Pebble Beach Golf Links - Course Guide

Pebble Beach

If I had only one more round to play, I would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. It’s possibly the best in the world.

Situated on the stunning Monterey Peninsula in California, Pebble Beach Golf Links makes a strong claim to be the most beautiful place in the world to play golf.

But along with the jaw-dropping scenery, there’s substance too.

The par 72, which hugs the California coastline and affords stunning views of Carmel Bay, has hosted the U.S. Open on six occasions and will welcome the tournament back again in 2027.

Reflecting the idea that great golf courses produce great champions, Jack Nicklaus won the first U.S. Open staged at Pebble Beach in 1972 while Tiger Woods famously demolished his rivals by a staggering 15 shots there in 2000.

Opened in 2019, Pebble has also staged many other tournaments down the years, putting on its first pro event in 1926.

Since 1937, it’s also been the venue for the PGA Tour’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, a tournament originally known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur or the Crosby Clambake. In that event, Pebble is used for two of the four rounds.

As a public course, it’s also within the realms of bucket-list golfers although getting the chance to play this golfing Mecca doesn’t come cheap.

Pebble Beach Golf Links Course Guide

Presented with such an amazing piece of property, the main objective of the designers was to get as many holes as they could be positioned along the rocky coastline. They did this by using a figure of ‘8’, allowing nine of the 18 holes to approach the water (Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 17 and 18). Coastal winds are a big part of the test and, while there is plenty of room off the tee, a sharp short game is required as it’s easy to miss the much-smaller-than-average greens.

Pebble Beach Golf Links Fast Facts

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Par: 71

Yardage: 7,075 yards

Rating: 75.5

Slope: 145

Pebble Beach Golf Links course designers: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant (1919)

Pebble Beach course record: 61, Hurly Long

Past Major Championships at Pebble Beach Golf Links

2019 U.S. Open – In favorable conditions, Gary Woodland beat the lowest winning score in a U.S. Open at Pebble by shooting 13-under to beat Brooks Koepka by three strokes.

2010 U.S. Open – Northern Ireland’s Graeme McDowell handled the winds better than anyone to shoot even par and win by a shot from Frenchman Gregory Havret.

2000 U.S. Open – At the peak of his powers, Tiger lapped the field, winning by a ludicrous 15 shots, the largest winning margin in a major. Holing everything, Woods shot a then U.S. Open record of 12-under, with Ernie Els and Miguel Angel Jimenez a distant second on 3-over.

1992 U.S. Open – Colin Montgomerie’s clubhouse target of even par looked to be a testing one in gusty conditions but proved only good enough for third as Tim Kite grinded out a 72 to win his first major with 3-under.

1982 U.S. Open – Tom Watson produced one of the most famous shots in major championship history, chipping in from a tough lie at 17 to turn a bogey into an unlikely birdie and finish at 6-under, two clear of Jack Nicklaus.

1977 PGA Championship – The only PGA to be held at Pebble produced an all-American top 10, with Lanny Wadkins lifting the silverware after beating Gene Littler in a playoff after both finished at 6-under.

1972 U.S. Open – After winning his 10th major at The Masters two months earlier, the ‘Golden Bear’ made it No. 11 at Pebble. No-one broke par as Nicklaus’ winning score of 2-over was good enough to win by three.

Key Holes

Hole 7

Par 3, 112 yards: The short, downhill par 3 with the stunning ocean backdrop is one of the most photographed holes in golf. In theory, it’s just a flick with a wedge but when the winds pick up – and they invariably do – club selection is key if you want to find the putting surface.

Hole 9

Par 4, 477 yards: One of the most spectacular holes on the course in terms of the ocean views but it’s a brute. Anything leaked right will end up on the beach while the bail out shot to the left will likely be gobbled up by a bunker. Approach shots are made harder by the fairway tilting sharply towards the coastline

Hole 17

Par 3, 179 yards: The hourglass-shaped green is tilted almost at right angles to the tee, thus making this one of the hardest par 3s around if the wind is blowing. A time to knuckle down and not be distracted by the wonderful sea views although that’s easier said than done!

Hole 18

Par 5, 530 yards: Regarded as one of the greatest closing holes in golf, the iconic 18th at Pebble has the Pacific Ocean all the way down its left side, a bunker measuring over 100 yards running along the coastline to the green and a tree in the middle of the fairway. A breathtaking way to finish a magical experience.

What Golfers Say – Pebble Beach

Jack Nicklaus:

“If I had only 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.”

Tiger Woods:

“The golf course has always had a special place in my heart. One, for its pristine beauty and another for its mystique.  I’ve always absolutely loved playing here, from the time I was 13 and I’ll always continue to love it.”

Tom Watson:

“Ask any golfer around the world to name a golf course in the United States, and Pebble Beach will be the first thing they say.”

Johnny Miller:

“Pebble is a piece of sacred ground. They say it’s the greatest meeting of land and water in the world. This course was heaven designed – just the way it fits on the land.”

Stewart Cink:

“If St. Andrews is the home of golf, I think Pebble Beach feels like the home of American golf, like the home of championship golf. It has a real sense of history here.”

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