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Spyglass Hill, USA

Spyglass Hill is located in the beautiful Monterey peninsula along with a number of other great golf courses. I recently (october 2016) played the course and it was a really good experience. It was only my second time in the area and it really is a unique place on earth – especially for golf. I drove some of the 17 mile drive past Cypress point and even though it was raining heavily that day I would have loved to get out on Cypress. Due to the unpredictable and ever-changing weather I rescheduled my tee time and spent some time around Pebble Beach practice facilities.

Pebble beach short game area
Pebble beach short game area
Pebble Beach driving range
Pebble Beach driving range

I spent some hours practicing and could confirm to myself that I normally don’t spend enough time on this. Especially the short game practice really makes a difference and I felt more comfortable out on the course afterwards. I also had a chance to try the PXG 0311T irons for the first time and lets just say – it is on my list of future equipment purchases.

My rescheduled tee time was the first one at 07.20am and I came early to hit a few balls.

Spyglass Hill driving range
Spyglass Hill driving range
Great little feature on the driving range balls
Great little feature on the driving range balls, keep up pace

First time I have seen the 4.30 keep pace on range balls and hopefully it has an impact on players pace – especially on course like this where it is pretty busy all year.

1st tee on a stunning morning in october
1st tee on a stunning morning in october

Rescheduling my tee time turned out to be a good decision and it was fantastic to get up on the first tee in the sunrise.

approach to 1st green
approach to 1st green

The 1st hole is pretty straight forward without too much trouble. Dogleg slightly left par 5 downhill. My opening drive was straight down the middle but out of reach in 2 shots. Lay up to 120m and hit a good 9 iron on the green pin high. Started with a par.

2nd tee
2nd tee

2nd hole is a short par 4 up hill and requires an accurate tee short to leave yourself a wedge to the green. I hit a 4 wood just right of the fairway and pushed my wedge just left of the green, but managed to get up and down for a par.

The view from the green is fantastic…

2nd green
2nd green
3rd hole
3rd hole

The view from the 3rd tee doesn’t come much better. There was hardly any wind and the water was quite. I hit a 9 iron on the green and two putted for par.

4th green
4th green

I was doing well after the first 3 holes and 3 pars. That changed after pulling my drive on 4th to the right which left myself 224 yards to the pin. Had to lay up and got on the green in 3 which resulted in a bogey. The hole is unique and mainly due to the shape and layout of the green. The approach shot is difficult and requires a good shot to get in close to the pin.

5th hole
5th hole

A hole that should be a straightforward par 3 a little uphill resulted in a double bogey. Came up short on the tee shot and in the bunker on second etc… its a unneccessary 5

6th tee
6th tee

The first 5 holes you can see the ocean and then it becomes a different course all together. You start heading into the woods with a tough uphill long par 4. As you can see from the picture the son was getting up and straight into our face. Also see the two deer that was standing there quietly and undisturbed during our tee off.

6th green
6th green

My drive found the fairway and I had a 198 yard shot uphill which I got on the green. Didnt read my putt well enough and ended up with a 3 putt 5. Generally I found that the greens had more break that it read and that took a bit of getting use to. The greens where in great shape and good speed.

7th tee
7th tee

I hit my drive right on 7th which left no change of getting on the green in 2. I hit a couple of poor shots, but got my par with a good 1 putt.

8th approach
8th approach

8th is a tough uphill par 4 with a narrow driving area and elevated green. I found the fairway on the drive and hit a good 6 iron on the green.

9th tee
9th tee

Another par 4 that requires a couple of good shots. I found the fairway again, but missed my approach shot to the left of the green. The rough was deep but played fair, so you can make some good saves even though you miss the green. On 9th I hit a good chip, but missed the putt, so a bogey to finish the front 9 in 41 shots. I would expect to make a few bogeys, but the double on 5th was a bad score and I didn’t really set myself up for any realistic birdie chances – all in all a reasonable front 9

10th hole
10th hole

The tee shot has to be accurate drive to leave an open shot to the green. The left side of the fairway is blocked by a couple of trees, so ideally you need to drive it down the right side which I managed to do a left myself a 9 iron to the green that is well protected by bunkers. My approach went just over the green which is no go, but I still got away with it and saved par.

11th tee
11th tee

A dogleg right and risk/reward from the tee. I hit my drive to far to the right, but still left myself a 6 iron to the green from the rough. Hit a poor shot and came up short. Hit a good 3rd shot which left me with the most realistic birdie chance of the day, but missed it.

well bunkered approach to 11th
well bunkered approach to 11th
12th hole
12th hole

Really good-looking par 3 downhill. Water on the left and bunkers on the right, so not much to do but hit it on the green. I did, but 3 putted for a bogey.

13th tee
13th tee

Well placed fairway bunkers on this slight dogleg left par 4. My drive found the semi rough on the right and I hit my second shot in the green side bunker. Hit a good sand shot and saved par.

14th green
14th green

This a great par 5 that doglegs slightly both ways on the way to a well protected green with water in the front. I hit a really bad drive into the right hand woods, but got out of well. Left myself a 9 iron from the rough which came up short and resulted in a bogey.

16th
15th

Another great par 3 and was playing 135 yards downhill. The pin was tucked away in the right hand corner and I tried to go straight for it. Missed it just right and had to rely on my short game again to save par.

16th tee
16th tee

One of the most difficult par 4s on the course and to get a reasonable look at the green you need to hit a good drive down the right hand side. From the tee you cannot see a tree that blocks out on the right side, so again it puts pressure on the tee shot to be long and accurate. I did the opposite and hit my drive left into the woods and hit a couple of bad shots afterwards which led to the double bogey.

my approach to 16th
my approach to 16th
17th tee
17th tee

You cannot see the landing area from the tee and there are many bunkers. Probably one of my best drives over the left hand bunker and leaving myself 80 yards to the green. I hit a really bad second shot left of the green and didn’t recover for par.

looking back down 17th from the green
looking back down 17th from the green
18th hole
18th hole

Straightforward par 4 that is protected by bunkers. I hit a drive to the right that took a trip down the cartpath and even though I was close to the green I was blocked out and had to hit a low chasing shot towards the green that went in the deep right hand bunker. Finished with a bogey and a score of 83.

Overall Spyglass Hill is a really good course and the combination of holes that run close to the ocean and the majority in the woods is nice. It requires precision and good course management. The course condition was immaculate and I could not have asked for better weather than this. My game was not 100% and if it wasnt because my recovery performance was 41% it would have been a much higher score. I would like to come back and try again some day as I left to many shots out there and made some bad mistakes.

 

score

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