While Spyglass Hill shares the same surroundings as the likes of Pebble Beach & Cypress Point, it delivers a golfing experience that is unique to the Monterey Peninsula. Unveiled by Robert Trent Jones in 1966, Spyglass may only measure 6,960 yards from the back markers but it still demands plenty from the golfer, thanks in large part to Trent Jones' incredible design, as well as the unrelenting coastal winds that sweep in from the North Pacific.
After a dramatic 600 yard downhill opener that plays directly towards the ocean, Spyglass’ first five holes are played in and amongst the dunes of the Monterey shoreline, before the course climbs into the majestic Del Monte Forest.
From here on in it’s no easy ride as Spyglass’ tight, tree-lined fairways, doglegs and water hazards demand accuracy and precision throughout the round. In fact, Spyglass Hill is actually rated by those in the know as the toughest of the Monterey Peninsula courses...so be prepared!
Still part of the impressive triumvirate that hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Spyglass Hill carries with it an army of dedicated followers who love the course. A number of brave souls have even asserted that Spyglass is better than its more illustrious neighbour in the form of Pebble Beach, and whether that is true or not, the course is an essential ingredient for any top golfing experience in California.
Depending on your preference, you might find other courses on the peninsula to be "sexier", but there are few that offer the challenge of Spyglass Hill and few that take such good advantage of the unique landscape on which the course sits.
Spyglass Hill is ranked as one of the best courses in America
||Robert Trent Jones
|Opened for play
||US Amateur (1999), AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am,
US California State Amateur Championship (multiple)
Signature Hole – No4: Par 4, 370 yards (Blue Tees)
The 4th is Spyglass’ most famous hole thanks in large part to the
putting surface; an extremely narrow, 50 yard deep green which is surrounded by
sand dunes and the striking ice plants commonly found along the Monterey
coastline. At 370 yards this is no modern monster, but rather a well thought
out charmer where strategy, rather than brute force and ignorance, is of
paramount importance. When you eventually make it to the green, take the
opportunity to pause and take in the surroundings which are truly special.
Just 2 minutes from Spyglass Hill, you’ll
find the Pebble Beach Golf Academy & Practice Facility which is one of the
finest in America.
Consisting mainly of a 3,000 sq foot
learning centre featuring three instruction studios and all the latest
technology including 3D Motion Capture Analysis, HD Video and a Golf Simulator,
the facility also boasts a 350-yard, double-ended driving range with natural
grass hitting area, a 4,500-square-foot practice putting green and a
comprehensive short-game practice complex. This is the perfect place for a few
looseners before heading to Spyglass!
At The Clubhouse
The Spyglass Hill Grill, located adjacent
to Spyglass Hill’s 9th green, is a great place to enjoy casual
dining before or after your round. Those with early tee times can enjoy warm breakfast
sandwiches and burritos and for lunch, specialty burgers and sandwiches are
sure to hit the spot. Those looking for a well deserved drink or two can choose
from a large selection of beers and cocktails which will quench your thirst
after a long day on the golf course.
California might more commonly
associated with sunny skies but Spyglass Hill’s coastal location means less
friendly weather can roll in from the ocean in the blink of an eye. The chances
are you won’t need them but, just to be safe, it’s best to go well equipped
with waterproofs and additional layers in tow if you have the space for them.
Golf Buggies are available for
hire and taking into account the hilly nature of the terrain, they are advised.
There is a caddie service too, so you can benefit from a trained eye on your
way around this difficult track should you feel the need. Pull trolleys are
permitted but are not available to rent on-site.
The excellent on-site pro-shop, which has a fantastic stock
of golf apparel, clubs, bags, gifts and accessories, can cater for all your
Spyglass Hill was originally named Pebble Beach Pines Golf Club,
but was renamed by Samuel F. B. Morse, the founder of Pebble Beach Company, because
he was intrigued by tales of Robert Louis Stevenson wandering the hills and
sandy dunes of Pebble Beach and its surrounds, including the land on which Spyglass
now sits, searching for inspiration for his famous novel, Treasure Island.