How to Play Pebble Beach: Learn from GOLF Academy Instructors

US Open winner Grame McDowell plays Pebble Beach's 9th hole.

If you ask any golfer for a bucket-list of golf destinations, Pebble Beach is likely to be a mainstay on most of the lists. The iconic ocean links course with the rich history and spectacular vistas gets double-billing in 2019 as it hosts the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and the U.S. Open (in June).

Major Course, Major Winners

2019 will mark the sixth U.S. Open to be held on the Monterey Peninsula, and the second since Tiger Woods’ epic 15-stroke runaway victory in 2000. Other notable winners of big events at Pebble have included Jack Nicklaus (1972 U.S. Open), Tom Watson (1982 U.S. Open), Johnny Miller (3 National Pro-Ams) and Phil Mickelson (now 5 National Pro-Ams). A star-studded lineup of champions for a one-of-a-kind golf course.

Take Your Shot at Pebble

A simple search online will show you that getting a chance to play at Pebble Beach is not easy. If you’re lucky enough to walk in the footsteps of some of the legends that have played here and get the opportunity to play Pebble Beach in the near future, you’ll want to be prepared. Here, we’re building a running guide to tackling Pebble Beach’s key holes and most difficult shots, with help from our GOLF Academy coaches.

Many of our coaches have teed it up at Pebble over the years, collecting some invaluable information for golfers who are taking their first loop of the course. Our roster includes Monterey, Calif., native Bobby Clampett. A highly acclaimed coach and golf TV analyst, Clampett attended high school in Pebble Beach and also won two California State Amateurs on the historic venue. He also finished in a T-3rd at Pebble Beach in the 1982 U.S. Open—the year Watson famously chipped in on No. 17 to hold off Nicklaus.

Learn how to play Pebble Beach's hole 7

Key Holes 

7 – Par 3, 106 Yards

Inarguably one of the most famous Par 3 holes in all of golf, standing on the tee box on this hole provides you with an incredible view and a sneaky tough shot. The hole is just over 100 yards, but your club selection can vary greatly depending on the weather and wind conditions, ranging from a 7 iron to a sand wedge.

8 – Par 4, 427 Yards

This famous hole comes with a tough tee shot, where analyzing the wind will be critical in your success. Getting as close as you can to the end of the fairway will only help you on the famous second shot over the huge chasm.

18 – Par 5, 543 Yards 

One of the most difficult tee shots in golf makes this one of the most unique and memorable finishing holes ever. It’s a difficult hole to reach in two for pros, much less amateurs, but a perfect drive can sometimes setup an opportune approach. This finisher is an incredible way to close out a round at one of the world’s most famous golf tracks.

Hole-by-Hole Breakdowns

Whether you’re looking for some advice on how to play Pebble or just want some general help with your game—particularly your tee shots—get started here!

“Stinger” 5-Wood (Tee Shot, 4th Hole)

Low-Spinning Wedge (Tee Shot, 7th Hole)

Controlled 3-Wood (Tee Shot, 8th Hole)

Downhill Lie Long-Iron Approach (Second Shot, 9th Hole)

Fill Your Itinerary

Want more on Pebble Beach? If you’re planning a trip to Pebble Beach or Monterey, and looking to add even more to your schedule, click here for the ultimate Pebble Beach golf itinerary from our friends at Golf Advisor.