closed and they were shuttling folks to the Spyglass facility. I can see now why Pebble is a must play. There were some easy holes and a couple of impossible holes. The scenery is just beautiful and "golf  experience of a lifetime" is possibly an understatement.


The staff at both resorts was absolutely first rate. Rounds took 4.5 hours. I only lost one ball over the 2 rounds, but my playing partners lost a ton of them. I did not get a caddy, but the folks I was paired up with had caddies (both courses). It was amazing watching the caddies help the duffers hole some long putts and save their players bunches of shots. Caddies were especially recommended at Pebble because the rough literally swallowed balls whole. I got to overhear a few tips, but I would have done just fine without any caddies along. It helped that I was over clubbing all of my shots and swinging easy, and my green reading skills are fairly good.



Sorry - no pics - my camera did not survive the trip out. It was cloudy anyway.




post #2 of 13

You should play Poppy if you're in the area if you haven't yet.

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, I had to work for Epic yesterday and I'm off to San Diego today. Will Torrey Pines do instead?

post #4 of 13

Rusty, Love the TR! 

This mere mortal will not be attempting Pebble any time soon....

post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 



There was a lady in my foursome that was only a beginner golfer. She got mulligans. She teed the ball up for her shots between the tee and green. She hit some shots out of the bunker, but pulled others out. On a couple holes she just picked up her ball, took it to the green and putted out. She had a great time. If she can have fun at Pebble when it's set up to be US Open tough, anyone can.


On the other hand there is also some sense to the argument that one should have an appreciation of the game and a minimal level of skill to fully enjoy the Pebble experience. It's a wonderful reward for making personal breakthroughs in the game. It certainly helps to know some of why Pebble is not just another course BEFORE you play it.


But the bottom line for a golfer (as opposed to someone who may play golf occasionally) is that collecting courses like Pebble becomes part of you just like collecting resorts is for a skier. After all, it really does not matter how good you were when you went to a great mountain or course. No one ever becomes the best and then goes to all the great places. Going to the great places is part of what helped them become the best. Whether you are destined for greatness or not, what really matters is your ability to capture the essence of a magic corner of the world. If you can do that for ski resorts, you can do it for golf courses.

post #6 of 13
Originally Posted by therusty View Post

Well, I had to work for Epic yesterday and I'm off to San Diego today. Will Torrey Pines do instead?

I suppose :)


When I lived there I always liked Poppy best, though the NCGA price was $45 so that had a lot to do with it.

post #7 of 13

Very neat. I'm surprised it's open to the public this soon before the US Open. The analogy about collecting golf courses and collecting ski resorts is a good one. I've done both activities since boyhood, but my flailing golf game is more casual. Somehow I can't imagine traveling the US to play different famous courses, too expensive and time consuming, but strive to do just that when it comes to skiing. Maybe I should seek out all the courses built along the tops of mountain ridges.

What is the "window" price for greens fees at Pebble and Spyglass these days? And for caddies?

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

It was $350 at both courses (EDIT - wrong - $509 with tax at Pebble). I did not get a caddy.


It's not that I travel the US to play famous courses. It's more like if I'm going to be traveling,
I might as well play the nice courses. You should also consider playing replica courses. That's the next best thing. Too bad ski resorts don't have replica runs, eh? Anyone up for an imitation Corbett's?


I did not get the impression that they were going to cut off public play anytime soon. Someone mentioned that they'd close off the likely landing areas as ground under repair when it gets close, but frankly there's not much fairway there to get damaged.

post #9 of 13



You playing the course in your head as the Open is on? 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Oh Yeah! Just got finished watching the first 2 hours of coverage. There are some holes I don't remember quite so well and some camera shots where the pros are hitting from way different spots from where I hit, but the shots that are the same as what I can remember are REALLY cool and way worth the $509 (oops - I finally got the credit card bill). The rough looks about the same as when I played, but the greens are WAY faster (my guess is they were about a 9 when I played). I was watching one guy getting ready to hit his second shot on 6 (par 5 blind shot up the hill) where he was saying to his caddy "I guess" trying to figure out what club to hit and his caddy guessing where their playing partners shot ended up, while the commentator was saying "guessing" is not a good swing thought for that shot. I can remember my playing partner aiming for the fairway and fading it off the cliff to the right. I had absolutely no idea what I was shooting at, but I did get a caddy to tell me the grandstands were for hole 7 and were left of the 6 fairway. I aimed my shot at the grandstands and faded it back to the fairway for my layup shot. The pro on TV switched clubs and got on the green in 2. Watching Phil get stuck behind the trees on 18 was sweet. Na na na na na, I hit mine left of the trees where you're supposed to hit it. I ended up bogeying 18 - the same score as Phil and Tiger.


I'm going to watch the rest of this tomorrow with my score card and my yardage book.


I can't begin to tell you how awesome this is to have played the course in close to the same setup. I knew after having played Torrey Pines and then watching the Open (on TV) when it was there that the viewing experience is greatly enhanced from having played the course. It's hard to know how much they've changed PB for the Open setup. Hearing comments like "they've shifted the fairway 20 yards" does not mean as much unless you've played there. I don't know all of the changes, but I can remember the caddies grumbling on some holes and how much tougher the "grumble" holes were. Some of the comments the caddies made make more sense now.


Part of what made the PB experience so great was that there was a mix of holes between having a lot of freedom to choose your "strategery" and having to figure out the right strategy for the conditions and play what was given to you.

post #11 of 13

Admittedly I've had a full weekend and haven't watched the US Open like I had hoped, but I've thought about you a bit Rusty as I've seen the recap(s)


Crossing my fingers for Phil!

post #12 of 13

I gotta say, I never saw Graeme McDowell as a possible contender.

That's what sets golf just don't know how all the pieces fall into play with weather, time of day, head games, ...........karma.


Congrats to McDowell!


I like how this article says "his pedestrian looking score"


Seriously, the scores were unreal, eh?

post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 

I watched the tail end of it live, but still have 5 hours of DVR to go through. I did get to watch the Golf Digest challenge. This is the contest where one lucky reader gets to play Pebble under US Open conditions from the back tees and tries to break 100. This year's contestant was a woman who, bless her heart, got her butt kicked (47 over par!). But to be fair, the 3 celebrities she played with also had some really ugly holes and Peggy did shoot 96 in her practice round. It was disappointing to see so little of Peggy in the show, but the way she was playing evidently it was more chivalrous to show the celebrity guys getting smacked in the gut. Thank goodness for having celebrities, because it would have been a tear jerker to watch a 118 shot by shot.


My 93 from the Gold tees looks a whole lot better now. But their course was 400 yards longer, their ruff was 3 weeks higher, their greens looked faster too and they had cameras rolling. I don't know how well I could have played playing next to the Great One!

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