Building the Ultimate Golf Course
Honorary “Ultimate Golf Hole”
Hole No. 17
TPC Sawgrass, THE PLAYERS Stadium Course
110 Championship Way
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Par 3, 137 yards
THE PLAYERS Championship has now concluded. Alex Cejka, in total command heading into Sunday with a five stroke lead over five other men (at 11-under par), spit the bit, and Henrik Stensom stormed to an easy victory with a bogey-free, final round 66.
He finished the tournament at 12-under 276 to collect his first stroke play title on U. S. soil.
It was also his first PGA Tour victory since 2007, when he won the World Golf Classic Accenture Match Play Championship.
There were very few balls hit into the drink today—and even fewer birdies—at No. 17 at Sawgrass.
The hole lacked the drama that we have typically been accustomed to. But for beauty, drama, and supreme test of nerves...how much better does it get than this hole, in this tournament, on a Sunday?
The famous island green has taken many a golfer to a watery grave. Sometimes, nerves might cause a player to hit a fat drive that lands short and splashes into the water in front of the green.
Or perhaps the drive came in too low, too hot, and falls off the back edge into the drink.
I have seen shots that looked perfect, only to have too much spin, and twist back into the water in front of the flag when it appeared to be a good birdie chance.
I have had knots in the pit of my stomach just watching THE PLAYERS Championship over the years.
What could those golfers, on the brink of winning (or losing) what is commonly known as the fifth major, possibly feel as they stare at the flag, perched on it’s traditional Sunday spot at the right front of the green?
And what other holes, at golf courses all over the PGA Tour, inspire awe, dread, or even abject fear in the best golfers on the planet?
What would be The Ultimate Golf Course?
The gnarliest, toughest, most grueling test a man could endure in order to win a golf tournament?
That was the challenge given to me by Rory Brown.
I gave it a shot and came up with just such a course.
The rules were pretty straightforward. I didn’t just take the 18 greatest golf holes in the world; that would be too easy.
No single course was allowed to have more than one hole.
I decided to take one single hole from 18 different courses, and matched them in such a way that I came up with a par-72 Ultimate Golf Course.
It had a total of 7,303 yards (certainly realistic) and was a par-36 both going out and coming back in.
The first hole had to be a No. 1, the second hole had to be a No. 2, etc.
And No. 17 at TPC Sawgrass didn't make the cut; it was simply too beautiful and nerve wracking to leave out of the slide show altogether, so I put it on the introductory slide.
So here it is: my Ultimate Golf Course.
What would you do differently?
Which holes would you like to see here?
Spyglass Has Lead Off Honors
Hole No. 1
Spyglass Hill Golf Course
Spyglass Hill and Stevenson Dr.
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Par 5, 595 yards
Yes, that’s the Pacific Ocean you see in the background; Monterey Bay, to be exact.
It’s a beautiful and—this is a repetitive theme—supremely demanding golf hole.
It’s a dogleg left with a fairway that narrows devilishly at the precise area where a long driver would be prefer to land.
Then, the elevation drops steeply down toward the flag. The green undulates so much that it has been compared to the rippling of the bay that it butts up against.
The Spyglass name was taken from Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. Legend has it that Stevenson himself used to wander the grounds upon which the course is built, seeking inspiration for his literature.
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones, Spyglass opened in 1966.
It is ranked as the 11th best golf course on “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses,” according to Golf Digest for 2009/2010, and No. 51 on “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”
Next Up: Baltusrol
Hole No. 2
Baltusrol Golf Course, The Lower Course
201 Shunpike Rd
Springfield, NJ 07081-2160
Par 4, 378 yards
Golf matches have been contested for over 120 years at the site of the Baltusrol Golf Club.
The original course—“The Old Course”—quickly became known as one of the best in the nation.
In 1918, the club commissioned A.W. Tillinghast to create two courses so as to minimize wear and tear.
Tillinghast kept many of the green sites from The “Old Course,” incorporating them into the designs of the Upper and Lower Courses that remain to this day.
Tillinghast did a masterful job of building a pair of versatile, forward thinking and deliciously brutal golf courses.
Re-opened in 1922, both the Upper and Lower Courses are substantially the same as they were when he completed them. They have never had the major greens reconstruction or fairway re-routing seen on other high profile courses.
It is only fitting that No. 2 on the Lower Course—a relatively short par four that still bedevils with a green that is almost totally surrounded by sand hazards, and with a fast, tricky putting surface—should be included in our “Ultimate Golf Course.”
First Par 3: Olympic
Hole No. 3
The Olympic Club, Lake Course
599 Skyline Boulevard
San Francisco, CA 94132
Par 3, 223 yards
The Olympic Club is the oldest athletics club in the United States, dating back to 1860. The club took over the floundering Lakeside Golf Club, designed by Wilfrid Reid, in 1918.
Scottish course designer Willie Watson combined with Sam Whiting to produce two golf courses—one carved out of the hillside bordering Lake Merced (the Lake Course) and the other adjacent to the Pacific Ocean at the base of the same hillside.
There are no water hazards on the Lake Course, and a mere one fairway bunker. The course is guarded by some 40,000 or so trees surrounding the fairways here, making stray drives suicidal.
The Club also makes certain to maintain lightning fast greens, which is double trouble because most of the tiny putting surfaces present downhill putts.
If he looks closely enough, a player can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance while teeing up.
A moderately long par three, this hole presents a downhill drive, attempting to land on the narrow green that is bunkered on both sides.
The rear of the putting surface is fairly steep and runs putts into trouble; wise golfers would rather come up short than go long.
Bethpage Black Contributes a Hole
Hole No. 4
Bethpage State Park, Black Course
99 Quaker Meeting House Road
Farmingdale, NY 11735
Par 5, 530 yards
Bethpage State Park was developed primarily on land that was purchased from the estate of Benjamin F. Yoakum in 1932, by the Long Island State Park Commission.
The park was named after the hamlet of the same moniker. The community is a village within the town of Oyster Bay in Nassau County; Bethpage is not, however, officially incorporated in the State of New York as a village.
In 1695, Thomas Powell of New York purchased 15 acres of land from three Native American Indian tribes in the Bethpage Purchase.
This land yielded the park it's name.
The par five fourth has been known for its treachery since the day it's designer, the inestimable Tillinghast, completed the hole.
Upon making his first walk through of the completed course, he made the following observation:
“It should prove one of the most exacting three-shotters I know of anywhere. In locating and designing the green, which can only be gained by a most precise approach from the right, I must confess that I was a trifle scared myself, when I looked back and regarded the hazardous route that must be taken by a stinging second shot to get into position to attack the green.”
In the fourth round at the 2002 U.S. Open, Phil Mickelson proved the truth of this advice when he missed the green in two on the left side as opposed to relying on a straightforward up and down from the open right side of the green.
This quite probably ended his hopes of a comeback very early on the final day.
Pinehurst No. Two Is One of Donald Ross' Finest
Hole No. 5
Pinehurst Resort and Country Club, Course No. 2
1 Carolina Vista Drive
Pinehurst, NC 28374
Par 4, 472 yards
The legendary golf course designer, Donald Ross, completed his masterwork at Pinehurst No. 2 in 1907.
The first golf course that was laid out on the grounds that now contain the eight Pinehurst courses was completed in 1897.
The land, some 5,500 acres, was purchased for just one dollar an acre.
Ross, though, took the course that became his famed No. 2 to historic levels a decade later. It became, in Ross’ own words, “the fairest test of championship golf that (he) ever designed."
He remained affiliated with the club for the better part of 50 years, spearheading countless renovations and improvements.
Pinehurst No. 2, of course, is famous—infamous?—for its crowned, “humpbacked” greens.
The wickedly treacherous No. 5 was the most difficult hole to the pros at the 1999 U. S. Open Championships, playing to 4.55 strokes on average.
This was the hole that Ross considered to have the most difficult shot on the entire course—a long iron with the ball above the feet.
Similar to the previous hole, the approach shots must land on the right side of the green. Any balls landing on the left leave diminished chances at an up and down.
Seminole: Most Amazing Course You Might Not Have Heard About
Hole No. 6
Seminole Golf Club
901 Seminole Boulevard
Juno Beach, FL 33408
Par 4, 385 yards
Seminole (not to be confused with the course of an extremely similar name that is owned and operated by Florida State University) is ranked No. 10 on Golf Digest’s list, “America’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses.”
It is also one of the most exclusive golf clubs in the world, having denied membership to none other than Jack Nicklaus.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was an honorary member. Gerald Ford and John F. Kennedy played their frequently. In 1947, Jack Chrysler, Henry Ford II, Joseph Kennedy, Paul Mellon, John Pillsbury, and Robert Vanderbilt were members.
The Duke of Windsor was a member.
It is also, without a doubt, one of the finest tests of golf in the entire world.
The hallowed Ben Hogan famously would practice there for a month straight to prep for the Masters.
Designed by none other than Donald Ross, Seminole is a supreme golf test, with it's distinctive triangular-shaped greens getting smaller and faster toward the back.
Along with Pinehurst, this course is acknowledged as one of Ross’ unqualified masterpieces.
To attack No. 6, the green should probably be approached from the left. However, the fairway directly in front of the putting surface slopes from left to right! Trying to fly in from the right, however, leaves a narrow angle of attack, as there are bunkers on that side, as well.
The green itself is not sloped but heavily undulated. The putts are tricky, and in the dry Florida weather, the putting area becomes slick and treacherous as summer progresses.
Tiger Calls Oak Hill "Hardest, Fairest Course We Play"
Hole No. 7—“Creek’s Elbow”
Oak Hill Country Club, East Course
346 Kilbourn Road
Rochester, NY 14618
Par 4, 461 yards
The course that was famously pronounced by Tiger Woods as “the hardest, fairest golf course we’ve ever played (on the PGA Tour).”
Originally, the land upon which the original course was built was leased, and the barren land only yielded nine holes.
In 1905, however, the 137 members bought the land outright and immediately set out to build a world class golf course.
In 1910, the course expanded to 18 holes, and in 1911, a clubhouse was constructed.
The members moved into their new digs in 1924, and commissioned the esteemed Donald Ross to design a better course.
It was completed in 1925.
The following year, though, Dr. John R. Williams surveyed the site and decided to import trees.
Thousands of new trees—mostly oak, along with some elms, evergreens and maples—were added to the course, transforming Oak Hill into the resplendent golf test that it remains to this very day.
The hole plays uphill. A good drive (into a tight, tree-lined fairway, just 22-yards wide) leaves the possibility of reaching this green in two, a true risk reward proposition.
Laying up, however, presents its own challenges: bunker about 65-yards from the green, and a creek running across the right of the fairway just a few yards from the bunker.
Depending on the player, assuming all of the hazards are avoided, a short to mid iron will find it's way to the smallest green on the course.
Decorated Oakmont Cannot Be Ignored for No. 8
Hole No. 8
Oakmont Country Club
1233 Hulton Road
Oakmont, PA 15139
Par 3, 288 yards
One of the most decorated golf courses in the world, it has played host to more major Championships than any other course in America: eight U. S. Opens, five U. S. Amateurs, three PGA Championships, and two U.S. Women’s Opens.
Opened for business way back in 1903, the venerable grounds were designed by Henry Fownes. 210 deep bunkers—including the wicked “Church Pews” menacing the approach to both the third and fourth flags—fast, hard greens that slope and undulate prolifically, and insanely narrow fairways conspire to make this arguably the most difficult golf test in North America, and perhaps the world.
Yet hole No. 8 is a par three that doesn’t rely so much on trees to protect the green; the trees are not in play unless the player totally mishits the drive.
The flag will not be perched on some nefarious domed surface, either.
What is in play, though, is “Sahara”, a monstrosity of a bunker that is as long as a football field and runs up the left side of the putting surface, creating a slight dogleg.
Get too cutesy and fly the right side of the green, and your ball could end up in the rail yard that runs adjacent to the nearby Pennsylvania Turnpike.
And did I mention that the hole plays to 288 yards?
That’s right, a 288 yard, par three!
That made it the longest par three in U. S. Open history, and had none other than John Daly musing out loud about the possibility of laying up on his drive.
No. 9 Comes Straight from the "Hall of the Gods"
Hole No. 9—“The Rise”
Valhalla Golf Club
15503 Shelbyville Road
Louisville, KY 40245
Par 4, 415 yards
The Jack Nicklaus-designed Valhalla provides us with our turn hole.
The course began as the vision of Dwight Gahm (pronounced “Game”), a successful Louisville businessman, in 1981.
He wanted to bring a world class golf only facility to the area, and thereby attract PGA of America to contest one of their Championships there.
He entrusted Nicklaus with the task of designing a superior course, and the Golden Bear came through marvelously.
The result was an amazing test, complete with 42 sand bunkers and greens that were reminiscent of a herd of camel. The ninth hole features excellent examples of both.
The par four is all uphill to the green. Further complicating the proceedings is the presence of six bunkers, two of them among the most massive on the course.
A good first drive would have to split the five fairway bunkers (two on the left, three on the right) and leave a mid-iron approach to a steeply pitched green.
The cavernous bunker protecting the front right of the green is menacing. However, players must avoid the tendency to fly long to take the sand trap out of play, as the green is as slick as a skating rink and slants from back to front.
Going long is death.
This concludes nine holes. We have gone out in 36, tackling 3,699 of the toughest, most beautiful yards in the world.
Simply Cannot Have a Course Without "The Blue Monster"
Hole No. 10
Doral Golf Resort & Spa, Blue Course
4400 NW 87 th Avenue
Miami, FL 33178
Par 5, 551 yards
Welcome to the tenth hole at the beautiful and legendary Blue Monster. It is perhaps the most instantly recognizable track in all of golf.
The course was claimed from 2,400 acres of swampland by Doris and Alfred Kaskel, who originally began with a hotel in 1959.
The resort took it's moniker from a clever combination of letters in Doris’ and Alfred’s names.
The golf course, designed by the esteemed Dick Wilson beginning in 1960, opened to rave reviews in 1962.
The Doral Open began the same year; the course is the third oldest continuous stop on the PGA tour.
Doral is ranked as the No. 95 public course by Golf Digest.
The Blue Monster had all of it's greens replaced with TifEagle Bermuda in 2006. New, wider cart paths were added, and all of the bunkers were re-worked to enhance the course’s competitiveness without changing it's fundamental design.
Hole No. 10 is generally downwind, and thus ends up playing shorter than the yardage might indicate. It bends at a dogleg left, hugging a huge (and visually stunning) lake.
Drivers that stray left to avoid the right side fairway bunkers could get wet. Especially long hitters will be confronted by a fairway that becomes perilously narrow.
Approaching the green to the left also bring the water squarely into play. The green slopes severely from front to back.
Golfers whose nerves keep them out of the water have a fantastic birdie opportunity, and eagles too, can be had at this gorgeous hole.
No. 11 Comes from "Arnie's Course"
Hole No. 11
Bay Hill Club and Lounge
9000 Bay Hill Boulevard
Orlando, Fl 32819
Par 4, 407 yards
Any golf fan calls it simply, “Arnie’s Course,” or perhaps “The King’s Club.”
Either way, Arnold Palmer’s Orlando resort is a mecca for anyone who appreciates golf history.
A group of investors from Nashville, TN purchased the site in 1960.
Just over a year later, the Dick Wilson-designed course opened for business. There are actually three separate nine-hole loops: the Challenger, Champion, and Charger.
PGA events use the Challenger and Champion to make 18 holes, referred to as the “Championship” course.
The investors, though, wanted to create a stir by having some of the biggest names in golf play an exhibition there in 1965. Enter Don Cherry, Jack Nicklaus, Palmer, and Dave Ragan.
Palmer won the exhibition and, already a fan of Central Florida, he fell in love with Bay Hill in the process.
He frequented the resort and purchased the complex in 1976. It remains his winter home and one of the most beloved properties in all of Florida.
Palmer has personally overseen various renovations and improvements over the years.
Players must navigate over 100 sand traps on the course, and the TifEagle Bermuda is fast but true.
The course demands a strong short game—which partially explains why Tiger Woods excels here—and is an extreme test of patience and course management.
No. 11 is a beautiful challenge.
A huge lake menaces on the left side of the hole, and guards the approach to the hole. It is paramount that the drive split the fairway and stay out of the bunkers to the right. An uphill carry leads to the pin, perched on a long, narrow green overlooking the same lake.
Toughest, Most Beautiful Par Three in the World
Hole No. 12—“Golden Bell”
Augusta National Golf Club
2604 Washington Road
Augusta, GA 30904
Par 3, 155 yards
Simply the most gorgeous golf course in America, quite possibly the world, Augusta National tends to it's grounds meticulously.
The stunning azaleas, pine trees, even the pine needles that line the fairways are manicured fastidiously.
Augusta’s features are well-chronicled: the narrow key ways for drives to slither between the towering trees; the shifting winds swirling through the grounds; the scary fast greens.
The course was constructed in 1931 under the eyes of two legends of golf: Bobby Jones and Alister Mackenzie.
The result was one of a trio of Mackenzie works—along with Cypress Hill and Melbourne, Australia—that are considered among the world’s finest.
Jones would actually help Mackenzie adjust hole locations by lobbing practice shots at the green.
The first Masters was contested in 1934, the year that Mackenzie died.
Here is what Jones said about the test of No. 12, guarded by Rae’s Creek and a grove of trees:
“Here the distance must be gauged very accurately, and the wind sweeping down along Rae's Creek is often deceptive to the player standing on the tee about to hit.”
Plenty of players have misjudged the winds and plunked into the drink, including Phil Mickelson in 2009, effectively ending his Sunday drive.
The walk over Hogan’s bridge must surely rank among the most overwhelming experiences in golf.
The Dunes Take Us to Our "Waterloo"
Hole No. 13
The Dunes Golf & Beach Club
9000 North Ocean Boulevard
Myrtle Beach, SC 29572
Par 5, 590 yards
Named one of Golf Digest’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses in America, the Dunes Club dates back to the late 1940s.
The club was incorporated in June, 1948. Yet another legendary designer, Robert Trent Jones, was commissioned with laying out the grounds.
No other designer was even considered.
Jones described the 270 acres upon which the club was established as “a lovely piece of land studded with live oaks where the Singleton Swash empties into the Atlantic Ocean.”
Jones also headed several minor re-touch projects in the 70s, and a major renovation in 1992, which included installing Penn Links bentgrass greens and the re-working of six holes to make them more player friendly.
Though not an ocean front property, water worked it's way into several holes—including the signature hole, No. 13.
First and foremost is Singleton Lake, which the holes winds around into a severe dogleg left. One of the first significant usages of water as a hazard in American golf, the lake is in play on both the drive and the approach.
Speaking of the approach, it calls for an iron into an elevated green. The surface is protected by twin bunkers on the front, and a punitive bunker on the rear, all lending to the ominous nickname for the hole: “Waterloo.”
California Begins It's Dominance at Riviera
Hole No. 14
Riviera Country Club
1250 Capri Drive
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Par 3, 176 yards
That’s what fellow players dubbed the lovely Riviera CC, after the diminutive wizard won the 1947-’48 Los Angeles Opens as well as the 1948 U. S. Open at the venue.
Designed by George Thomas and opened in 1927, the course has been the venue for Southern California golf championships from the beginning.
The Los Angeles Open moved there in 1929. The club hosted a significant percentage of the L. A. Opens for the next 40 or so years before settling there permanently in 1973.
The event became known as the Nissan Los Angeles Open in 1989, the Nissan Open in 1995, and the Northern Trust Open beginning in 2008.
The course is known for extensive, creative bunkering, and the par threes are renowned for being remarkable challenges.
No. 14 has an elevated green with three huge, very deep bunkers at the front of it. The putting surface is much wider than it is long, which fools the driver’s eye into thinking that it is closer than it actually is.
Mix in the bank of trees behind the green, as well as breezes coming from the Pacific Ocean, and this little par three becomes much trickier than meets the eye, placing a premium on proper club selection.
Torry Pines Proves That Bunkers Are Not the Only Effective Hazard
Hole No. 15
Torrey Pines Golf Club, South Course
11480 North Torrey Pines Road
La Jolla, CA 92037
Par 4, 477 yards
Who says you can’t play championship level golf on municipal courses?
Torrey Pines is a muni, owned by the City of San Diego, perched on cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean, south of the Torrey Pines State Reserve.
The area and golf course all take their name from the very rare Torrey pine tree, which only grows along this particular stretch of the California coast line, and on Santa Rosa Island.
The loop was originally designed by William F. Bell, and opened in 1957. There are two courses on the grounds, the North Course and the South Course.
The South is the more difficult of the two, and hosts the Buick Invitational each year (in January or February), and served as the site of the 2008 U.S. Open.
Rees Jones, an outstanding golf course designer, was contracted to undertake an ambitious re-design project.
“Our approach was to redesign Torrey Pines South to accommodate public play while creating a course of championship caliber, one challenging enough to host the U.S. Open. We redesigned the greens for multiple shot options, allowing golfers to go for the open entrances or to attack the harder hole locations, depending on their skill level.”
It is safe to say that he succeeded.
Eucalyptus trees line both sides of the fairway, demanding precision off the tee.
There are no fairway bunkers, but they would be redundant: the low-lying trees are punitive. The green is tiny, protected by bunkers on both sides, and runs hard from right to left.
The increase in elevation makes for yet another test and effectively lengthens the hole.
Cypress Point Uses Ocean for an Obstacle
Hole No. 16
Cypress Point Club
3150 17 Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Par 3, 219 yards
Cypress Point is one of the most magnificent golf tracks in the world, ranked No. 4 on Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America.
Furthermore, this hole—No. 16—is renowned as one of the single most spectacular holes to be found anywhere.
The course design was begun by Seth Reynor, who died before its completion.
The famed Alister Mackenzie was brought in to complete it, and it opened for play in 1928. It was carved out at the foot of the Santa Lucia Mountains, on the end of the Monterey Peninsula in coastal California, and on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
The ultra exclusive club numbers only 250; most mortals will never so much as walk the grounds, which is a shame.
Because this course is a dandy.
The selected hole, No. 16, has what is known by general acclimation to be the most intimidating tee shot in the world: a daunting 200+ yard carry directly across the ocean. Into a tiny green. Just beyond the jagged rocks.
How’s THAT for a water hazard?
Going to the Home of Golf for No. 17
Hole No. 17—“The Road Hole”
The Old Course at St. Andrews
St Andrews Links Trust, Pilmour House
St. Andrews, Scotland
Par 4, 455 yards
“To win at St Andrews is the ultimate.”
That pretty much says everything that we need to know about St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf.
The Scots have been playing golf in the St. Andrews area for some 600 years. The seven venerable links courses—The Old Course, The New, The Jubilee, The Eden, The Strathtyrum, The Balgove, and The Castle Course—are all legendary for their place in golf lore; without them, there is no modern golf.
The Old Course at St. Andrews is listed as the second best golf course in the world, according to the Golf Digest rankings; however, can anyone name a track that is more coveted than the Old course?
I didn’t think so.
And the Road Hole is regarded as the signature of the course; how could I leave it out?
It's arguably the most famous single hole in the world!
The Road Hole presents the player with a nervous blind drive over the grounds of The Old Course hotel.
This leaves a very long second shot to the very narrow green, with the old turnpike road running hard against the south edge of the green.
Of course, the sadistic Road Bunker fronts the left of the putting surface.
No. 17 was the toughest hole in the 2005 Open Championships, playing to an unsightly average of 4.63 strokes.
Pebble Beach Only Way to Wrap Up the Course
Hole No. 18
Pebble Beach Golf Links
2700 17 Mile Drive
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
Par 5, 543 yards
How else can we wrap up the “Ultimate Golf Course” with anything other than No. 18 at Pebble Beach?
There were so many good closing holes to seriously consider.
Augusta and St. Andrews spring immediately to mind.
Pebble Beach, however, holds sway in the final analysis.
Pebble was designed in 1919 by a pair of amateur golfers, Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, who had never designed a course before.
There were many notable renovations; the most notable (and extensive) was in 1928-‘29, by H. Chandler Egan. He re-shaped each green, and replaced most of the bunkers around them all, as well.
He also re-routed several other holes.
Prior to the 1992 U.S. Open, Jack Nicklaus oversaw the rebuilding of the fourth, fifth and seventh greens; in 1998, Nicklaus moved the par three, fifth, to a position along a cliff above Stillwater Cove.
The famed links have hosted every single California State Amateur since 1920. It hosted it's first United States Amateur in 1929, when favored Bobby Jones was the medalist (lowest score) but was ousted in the first round of match play.
Minnesota’s Harrison Johnston defeated Oscar Willing, four and three, to win the final in a 36-hole match.
Additionally, Pebble Beach Golf Links has been the site of the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am (originally the Bing Crosby Pro-Am) every year since 1947.
The solitary Monterey Cypress that forces golfers to carefully work their approach shots around it was transplanted onto the course by Environmental Design, a tree transplant specialty company.
When the original Monterey Pine succumbed to a canker and was removed, Pebble officials found out right away that the course had been adversely altered.
The 200-year old replacement was brought in over a five-day period.
The course never shut down.
The Pacific Ocean runs down the entire length of the 18th hole. There is also a bunker longer than a football field that guards the left side of the putting surface.
Throw the cypress tree in the fairway into the mix, and the most unique closing hole in golf is complete—and thoroughly breathtaking.
We came in with a par-36, and 3,604 harrowing yards, including three holes that flirt with the Pacific Ocean and the famous Road Hole at St. Andrews.
This brings the totals to par-72 and 7,303 yards.
In Conclusion. . .
Hope you have enjoyed this compilation of "The Ultimate Golf Course."
If you have comments on holes that you would add or subtract, please let me know!