Reviews written by Greg Turcotte
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Links @ Spanish Bay
Out of all the Pebble Beach properties this was by far the most disappointing. The property is ideal and I came to appreciate some of the quirkiness/charm of a few holes. However, the majority of the round was spent playing target golf and guessing where to be. Maybe a second round on the course would change my perspective a little bit, but to me there wasn't anything special about Spanish Bay. To call it a links course is almost doing a disservice to the name. I will say the amenities both on and off the course were very nice. Nothing better than catching the bagpiper play while sitting around one of the famous fire pits and watching the sun go down.
Spyglass is a tough review for me simply because of the conditions I played in and my resulting score. When rating courses I feel both of those shouldn't be factored, at least not to the extent of the design and architecture. It definitely is hard to find a course with a more spectacular opening few holes. Once you make the turn down #1 you almost lose track of the fact you're there to play golf and want to simply take a stroll and soak it all in. The tee shot on #3 and and green on #4 are probably the most memorable/scenic shots on the course. I also have a few memories of searching for balls all over the lush forests on the inward holes I'd rather forget. Whether it was tough conditions or simply not playing well Spyglass was difficult, very difficult. Although it is not my favorite in Monterey, it's a very fair, great test of golf
One and Only
Pebble Beach. Really all that needs to be said. It's where all the greats in the game have played and if you have the chance/opportunity you have to take advantage of it. As most things in life, you get what you pay for. I think Pebble is worth every penny and have a hard time with those who say it is overrated. If they feel it isn't worth $500 then that is their opinion, but that should have nothing to do with what you think of the course. It may be fair to say that the picturesque holes trump the inward holes, but to totally disregard them is foolish. #14 for instance is an incredibly difficult par-5 and one of the most unique and intricate greens in the world. Like most major championship courses the aura and history of the grounds has to have an effect on your experience. Pebble will surely be a memory you'll never forget, I know I won't. Two musts if you've never been (or even can't play a round) are a visit to the Tap Room for a drink or three and if you have the time check out the Peter Hay par 3 course right up the road. It is a great place to practice by yourself or have a friendly wager with a few friends.
Pasatiempo Golf Club is a real treat and a must for any fan of golf architecture. Mackenzie's design can be noticed as soon as you lay eyes on the grounds. Incredible bunkering, fast greens, and some fantastic views are what I remember most. The clubhouse and staff were incredibly nice and on top of their game. It has to be one of the best values in California if not the entire country.
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