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.

Tip from the Locals

One not staying at the resort might stumble upon a Pebble Beach tee time by calling a day in advance.

PRICE GUIDE

It is so expensive to live on the Monterey Peninsula that workers come from Salinas, inland, and as far away as Gilroy or even San Jose. Spring through Fall, you won’t find a tee-time for less than $100 or a room at one of the area’s many, charming bed-and-breakfasts for under $300 a night. And while you can find fast food (in Monterey, not in the precious “village” of Carmel), fine dining will cost you a pretty penny. Consider it the price for an experience no golfer will ever forget.

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