Golf at Pebble Beach Resort - Pebble Beach Golf Links - Course Changes

Course changes over time

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Thanks to the remarkable talents of original designers Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach Golf Links has seen very few substantial changes over the years. The current figure eight routing is the same one that Neville and Grant laid out in 1919—starting at an old log cabin that had served as a way station for tourists on 17-Mile Drive. Though the design remained constant, those early years saw frequent and significant refinements as owner Samuel F.B. Morse brought in other architects to perfect the course.

Early Changes

Significant changes came shortly after the course was completed in 1919. The California Golf Association, which did not readily accept the new course as a site for its amateur championship, felt that the 345-yard par-4 18th hole was too easy. Morse turned to Arthur H. “Bunker” Vincent, who worked with the crew to lengthen the course (to 6,200 yards), to change five greens and to move the 18th tee to its current location near the 17th green. Consequently, 18 became a more challenging 379-yard par-4, requiring two first-class shots to reach the green.

A Great Finishing Hole is Born

In 1922, William Herbert Fowler transformed the 18th hole from the 379-yard par-4 to a 548-yard par-5 that is rarely attempted in two because of the severe penalty for failure. Today, 18 is quite simply the best finishing hole in golf.

Preparation for the National Amateur

The next major changes took place in preparation for the 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship. Amateur golfer H. Chandler Egan, who had won back-to-back U.S. Amateurs in 1904 and 1905, spearheaded the project. He re-shaped and re-bunkered each green, moved the 1st tee to create today’s dog-legged opening hole, reconfigured the 10th hole, added length to the 2nd, 9th and 14th holes, and moved the 16th green to a natural depression behind a grove of trees, extending the hole more than 100 yards.

A Vision is Fulfilled

Almost 60 years later, Pebble Beach Golf Links unveiled its only other significant change: a new 5th hole, designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus. The hole was placed on a parcel of prime oceanfront land that Pebble Beach Company had wanted to re-acquire for 80 years. Its conversion marks the realization of Morse’s original vision of an unbroken string of waterfront golf holes and, perhaps, the last major change in a golf course that was otherwise unbroken to begin with.

Notable Updates for the 2010 U.S. Open Championship

Pebble Beach Golf Links continuously strengthens the course facets to enhance player appreciation, heighten the challenge and exceed guest expectations. Under the direction of Arnold Palmer, additional preparations were made for the 2010 U.S. Open: four greens and 16 bunkers have been rebuilt, altered or installed; 11 tees have benefited from enhancements; six holes have seen the addition or adjustment of trees (including Cypress); and the total length of the course has been extended to 7,040 yards.