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Pebble Beach developer and owner Samuel F.B. Morse had a passion for local history. He was especially intrigued by the legend that Robert Louis Stevenson roamed the hills and sandy dunes of Pebble Beach for inspiration while writing his classic, Treasure Island.
Once Spyglass Hill Golf Course was named, the theme served as a perfect muse for the challenging course. Starting with the opening “Treasure Island”, nearly every hole was named after a significant place or character in the novel.
Spyglass Hill has been a tournament course since birth. It was built to host a dozen NCGA amateur championships annually, and one year after it opened, Spyglass Hill joined the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am rotation. Bing Crosby was so confident in the championship-caliber of Spyglass Hill that he bet none other than Jack Nicklaus that he wouldn’t break par in his first round there. (Nicklaus shot a 2-under 70, and has a framed $5 bill signed from Crosby to commemorate the occasion.) Spyglass Hill has always been considered a true championship test of golf. The course has hosted the U.S. Amateur twice, in 1999 and 2018. When Spyglass Hill hosted the 1999 U.S. Amateur, no player in the field was able to break 70, and the scoring average was just a shade under 80.