Day Two of our Pebble Beach Vacation – Spy Glass Links Resort:
After a beautiful day and night exploring Monterey, we were up early (east coast time) and searched for a great local breakfast place. With a few tips from the hotel concierge, we found a great outdoor café a few blocks away. After picking up a few gifts for family at the gift shops on the wharf, we picked up our bags and headed to Pebble Beach. It was about a 20-minute ride to the south side of the Peninsula through the Skyline forest with its magnificent trees, breathtaking views, and stunning homes for some of the rich and famous. We had a 2 pm Tee time at Spy Glass Golf links. This was it – would we be able to hold our own on these magnificent courses we had heard so much about?
The golf experience at Spy Glass Links Resort
We arrived over an hour before our tee time because we wanted to practice on the driving range and the putting greens, hoping we would not embarrass ourselves. So, I dropped Bob and the clubs off at the Pro Shop while I parked the car as instructed across the street.
This course is nestled between the hills and valleys of towering pines, oaks, and the Pacific Ocean. The ocean wasn’t visible from the Pro shop, but we could hear the barking sea lions and birds. The surrounding area was gorgeous, the air felt different, and the light filtered through the trees. We headed to the driving range with our layers of jackets on and began warming up. About a dozen or so deer were out on the range. They clearly, had no fear of getting hit by a stray ball. I think they sized us up and quickly figured out where their safety zone would be. We didn’t know it, but deer on the courses was the standard for the entire weekend.
After putting for about 15 minutes on one of the lushest and most perfect putting greens we had ever rolled a ball on, we headed to the starter. He introduced us to two gentlemen from the Chicago area that were out playing and celebrating one of their birthdays. Being a woman golfer, and usually the only female golfer, I know the look and what they were thinking. Can she play, and will she slow us down? They seemed friendly, and we headed to the first tee as instructed. They would be playing from the blue tees; Bob would play from the senior white tees. I would play from the red tees and take every inch of advantage I could get. The first hole was beautiful, with a wide and lush fairway lined with trees on both sides and deer grazing among the trees.
With the typical first tee jitters x 10, we tee’d off. The guys sprayed their drives a bit but remained out of the trees, Bob hit safely down the fairway, and thankfully, I hit a quality drive, putting me well down the fairway. Okay, relax and have fun. After respectable bogies, we headed to the par four 2nd hole, a dog leg left downhill. We all hit quality drives, but those of us who hit into the rough found it to be lush, thick, and difficult to hit out of. I didn’t find trouble until my third shot when I had to hit out of thick green Poa Annua grass just short and right of the small green. After several more frustrating bad shots, I found my way to the green and holed out for a double. Reality struck! This was not your ordinary club course.
The next hole was a fabulous downhill par three where we hit down to the green right on the ocean. Again, the wind wasn’t too bad, and the scenery was incredible. The sea lions were barking, and the mist had lifted to show us a bit of sunshine.
The guys hit first; my red tee was about 50 yards from them. Unfortunately, they all missed the green leaving a perfect target for me. Thankfully, I found the green about 15 ft from the hole. Two puts later, I was in the hole for the only par. Okay – I redeemed myself and earned some respect from the guys. And so the round went.
Hole #4 was a slight dogleg to the left, but the green was the narrowest we have ever seen. It was thin and long with two tiers of undulations that rolled down towards the sand. Although I was on the green in two, it took me four more strokes to get in the hole, with one rolling back down to the bottom of the green where I was standing. But, from a par to a double, such is amateur golf.
One of us would find trouble and be schooled by the course on any given hole, but being there was beautiful and thrilling. The holes meandered up and down the hills, with the front nine often bordering or near the water, and then headed up the hills into the trees for more spectacular views and golf. Overall, the holes were long but fair. The greens were challenging but rolled nicely. Deer were our constant companions. We all shared some good, bad, and ugly shots, with an occasional inspiring shot that would keep us coming back. The guys turned out to be super friendly and lots of fun to play with. It was a great start to our week, and we played well enough on the course to give us a bit of courage for Pebble Beach the next day. When we walked off the 18th hole, the attendant cleaned our shoes with an air hose and took pictures of us in front of the Spy Glass medallion. What a great start to the day.
We packed up the car and headed to our resort at Pebble Beach.