The Hay: A Hole by Hole Tour
As your pyramid of range balls dwindles while you warm up for your round at Pebble Beach Golf Links, what shots are you imagining with your final swings?
The nervy first tee shot, sure. Maybe the perfect long-iron into No. 8, the shot Jack Nicklaus dubs his favorite in golf. Or perhaps it’s your last drive, one that skips past the tree floating in the middle of the 18th fairway.
But chances are, the first shot you’ll be talking about over a post-round beverage at The Bench or The Tap Room is the one you hit at No. 7, the shortest, yet most beautiful par-3 in U.S. Open golf.
Amazingly, you can now prepare for that shot before you hit it. The second hole at The Hay — a reimagined short course experience brought to you by Tiger Woods and his TGR Design firm — is a replica of No. 7 at Pebble Beach, a chilling accomplishment considering Arrowhead Point is a good half-hour hike away.
When Woods was asked during construction which hole he is most looking forward to playing, he replied, “Probably No. 2. I don’t look forward to hitting a 4-iron into it, but No. 2 will be awesome.”
Here’s a look at the rest of The Hay, a clever design that weaves in the history of Pebble Beach Golf Links through its yardages, and tests you through bite-size greens brimming with personality.
The Hay derives its name from former Pebble Beach head pro Peter Hay, an avid junior golf advocate who designed one of the first par-3 courses in America on this very site in 1957. The first green features a biarritz-style gully bisecting it, a famous feature first found in France.
Fun fact: did you know during an early audit of Pebble Beach Golf Links, it was recommended that the seventh hole should be scrapped? At 106 yards, It wasn’t deemed to be championship quality. Of course, with wind it can play twice that long, as Woods alluded to with his 4-iron comment. A century later, there are now two editions of the unforgettable seventh hole at Pebble Beach.
Tom Watson famously chipped-in for birdie on the 17th hole of the 1982 U.S. Open to edge Jack Nicklaus. You won’t find a tipped-over hourglass green here, but this green complex does have its own tricky slopes to navigate.
How do you make a hole interesting when it is only 47 yards – a distance honoring the year Bing Crosby brought his famous Clambake to Pebble Beach? Woods created a mini-dell hole – a blind par-3 first made famous by Alister MacKenzie at Lahinch Golf Club in Ireland. Except Woods then took this signature setup one step further, using two humps and a tree to hide this sunken green. The green is pictured here looking back towards the tee.
This hole honors the rich women’s golf heritage at Pebble Beach, which continues with a U.S. Women’s Open in 2023. In 1948, Grace Lenczyk won the second U.S. Women’s Amateur played at Pebble Beach. This green is framed by a chute of beautiful oaks and flanked by some useful helping slopes.
Perhaps a horseshoe green is fitting for a hole honoring the first sudden-death winner in Major Championship history. Lanny Wadkins pulled off the feat in 1977, the only time the PGA Championship came to Pebble Beach.
Jack Nicklaus has said that if he had one round left to play, he would choose to play it at Pebble Beach. Those feelings began in 1961, when Nicklaus won the U.S. Amateur here. A decade later, Nicklaus won the 1972 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach with perhaps his greatest shot, short-hopping a one-iron off the flagstick at No. 17 for a championship-clinching birdie. If you squint like the Golden Bear did following that shot, this green follows a similar shape to No. 17.
Playing directly at Stillwater Cove, you might catch a gust of breeze that reminds you of Pebble Beach’s windiest days. Few afternoons have ever been as demanding as the final round of the 1992 U.S. Open, which Tom Kite remarkably won by closing with an even-par 72 while battling sustained 30-mph winds.
At the 100th U.S. Open Championship in 2000, Tiger Woods was utterly dominant, winning by a record 15 strokes at Pebble Beach. On the right day on the ninth hole, you’ll find your ball funnel to the bottom of a “thumbprint” feature. This must have been what all pins looked like to Tiger during his magical 2000 season.