- The greatest golfers in the world head to Pebble Beach Golf Links for the 2019 US Open Championship.
- Pebble Beach is celebrating its 100th anniversary and sixth time hosting the US Open.
- The course is considered to be one of the most beloved and beautiful courses in the world, located on the coast of California.
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The 119th US Open heads to the world-class Pebble Beach Golf Links this weekend.
Situated on the rugged coastline, the views of Carmel Bay make it one of the most beautiful in the world.
“They say it’s the greatest meeting of land and sea in the world. This course was heaven designed,” said Johnny Miller, a three-time AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am champion and World Golf Hall of Famer.
Not only does Pebble Beach have the looks, but its history only adds to its significance, including what is largely-considered to be one of the most incredible comebacks of all-time.
Below we delve into the history of this famous course and what makes Pebble Beach the favourite of many pros and amateurs alike.
The course was designed for free.
Course founder Samuel F.B. Morse approached amateur golfers Jack Neville and Douglas Grant to design the course. Both had no previous experience with designing courses but built this one for free to maintain their amateur status.
If they had been paid to architect the course, they would have been considered professional golfers and lost their prestigious standing.
Neville won two California State Amateurs at Pebble Beach after the championship moved there in 1920.
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That’s not the Samuel Morse most of us are familiar with, but they are related.
Samuel F.B. Morse may sound familiar. This isn’t the same guy who invented the telegraph, but he is his grand-nephew.
Pebble Beach founder Samuel Morse was an environment conservationist and has left his own legacy throughout Monterey and California as one of the first to preserve the California coast. Plaques, streets and even an ecological preserve bear his name on the Monterey Peninsula.
The course was the first public course to host a US Open.
Pebble Beach hosted the 72nd US Open in 1972. The deal was completed with the USGA after Samuel Morse died in 1969.
The USGA had its concerns about the course’s conditioning as a public course near a major city, but those concerns were quickly brushed away after a successful championship that included a shot to remember from its winner.
Jack Nicklaus won the tournament with a miracle shot.
Nicklaus used a wind-shaped 1-iron at the 17th hole to clinch the 1972 US Open. The birdie short-hopped the flag-stick and was one Nicklaus said he doesn’t think he could ever do again.
A decade later, Tom Watson also had a miracle on the same hole.
Tied with Nicklaus for the final-round lead, Tom Watson famously called his chip shot at the 1982 US Open on No. 17. His tee shot settled in the thick rough and it appeared that he would be lucky to secure a par-three. His caddie, Bruce Edwards, told Watson to get it close, to which Watson said, “I’m going to sink it.”
He did and began a spontaneous victory jog around the green.
Arnold Palmer was a part-owner of the course, but he never secured a victory on it.
In 1999, Palmer, along with actor/director Clint Eastwood, former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, former United Air Lines CEO Richard Ferris, and other limited partners, purchased Pebble Beach for $US820 million.
Palmer recorded six Top 10 finishes on the course, but despite his many achievements, he never won a title at Pebble Beach.
Tiger Woods had one of his greatest performances at Pebble Beach.
Pebble Beach hosted the first US Open of the millennium in 2000. Woods was the only player to finish under par to win the championship. His 65-69-71-67 tied a US Open record with 272 and his 65 to open the tournament was the lowest score ever shot on the course during a US Open.
Woods also set a US Open record by finishing 12-under par, 15 shots ahead of the runners-up – the largest margin of victory to ever occur in a major championship. No one has come close to that margin since.
The win marked the start of his non-calendar year Grand Slam, better known as the “Tiger Slam.”
Woods also had his lone Pro-Am victory on the course.
Trailing by seven with seven holes to play in the 2000 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Woods overcame the deficit to defeat Matt Gogel and claim his sixth consecutive PGA Tour victory.
In the final round, Woods went 8-under, including an incredible eagle hole-out at the par-4 15th from 97 yards. Gogel didn’t fair well during the back nine of the course with four bogeys to fall by two, but Woods’ feat is still considered to be a forgotten gem in his decorated career.
The last six presidents have visited Pebble Beach.
Among those six, three have played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush, and Donald Trump.
In 1993, Trump made a hole-in-one on No. 12 at Spyglass Hill.
More than a dozen presidents visited Pebble Beach beyond the past six since Hotel Del Monte opened in 1880.
The greatest hit on the 18th hole was by a teenager.
Junior golfer Christopher Meyers is believed to be the first player to make an albatross on the 18th hole at Pebble Beach to win the team title of the 2014 Nature Valley First Tee Open. Meyers holed his second shot from 203 yards with a 4-iron and was stunned to see it go in.
It was the first public course to be selected as No. 1 by Golf Digest.
In 2001, Pebble Beach was selected as the No. 1 golf course in America, but it isn’t cheap to play on it.
Greens fees are at $US525, which make them among the highest in the world, and that doesn’t even include a cart or caddie fee.
Bottom line is if you want to play at Pebble Beach, get ready to save up some money!
The 1962 Crosby was delayed by snow.
The final round was put on hold for a day after Pebble Beach was hit with its first snowfall in 40 years. It hasn’t snowed there since.
Holes Nos. 8-10 are known as the “Cliffs of Doom.”
Dubbed the nickname by Golf Magazine editor David Barrett in 1992, this stretch of holes combines beauty with difficult shot-making. No. 8 has golfers play atop a 100-foot cliff that rises to a steeply sloped green to begin a treacherous trio of par-4s.
No. 9 brings the golfers closer to the Pacific Ocean with a 505-yard downhill hole. The finale of the trio at No. 10 may be the widest, but its tilt can quickly derail a good shot.
The brush that borders the cliffs is the saving grace that may prevent the ball from going over the cliff, but it only exists to prevent the groundskeepers from getting too close to the edge while mowing.
Pebble Beach will also host the US Women’s Open for the first time in 2023.
Pebble Beach will be the first course to host a men’s, women’s, and senior men’s golf tournament in the same calendar year in 2023 when it hosts the US Women’s Open. It also marks the first time the national women’s championship will be held at the course.
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