Jack Neville & Douglas Grant (1919) / Arnold Palmer & Thad Layton (2016)
Not just the greatest meeting of land and sea in American golf, but the most extensive one, too, with nine holes perched immediately above the crashing Pacific surf – the fourth through 10th plus the 17th and 18th. Pebble’s sixth through eighth are golf’s real Amen Corner, with a few Hail Marys thrown in over an ocean cove on the eighth from atop a 75-foot-high bluff. Pebble hosted a very successful U.S. Amateur in 2018, and hosts its sixth U.S. Open in 2019. Recent improvements include the redesign of the once-treacherous 14th green and reshaping of the par-3 17th green, both planned by Arnold Palmer’s Design Company a few years back.
100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1966. Highest ranking: No. 1, 2001-02. Previous ranking: 7
“This is the ultimate round of golf along the ocean, creating one of the most beautiful atmospheres in golf—especially the stretch of holes from four to 10. A day at Pebble Beach, no matter your score, will always be a good day.”
“Pebble did a great job eliminating a weakness of the course with the redesign of its 14th green. It was smartly done, in that it feels natural with the rest of the surrounds. It’s not artificial feeling at all. This gives many more available hole locations, and way more options to play your approach up.”
“Especially your first time playing, it’s tough to stay focused on your game as you marvel at this amazing meeting of land and sea.”
“Some might downgrade because of the inland holes, but after having played some the most memorable, well-designed holes in the world -- it’s tough for the rest of the course to compete with the seaside settings. And yet still, if taken out of context, these are sound golf holes that would be stellar on any other course.”
“One drawback has always been the poa-annua greens, which could be bumpy in the morning or in the late afternoon after so many rounds. But I hear they’re experimenting with heated topsoil just like Augusta’s greens, which could do strong things for the course’s conditioning.”