The Takeaway: Grade A-
Designer: Robert Trent Jones Sr. in 1966
Cost: $340.00 (cart is extra for non-resort guests) Click for current rates
Phone Number: (831) 625-8563
Course Website: Official Website - Visit Spyglass Hill Golf Course's official website by clicking on the link provided.
Accolades: Ranked 52nd (11th for Public courses) on Golf Digest's 2013-14 Top 100 Greatest Golf Courses in America and 7th in the state of California.
What to Expect: Spyglass Hill shares the unique situation of being neighbors with some of the finest tracks in the world (Cypress Point, MPCC, Pebble Beach) yet delivers an experience unique to the surrounding golf courses. While most coastal courses, Cypress Point being no exception, wait until the end of the round to play the ocean side holes, Spyglass takes the golfer on a 600 yard plunge from the clubhouse down to the 1st green and onto the sand dunes of the Monterey coast. The first five holes are world class in every way and deliver the kind of exhiliration that playing along the ocean delivers so well. The final 13 holes travel through the dense Del Monte Forest and feature challenging doglegs, sloping fairways, ponds guarding greens, and undulated putting surfaces that offer intrigue round after round. While there may be "sexier" courses on the Pebble Beach coastline, there isn't a more challenging layout or more natural flowing terrain than at Spyglass.
By the Numbers
Individual Hole Analysis
Signature Hole: 4th Hole – 370 Yard Par 4 – Spyglass' most famous hole gained a name for itself due to one feature; the 50 yard deep, skinny green. Often photographed by visitors, the unique green rests among the sand dunes and ice plant commonly found along the Monterey coastline. Often regarded as one of the finest sub-400 yard par fours in the world, the fairway continues to tighten before funneling into the putting surface. When you have the opportunity to stand on this famous green, pause and look around while you soak in some of the most amazing surroundings in all of golf.
Best Par 3: 3rd Hole – 165 Yards – Few places in all the world offer the exhilaration found standing on the 3rd tee at Spyglass as you gaze as the green below and embrace the infinite ocean view beyond. Most players will find themselves grabbing for a wedge or short iron to attack this front-to-back sloping green that often plays into the ocean breeze. A single bunker protects the front of the green while the pin placements generally thread through the heart of the putting surface. So take dead aim and enjoy this fine one-shotter!
Best Par 4: 4th Hole – 370 Yards – Already featured as the signature hole, many people consider this short two-shotter one of Robert Trent Jones Sr.'s best designs. The three-tier green cascades away from the golfer and back towards the dunes and ocean. With a green that is 50 yards deep, a plethora of options are afforded to the golfer when decided how he would like to bring in his approach shot.
Best Par 5: 1st Hole – 595 Yards – Most opening holes are yawners that are far from memorable. At Spyglass Hill though, the 1st hole is one of the finest opening holes in the country and the beginning of a phenomenal five hole stretch. This nearly 600 yard par five tumbles downhill right-to-left through the Del Monte Forest before opening up with stunning ocean views from the midway down the fairway.
Birdie Time: 2nd Hole – 349 Yard Par 4 – Spyglass has always been noted as having five of the most incredible holes in golf right off the bat before leaving the ocean and sand dunes and turning back into the dense Del Monte forest. The 2nd hole is a sub-350 yard hole that offers plenty of width in the fairway if a golfer elects to layup and offers a narrow neck of fairway that leads into a greenside bunker if the golfer feels bold enough to make a run at reaching the top tier of the fairway. Although the approach shot is uphill, the distance into the green will be a relatively small number whether you layup or not and thus will put you in position to stick it tight and card a birdie.
Bogey Beware: 16th Hole – 476 Yard Par 4 – Spyglass is the most difficult course on the Monterey Penninsula and thus delivers plenty of options for conceding a bogey. The toughest challenge comes at the lengthy 16th hole that doglegs right. If the tee shot is played too safely up the left side then going through the fairway and into the forest virtually eliminates a chance at par. Cutting the corner can help but you must clear the tree protecting the inside of the dogleg found 240 yards from the tee. Even a perfect tee shot leaves the golfer with a longer-than-average approach shot to a kidney shaped green protected by a pair of large bunkers on each side.