PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- The Links at Spanish Bay was the face of links golf in America long before Bandon Dunes, Chambers Bay and Whistling Straits.
The dunes, firm-and-fast conditions, winds off the water and stunning ocean scenery are all reminiscent of a Scottish links. Tom Watson, Sandy Tatum and Robert Trent Jones Jr. collaborated on the 6,821-yard design behind the Inn at Spanish Bay.
No one has touched Watson's course-record 67 shot during the grand opening in 1987. Wildly sloping greens and ball-gobbling cross hazards provide formidable obstacles for resort guests dreaming of breaking par. Spanish Bay opens and closes with spectacular par 5s near the shore.
The back nine climbs into the Del Monte Forest for a demanding stretch of holes that serve as a nice change of pace.
Golfers who finish near dusk are entertained by the sounds of the bagpiper who plays every night.
User 'roomdoc' wrote: "(I) cannot describe the beauty of the course, most of the holes were along the ocean. Spectacular condition on fairway, (and) greens. Staff was very nice and food was excellent. Would replay this course the next time I am in Monterey."