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Golf Course Review Spyglass Hill Golf Course Pebble Beach California

Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Golf Course Review Spyglass Hill Golf Course Pebble Beach California

Reviewed by: dethman, irvine
Made it up to Monterey this past weekend to play Spyglass and Pebble as part of a birthday trip.  The centennial package they were offering for their 100th anniversary sealed the deal. Started off the first day with Spyglass, which in general I’ve heard is the superior and tougher track. The clubhouse and grill are very small, don’t expect any amenities here like at the lodge, just golf. Staying on property, I grabbed the shuttle here and I don’t think it really mattered to them either day that I checked in at the front desk. They just said to grab a bag of balls and the range was a few steps down the way, see the starter about 15 minutes before my time. Range that day was artificial turf.

The Review

Golf Playing Conditions 9.29 IMMACULATE
Golf Playing Conditions 9.29 IMMACULATE

Course conditions were excellent.  One of the best I’ve played. The tee boxes were in excellent condition, mown down perfectly and flat. Fairways were more lush, just a few divots here and there but excellent and carpet like. I played at 830am, so it was still moist and got little roll off drives. Many uneven lies in the fairway, so a good drive was not always rewarded well. Rough was thick and lush, grabbed your club so you would be lucky to get a mid iron out, even a hybrid was dicey. If you could find your ball sitting down there in the first place. I was only in 1 or 2 bunkers, this course really isn’t bunkered that heavily. sand was soft, white, and excellent to hit out of. The greens though. running fast and with tricky contours, I had a tough time lagging my putts anywhere near the hole. It felt like if your approach wasn’t close, it was a 3 putt.

The course itself was indeed tough, starting with the 5 ‘ocean’ holes, of which I found #2 (fairway) and #4 (green) kind of gimmicky but still enjoyed the spectacular views. The sand dunes and the structures stand in stark contrast to Pebble’s ocean holes which are perched directly on the cliffs of the peninsula. If you like true parkland courses though, you will love the rest of Spyglass Hill. Running in and out of the Del Monte forest, each subsequent hole is framed by Monterey pines and generally isolated from structures or road. Hit the ball straight and take an extra club into the green seems to be par for most of this course. And par will be a good score on any hole here as there are challenging doglegs. Strategically placed trees and water, and greens that can punish even the best hit approach shots.

Only nitpick was that I felt the par 3s to be a bit of a weakness here, as they felt particularly less challenging compared to the rest of the course. all four play short, 3 of them severely downhill (though #3 is an awesome hole). the two on the back 9 felt like mirror images of one another and felt like an afterthought. Nothing like #5 or #17 at pebble.

My Thoughts

Though many say this is a superior course to Pebble and it probably is, as a recreational golfer I would rather play Pebble again. After my round at Spyglass, I felt exhausted as if I had been through a battle. Had to manage the rough when my drive went astray, or a long uphill approach, and then had to handle the quick, undulating greens. Shot about 12 or 13 shots above my usual round. I will make it back again, for sure, perhaps when my game is worthy of the test of golf that is course is.