The American Express

La Quinta, Calif.


Course Rankings

Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Pebble Beach / 6,960 yards, Par 72 / Points: 62.5718

Evan Schiller 36 Old Redding Road, Weston, CT 06883 tel. 203 222-8612

May 03, 2021

Spyglass Hill Golf Course

Robert Trent Jones (1966)

Given the task of designing a course just up the 17 Mile Drive from Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, Robert Trent Jones responded with a combination of Pine Valley and Augusta National. The five opening holes, in Pine Valley-like sand dunes, are an all-too-brief encounter with the Pacific seacoast. The remaining holes are a stern hike through hills covered with majestic Monterey pines (which, sad to say, may someday disappear to pitch canker, but are being replaced in some areas with cypress trees). Add several water hazards that hearken back to the 16th at Augusta (a hole which Trent Jones designed, by the way) and you have what some panelists consider to be Trent’s finest work. Others say it’s the best course never to have hosted a major event. After all, even Pine Valley and Cypress Point have hosted Walker Cups.

100 Greatest History: Ranked since 1967. Highest ranking: No. 26, 1993-1994. Previous ranking: No. 45

Watch Golf Digest’s latest “Every Hole At” course videos below:

Panelist comments, Spyglass Hill:
“A must play for any true golfer who visits the Monterey Peninsula. Spyglass has 18 tremendous golf holes that, hole for hole, could be argued is as good as Pebble.”

“The first five holes are absolutely amazing. Spyglass has one of the best opening holes in golf. And the short par 4 fourth hole is world-class.”

“Almost feels like two different golf courses, the front nine is so different from the back. I have to say the back nine has some of the harder holes I have ever played with great design variety, it is also very rewarding if you hit good shots.”

“There are a ton of strong golf holes on this layout, but my one knock on it is it would be very tough to navigate for the higher-handicapper. Otherwise, it's a very classic Robert Trent Jones Sr. layout where hard par/easy bogey is still attainable.”

“Spyglass was in fantastic condition. The fairways were green and still firm and rolling. Greens were surprisingly firm considering the damp climate and heavy play, and were absolutely perfect.”

Courtesy of Pebble Beach Company

Courtesy of Pebble Beach Company

Courtesy of Pebble Beach Company