Every golfer has heard of the famous, fabled, gorgeous golf course that is Pebble Beach Golf Links. It’s a bucket list for many, having played host to almost six U.S. Opens and, finally, adding a U.S. Women’s Open to its calendar for 2023.
But Pebble Beach is also a community, unincorporated but highly exclusive, secured by staffed gates with a $10.25 entry fee. Visitors from around the world eagerly pay the fee to meander along the 17-Mile-Drive and gawk at the regal mansions, the rugged Pacific coastline, and the eight golf courses (five of them open to the public) that lie inside its boundaries.
That $10.25 represents a bargain compared to the $500 (plus cart or caddie) it costs to actually play Pebble Beach. To ensure a tee time in advance, you’ll have to book a room for at least two nights at either the Lodge at Pebble Beach or the Inn at Spanish Bay, starting at around $700 nightly and quickly escalating. Play the Links at Spanish Bay or, the toughest of them all in my opinion, Spyglass Hill, and two will spend $3,000 or more.
But to enjoy yourself on this tough, ocean-hugging course, which was not designed with the short hitter in mind, the average golfer should be able to break 100 at home. You also might consider a few of the other non-resort golf options in the vicinity.
You certainly ought to venture outside the Pebble Beach gates to explore adjacent Pacific Grove, Monterey, and, especially cobblestone-paved Carmel-By-The-Sea. After all, one can stay in these Monterey Peninsula towns and still putt on the practice green at Pebble, sip a Manhattan at the Lodge’s Tap Room, and enjoy the bagpiper at sunset outside the Inn at Spanish Bay.