Pebble Beach Golf Links

The par 5, 543 yard 18th hole.
The Greatest Meeting of land and Water in the World -Robert Louis Stevenson

"If I had only one course to play for the rest of my life it would be Pebble Beach."

-Jack Nicklaus

When Samuel F.B. Morse first saw Pebble Beach, he knew he had discovered a special place. The grand-nephew of the inventor of the telegraph, Morse was the captain of Yale’s 1906 undefeated football team. While in college he became friends with Templeton Crocker. That name was one of the Big Four – Crocker, Stanford, Huntington and Hopkins — who had built a railroad empire. Charles Crocker constructed Hotel Del Monte, a fashionable resort for the wealthy in 1879, and then constructed a railroad for access from San Francisco. The hotel had deteriorated and the railroad had been sold when Crocker decided to sell the land. Morse had worked for the Crocker Corporation for five years when, at the age of 30, he was chosen to go to the Monterey Peninsula to liquidate the assets. When Morse arrived, he was overwhelmed by the beauty. Four years later, in 1919, Morse formed a company that became Del Monte Properties and purchased some 7,000 acres that the Big Four had bought in 1879 for $35,000, or $5 an acre. Morse and his company paid $1.3 million, a princely sum at the time.

 

The Lone Cypress on 17 Mile Drive, synonymous with Pebble Beach, one of the most photographed landmarks in the world.

There already had been plans for a golf course and homes to be built at Pebble Beach but Morse decided on fewer homes and a magnificent golf course, hiring Jack Neville and Douglas Grant as designers. Neville had won five state Amateurs and Grant had just returned from six years in Scotland and England, where he had studied the latest types of bunkering and greens construction on their championship courses, important elements in building a course that has become a mecca in golf. And, unlike most other prestigious courses in America, Pebble Beach Golf Links is open to the public.

 

Pebble Beach opened in 1929 and H. Chandler Egan was hired to toughen up the course for the 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship. Some of his changes were dramatic. He rebunkered the short, par -3 seventh hole, Postage Stamp, making an already intriguing hole more demanding. The already difficult par-5, fourteenth hole was lengthened 100 yards. But, contrary to popular belief, he did not change the 18th hole– on the ocean from tee to green and one of golf’s most famous finishing holes– from a 379 yard par 4 to a 548 yard par 5.

 

Pebble Beach has hosted four U.S. Opens, including the 100th U.S. Open in 2000; a PGA Championship; a PGA Tour Championship, and four U.S. Amateurs. Bing Crosby brought his tournament for his celebrity friends from Rancho Santa Fe in Southern California to Pebble Beach in 1947. The Crosby became the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Tournament in 1985.

 

Jack Nicklaus won the U.S. Open in 1972, a U.S. Amateur and three Crosbys on the course. Tom Watson prevented Jack from winning another U.S. Open on the course in 1982 with his dramatic chip-in birdie on the 17th hole of the final round. On that same hole during a Crosby, Arnold Palmer hit it long and over the cliff. He went down to the rocks below, found his ball and, instead of taking a one-shot penalty and relief, whacked away until he wound up with a 12. That night at the watering hole, area bartenders were serving a drink they named “Palmer on the rocks.”

The 18th hole at Pebble Beach during the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

 

The course record is 10-under-par 62 shared by Tom Kite (1983 Crosby) and by David Duval (1997 AT&T). Tiger Woods tied Jack Nicklaus for the all time U.S. Open record while winning the 100th U.S. Open in 2000 with a 12-under par at Pebble Beach.



The par 3, 106 yard 7th hole.


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