Del Monte is a landmark course that has played an instrumental role in popularizing golf out West since its inception in 1897. The birthplace of the California State Amateur and the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi retains much of that classic charm today, challenging the game’s best golfers with its small, sloping, old-school greens. The venerable layout brings out of bounds into play on more than half its holes, and puts a premium on placing the ball below the hole with well-bunkered greens that are often pitched strongly from back-to-front.
Originally designed as a nine-hole course in 1897 by Charles E. Maud and expanded to 18 holes in 1902, Del Monte promptly attracted the game’s best players. The course’s Del Monte Championship was so highly regarded that many considered the champion to be the best golfer in the state. When the California State Amateur was founded in 1912, Del Monte was the natural choice to host it. Del Monte was also selected to host the 1916 Western Amateur, marking the first time one of the era’s biggest national amateur events was played west of Colorado.
Del Monte annually stages the professional Monterey Open and amateur Monterey City Championship, and has regularly tested PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour players as a previous host of the TaylorMade Pebble Beach Invitational presented by DELL EMC and PURE Insurance Championship.
Reader’s Choice Awards – Best Golf Course
A reachable par-5, the approach to the green should come from the left side of the fairway to open the hole. The gentle uphill slope will add distance to your actual yardage.
Place your tee shot just left of the fairway bunker. At all costs, do not go over the green.
An uphill par-4, remember to add some club to compensate for the uphill green. A treacherously sloping green, you're best putting position is from straight below the hole.
This hole looks downhill, but plays to the actual yardage. There is more green to the right than can be seen from the tee.
Keep your drive short of the fairway bunkers. Distance control on the approach is critical. Over the green is absolute jail.
Nothing deceptive here. You simply need a solid shot. Missing the green will test your short game.
A tee shot too far left or right is trouble on this uphill hole; as is low and short. There are pin placements on all three tiers, so place your approach accordingly.
A dogleg right, big hitters can cut off some bend. High-lipped bunkers front this green.
Long hitters can reach this in two with a well-placed drive up the left side. The ocean effect keeps putts straighter than they look.
A beguiling, short par-4. The fairway narrows as you approach the green. A long mid-iron puts you in the proper position to attack this pin.
From the tee, you can choose to either lay back or carry the first fairway bunker on the left. Careful club selection will give you the best opportunity for a birdie.
A miss right here is usually OB or lost. The green has a steep slope; below the hole is where you want to be.
Before you tee it, check 15's pin placement. Then long and straight is all you need. Fairway bunkers protect the hole from miss-hit or misjudged shots.
The crowned green is still in its original 1897 design. This tough par-3 has more slope on the green than you can see.
A hole for shot makers. The fairway narrows as you approach the green. Leave yourself a longer second shot and you will increase your chances.
A tee shot on the left side opens up this green. Play your approach under the wind. A miss short and left will leave a manageable chip shot.
This is another reachable par-5. Following the theme of Del Monte, keep the ball below the hole. Remember to check 18's pin placement from the tee.
This is a terrific finishing hole. Place your tee shot right or past the fairway oak. On your approach, keep in mind that the green slopes left.
From the the first California State Amateur in 1912 to the annual Monterey Open Championship and Monterey City Amateur today, Del Monte Golf Course has a proud tradition of hosting great tournaments.
A round at Del Monte Golf Course is a tour through California golf history. Del Monte quickly became one of the most prestigious golf courses in the Western United States shortly after it opened in 1897. Del Monte still maintains much of its classic charm today, with its vintage tiny sloping greens, and precise 6,365 yardage.
In the early 1890s, the game of golf made its way to California — and on May 1, 1897, Del Monte Golf Course opened as a 9-hole golf course.Course History
In 1903, Del Monte Golf Course expanded to become one of the first 18-hole golf courses in California.Course History
Del Monte Golf Course hosted the 1916 Western Golf Association Amateur Championship, the first time the event was played west of the Continental Divide.Course History
"The staff is always friendly, course always in great shape and pace of play is phenomenal. I would recommend playing Del Monte on any trip to the Monterey Peninsula."
"It's challenging and enjoyable at the same time…Putting provides as much fun as hitting drives and approaches."
"Small greens make this relatively short course deceptively tricky."