Experience the Greatest Game Ever Played in Monterey County

Photo: Pebble Beach Golf Links

With its dazzling scenic beauty, historic golf tradition and rich bounty of challenging courses, spectacular Monterey County is a golfer’s paradise. From Pebble Beach to Salinas, visitors can experience the diversity of these must-play courses in the nation’s top golf destination.

Pebble Beach has hosted PGA Tour events since 1947, and one of the most exciting is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am which returns this February. The event takes place on three of the Monterey Peninsula’s premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore. Plan an extended stay to experience events from the first practice rounds on Monday, February 5 through the event’s thrilling conclusion on Sunday, February 11.

This annual golf tournament features an all-star lineup of both pros and celebrities including Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Mark Wahlberg, Josh Duhamel and Carson Daly. Also upcoming to Pebble Beach is the US Open scheduled to take place June 13-16, 2019, as Pebble Beach celebrates its exciting centennial.

Visitors are invited to follow in the footsteps of the pros this year, and the Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau has put together a list of some of the finest fairways in the region:

Pebble Beach Golf Links: Trace the steps of golf legends and replicate their famous shots (or at least try!) when you play on Pebble Beach Golf Links, perched on dramatic clifftops. Small, beautifully sloped greens, deep bunkers and a stretch of seven stunning seaside holes define the layout of this course, unanimously rated the top public course in the country.

Peter Hay Golf Course: Across the street from Pebble Beach Golf Links, families with young children and those looking to improve their short game will enjoy the Peter Hay Golf Course, the only nine-hole, par-three course open to the public on the Monterey Peninsula.

Poppy Hills Golf Course: Eco-friendly Poppy Hills Golf Course winds effortlessly through the Del Monte Forest, offering spectacular views of the California coastline. The course boasts a wireless water soil monitoring system and 1,800 individually controlled sprinkler heads, creating an unrivaled turf consistency.

Pacific Grove Golf Links: Overlooking majestic ocean views, Pacific Grove Golf Links features gently rolling fairways edged by Monterey and Cypress pines in the front nine, while the back nine cuts through windswept dunes, evoking the feel of traditional Scottish links. Known as the ‘PG Golf Links’ by locals, this is also one of the most affordable courses in the county with tee times as low as $65, all with a priceless ocean view.

Bayonet and Black Horse: The slick, contoured greens of Bayonet and Black Horse have played host to PGA Tour greats such as Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson. Bayonet was originally designed to accommodate the game of General Robert McClure, a left-handed golfer with a serious slice. It’s considered the most difficult test of golf on the Monterey Peninsula with its series of sharp doglegs on holes 11 and 15, known as “Combat Corner.” Black Horse takes your game through its paces while distracting you with alluring panoramas of Monterey Bay.

Del Monte Golf Course: Del Monte Golf Course is renowned as the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi. The course has charmed and challenged golfers for more than a century with a celebrated layout that brings out-of-bounds into play on more than half its holes, and offers vintage, tiny sloping greens that put your chips and putts to the test.

Quail Lodge & Golf Club: Located in beautiful Carmel Valley, pristine Quail Lodge & Golf Club contains some of Monterey County’s most unique bunker designs, trimmed with fescue lips along with challenging grass swales that come into play on seven holes. The course also offers customized golf lessons designed for total beginners to the most advanced players.

Salinas Fairways: Nestled in lush Salinas Valley, Salinas Fairways was designed by famed golf course architect Jack Fleming in 1957. Walk or ride an electric cart along relatively flat fairways and prepare yourself for the back nine, where wind levels pick up and make for more of a challenge.

While snow and ice still blanket courses in northern parts of the country, you’ll find plenty of sunshine and great places to tee up here in Monterey County. And whether you’re an avid golfer or it’s your first time swinging a club, players of all skill levels will enjoy the opportunity to experience some of the world’s most beautiful and challenging courses.

James Chung

Vancouver Lifestyle, Cool Tech & Travel Adventure. Email: james@hellovancity.com

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