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GOLF GEMS AROUND THE WORLD

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Pebble Beach

California Coast Icon

Perhaps no golf course in the United States is as storied as Pebble Beach Golf Links,. On the south side of the Monterey Peninsula in California, it hugs the shore of the Pacific Ocean, offering a spectacular vista of the coastline.

The course originally opened in the 19th century as a part of the Hotel Del Monte, funded by Charles Crocker, a railroad baron who founded the Central Pacific Railroad. The Hotel Del Monte portion of the complex was later sold to the United State Navy.

The present course designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant opened in 1919. It has seen few substantial changes over the years and has essentially the same routing—one that started at an old log cabin which served as a way station for tourists on 17-Mile Drive. The one significant alteration came 70 years later when Pebble Beach reacquired a parcel of oceanfront land and Jack Nicklaus designed a new 5th hole.

Pebble Beach has hosted the U.S. Open five times, and will host it again in 2019. It has held the U.S. Amateur four times, with a scheduled fifth in 2018. The famed links also hosts a perennial celebrity Pro-Am Tournament, started by Bing Crosby in 1947. Indeed, its roster of past champions includes all the greats from Bobby Jones to Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, and Jack Nicklaus.

The golf course was purchased by the Japanese in the 1990s, but was later reacquired by a consortium—including Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and Peter Ueberroth—who set up a trust so that the resort would never be resold again.

Pebble Beach Golf Links is world famous for its breathtaking holes that caress the rugged shoreline and offer glorious horizons of the Pacific. Golfers are sure to notice the iconic Lone Cypress, which grows alone on a hillside that juts out into the ocean. The tree is arguably 250 years old, and is a copyrighted trademark associated with Pebble Beach.

Apart from golf, there is the outstanding 17 Mile Drive along the coastline. There is an entrance fee of $10.25 if you drive through the gated Pebble Beach community section. However, if you are a guest at one of the resorts, shop or dine within the community, the fee can be refunded.

As a public course, the fees are not inexpensive by any means, averaging $500 plus, depending on whether you are a guest at one of the three Pebble Beach Resorts: The Inn at Spanish Bay, Casa Palmero, or The Lodge at Pebble Beach. To book more than two days in advance, guests must make reservations for at least two nights. But for many, it is a golf pilgrimage of a lifetime.