Few golfers know Pebble Beach Golf Links better than GOLF Academy lead coach Bobby Clampett. A native of Monterey, Calif., Clampett attended high school in Pebble Beach and also won two California State Amateurs on the historic links course, host site of this year’s U.S. Open Championship. He also finished in a T-3rd at Pebble Beach in the 1982 U.S. Open—the year Tom Watson famously chipped in on No. 17 to hold off Jack Nicklaus.
Naturally, Clampett is frequently asked about playing Pebble Beach, and with this week being AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am week, who better to explain how the pros will tackle some of the more difficult and feared shots at Pebble. If you want to learn how to play Pebble Beach, here’s your chance. Today, it’s the tee shot on the famed par-4 eighth hole, which calls for a strategically placed, high-launching, low-spinning 220-yard 3-wood (see video, below). The closer you are to the end of the fairway, the more manageable the forced carry is over the deep, ocean chasm.
For Bobby Clampett, the 8th at Pebble Beach is probably his favorite hole in all of golf. All of the energy and strategy starts right at the tee box as it sets players up for the second shot.
He believes success on the tee box is about controlling the distance on your three wood, the most popular club to use on this hole. It’s also about picking the right line. For Clampett, the right side is a more ideal route as it opens up the green on your approach shot.
To play and control distance with your three wood, you have to figure out where to hit the ball on the club face. If the ball is hit lower in the clubface, it will take about 20 yards off the shot. If you hit it higher on the clubface, the launch will increase, spin will decrease and the ball could run out and go too far.
With no wind, you can tee up the ball a little higher and hit the ball higher on the clubface for good launch and lower spin to help the ball go. If there’s wind, you may want to tee it up a bit lower. This is a great secret for controlling distance on a hole like number eight at Pebble Beach or at your local course!