Robert Trent Jones is one of the most prolific golf architects in history. He designed Spyglass Hill Golf Course when he was regarded as the doyen of architects world wide.
When Samuel Morse acquired the tract of land on the Monterey Peninsula and built Pebble Beach he planned a number of courses along the Monterey Peninsula coastline to boost sales of residential property in the development. The land made available to RTJ is close to Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, and includes some coastal dunesland as well as heavily forested hillier terrain. But unlike it's sister courses Spyglass does not actually touch the shoreline, remaining a discreet but viewable distance away.
Spyglass Hill Golf Course opened in 1966 and has been regularly been regarded as a world top 100 course since, but it suffers in comparison to it's famous neighbours who both have stunningly beautiful holes right on the ocean clifftops. Nevertheless Spyglass Hill has it's own appeal.
It is probably the most difficult of the courses on the Monterey Peninsula. Robert Trent Jones designed it to be a demanding test of the better player, and the course can play long. It is a championship course, to be sure!
The opening 5 holes are routed through sand dunes with distant ocean backdrops. It is a brilliant start to the round with a tough long opening par 5, a medium length cross hill par 4, and then two lovely par 3's interspersed with a memorable short par 4. That par 4- the fourth is a hole that you will want to play over...it's a world class hole.
From hole 6 the course turns up into the forests and the nature of the course changes with each hole framed by pine trees. Raised greens and water hazards are also a recurring theme. There is a certain sameness to these holes, but nevertheless they provide a good test of golf and are picturesque- they just don't have the creative flair of those early dunes holes...
Hole 3 is a downhill par 3 in the dunes with the ocean as a backdrop some 200 or so metres distant. It's a gorgeous hole
Hole 4 is a world class hole. It's a short to medium length par 4 with a green set between two dunes runnning basically at right angles to the line of the hole. The length and line of the tee shot, the position of the flag, and wind factor will offer you a myriad of choices as to how to play the approach!
Hole 12 is a stunning shortish par 3 protected by water and bunkers.
Hole 14 is a strategic par 5 that demands your attention. Framed by pine trees, and with a green set in it's own little ampitheatre protected by bunkers and water it is a classic hole
Spyglass Hill should be on every Monterey Peninsula golfing itinerary. It is a championship course, and always beautifully maintained. And it provides a nice contrast to The Links at Spanish Bay, and Pebble Beach.
Other Courses in the area
The Monterey Peninsula is famous for the quality and beauty of it's golf and has a mixture of wonderful private courses and popular resort and public access courses. While the private Cypress Point Club and Monterey Peninsula Country Club are played by the fortunate few, travellers staying in the Pebble Beach Resort can pre book games at Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay. Also available to the public is the ever popular Poppy Hills designed by Robert Trent Jones Jnr.
For further information on Golf Tours to Pebble Beach Resort please enquire here:
Photos are courtesy of Pebble Beach Company