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4.7
23 Reviews (23)
5 Stars
18
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
2
Conditions
4.5
Value
4.0
Layout
4.9
Friendliness
4.9
Pace
4.5
Amenities
4.3
93.2%
Recommend this course
21 out of 23 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
2 Reviews (2)
5 Stars
2
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
5.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
5.0
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
Read Reviews
Average Rating
Avg Rating
5.0
5 Reviews (5)
5 Stars
5
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
4.8
Value
4.6
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.8
Amenities
5.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
5 out of 5 reviews
Read Reviews

About

Holes 18
Type Resort
Par 72
Length 6960 yards
Slope 145
Rating 75.1

"If it were human, Spyglass would have a knife in its teeth, a patch on its eye, a ring in its ear, tobacco in its beard and blunderbuss in its hand . . ." -- Jim Murray, Los Angeles Times

With a name inspired by the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island, Spyglass Hill is the toughest golf course in Northern California and among the most difficult in the world (ratings are from the championship tees). Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones and opened in 1966, the course was immediately recognized as a true test of golf skills and an opportunity to utilize every club in the bag. "The Glass" hosts the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, as well as qualifying rounds for the California State Amateur.

Course Details

Year Built 1966
Fairways Poa Annua Grass
Greens Poa Annua Grass
Golf Season Year round
Architect Robert Trent Jones, Sr. (1966)

Rentals/Services

Carts Yes - $45
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts No

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes
Teaching Pro Yes
Pitching/Chipping Area Yes
Putting Green Yes

Policies

Credit Cards Accepted VISA, MasterCard, Amex, Discover Welcomed
Metal Spikes Allowed No
Walking Allowed Yes

Food & Beverage

Snacks, Restaurant

Available Facilities

Spa

Available Sports

Tennis

Accolades

  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Off-course amenities in the U.S. (2019 #12) (2017 #3)
  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in California (2018 #6) (2017 #12)
  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Friendliest Courses in the U.S. (2017 #9)
  • Golf Advisor: Ginella's Top 50 U.S. Courses You Can Play (2016 #7) (2015 #7)

Reviews

4.7
23 Reviews (23)
Advanced Filters
Overall Rating
Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
Reviews 2
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played

My favorite course

Absolutely love Spyglass. A great combination of dunes, ocean, and the forest. First 5 holes are in the dunes and then you move into the forest for holes 6-18. Very difficult golf course. Important to play from the correct set of tees. The ball won’t travel as far on the Monterey Peninsula because of the heavy air and being at sea level. Conditions are excellent. Highly recommend that you take a caddie if you are able. Carts are available but it is cart path only. Definitely need a range finder if you don’t have a caddie. Greens are very fast and tough to read, especially the first time you play the course. Typically takes 4.5 - 5 hours to play but that is primarily because of the difficulty of the course. It’s expensive but definitely worth it for the pure golf experience.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 13
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing

Unreal course

The hype you hear about Spyglass is true. Gorgeous layout and views. Only thing that surprised me was the greens werent as fast as I expected. First 5 holes will match anything you have ever played.

Pebble Beach tomorrow!

Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 1
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

What an amazing course! Had a great deal through NCGA and it was worth every cent. Very challenging and the view was amazing and the course was in excellent shape.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
1.0
First Time Playing

Poor value

The fairways had been topdressed with Sand so shots were stopping quickly. This made for difficult second shots. The seventeenth hole was under construction and was extremely poor.
The par 3s from the ladies tees were all under 100 yards which made them far too easy.
We paid $395 which made this course the worst value we have ever played!

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Layout Average
Friendliness Good
Pace Average
Amenities Fair
Played On
Reviews 1
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
Previously Played

Spyglass is a true test!

Spyglass will test not only your golfing skills but your sensibilities. The first four holes might be the most challenging and beautiful anywhere. Don’t be lulled into thinking after those four that you can relax, however. The course winds back away from the ocean and takes you into a wooded wonderland. The deer seem to stop eating long enough to see what interloper has invaded their territory. There is a quiet so serene that the peace you feel will be mesmerizing. In any weather conditions, the course will both delight and torment you. While Pebble seems to be the big draw for visitors, Spyglass is far and away the more challenging and the more rewarding of the two. More challenging because of its difficulty and it’s subtle nuances. More rewarding because you know that the next time you come to play you will have an entirely new experience depending on the time of year. It will call you back again and again.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Reviews 12
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

Would return

Joined a threesome and had a wonderful experience. Everyone has seen photos of Pebble Beach, but Spyglass Hill is equally tough without being unfair. If you plan to ride (Cartpaths only) get a forecaddie to help with distances and reading greens. The pro shop and grill are each one story and very low-key. Played both Spyglass and Spanish Bay - would definitly return to play Spyglass.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 5
Handicap 20-24
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
Incentivized Review
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Godd but not great

Spyglass is a good course. However I am from Michigan and we have at least a dozen courses that are just a good or better - with just as great of views - lots of trees - and 1/3 the price. I recommend that you check out Michigan for your nest golfing trip.

Conditions Good
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 85
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Top 100 Contributor
Idaho Advisor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

Instantly moved into my top five courses played (which is harder to do than you might think)

Spyglass Hill is a terrific course, lets just get that out there. it moved into my top five played courses when I walked off the course, something it's neighbor MPCC (Shores) among other great courses I've played could not do.

Part of the magic of Spyglass for me was the variety of holes you will play throughout your round. The opening ocean holes (which weren't my opening holes as I played in a shotgun start because of the US Open and 1-5 were actually 7-11 for me) are terrific (while the green on 4 is a special kind of evil, more on that later) they are only part of the story here.

There is just a terrific variety of open, wooded, and appropriately hazarded holes from start to finish. One of my favorite features of any golf course is that is protects par without overly punishing for a slightly errant shot. I found this to be almost universally true at Spyglass.

The course conditions were commensurate for what you'd expect when paying (well) over $300 at a resort course... in other words terrific. The rough is thick and often a bit wet so best avoided, but there's no real reason other than a mishit to find yourself there. Spyglass seems to offer a valid attainable landing area on all of your tee shots.

The bunkers also play exactly as they should, with the right amount of soft sand in the two that my ball found it's way into. The greens are fast, but (as far as I recall, other than 4) not too fast and not unplayable in any way.

My favorite hole was the Par three 12th (said by probably no one other than me, ever) which played about 165 downhill to a narrow green protected by water on the left and a hill and bunkers right and behind. It's just a really pretty hole that is completely playable with a good shot.

For me, the most challenging was 4. It's short and seems benign, but the green, really narrow and very sloped, runs away from you fast. I landed pin high (from "position A" off the tee) and wound up all the way down at the bottom of the green.

This hole and several others beg a caddie with local knowledge. I'm not the first person to suggest it in these reviews and I'm certain I won't be the last. I played the best golf I'm capable of playing at Spyglass(from the gold tees 6538/73.8/140) and probably could have had a really magical round with some solid advice (still put up a 76, which I'm quite proud of). But there were many times when just a slightly better approach could have yielded much better results. Since you are already paying nearly $400 to play, the added cost of the caddie is certainly worth it to enhance your experience.

From the guy who met me in the parking lot, to the pro-shop, to the fellow who got mic'ed up and told us about our shotgun start everyone I came into contact with at Spyglass was terrific from a service standpoint. They went out of their way over and over again to ensure that my experience was everything it was supposed to be.

My experience was a little different than normal, of course, given the shotgun start; however, pace of play was good. We finished in under 4:30 which is always decent for a shotgun (especially when there we so many pictures being taken along the way).

For a lot of (probably most) people $385 is - understandably - simply too much to spend on golf; however, if you can afford it and you have the chance, I cannot recommend strongly enough that you play Spyglass Hill. It really has everything you could want in a golf course.

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 8
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Scatter my Ashes at Spyglass

If anything can rival Pebble Beach, Spyglass gives it a verified run for it's money. The stretch of coast within spyglass is some of the most special golf I have ever played. The place is extremely challenging, offers a wide variety hole layouts that truly test the golfer, and a diverse set of views and environmental obstacles. If you ever get the chance to play, run, don't walk, to Spyglass.

Conditions Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Very Enjoyable

On my recent trip to the Monterey Peninsula Spyglass was sandwiched in between rounds at MPCC and Pebble Beach. I knew the first six holes along the ocean would be great, but what caught me off guard was just how much I enjoyed the rest of the course. In fact, I enjoyed the back 9 better than the front 9. The holes were perfectly designed for a fair but tough test of golf. We played the 18th hole in the setting sun, and I could not have asked for a better day. Also with all of the doglegs on the backside you will be very happy you took a caddie, as he will do a great job explaining the lines you might not be able to see. Lastly, take a second and walk up to the back tee on the par 3 third, as it is one of my favorite views of 17 mile drive.

Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 15
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Used cart

One of My All Time Favorites

Played as part of the 4th of July Stay and Play package they were running.

This course is no joke. Every employee and golfer tells you this, but it is absolutely true. The first 5 holes out on the ocean are exposed to the wind and VERY difficult. Fast greens. Must find the fairway. I can't say enough positive things about this course, I just had a blast. My only regret was that I wish we had splurged for the caddie, because local knowledge would have helped in many places

Staff was professional and friendly.

Stunning. Go play it.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 48
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
California Advisor
Top 500 Contributor
First Time Playing
Perfect weather
Walked

Truly a top golf course

There's not a whole lot I can add to what has already been said about this course. The first five holes are in fact spectacular. The last 13 sure aren't bad either.

I played Spyglass this weekend, the weather was perfect and the course was in great shape. I do recommend taking a caddie, particularly if it's your first time on Spyglass, since they'll know all the ins and outs of the course. The rough is thick, so getting out of there is a challenge. The traps are deep and are no joke either. Greens probably played to an 11, so very fair in that regard, though putts all break a little more than you might expect.

I think 1 is perhaps the best opening hole in golf, and 3 is the par 3 you see pictures of everywhere. However, some of the holes in the forest are really quite nice. The par 3 12th has a little bit of an Augusta feel to it with a lake on the left side of the green and some flowers behind. The par 5 14th is a nice double dogleg with another green protected by a lake. Visually a deceptive and stunning hole.

There were three things I didn't like:
1) Pace of play was very slow. I think we played to a 5:20 pace when the practice balls on the range say it should be 4:30.
2/3) Lack of a good locker room or restaurant near the 1st hole.

Will probably be back

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Fair
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 512
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

The greatness of Spyglass

Playing Spyglass a third time, I finally have a genuine appreciate for the brilliance of its design by RTJ Sr.
When I first played it, leaving the ocean after the fifth tee felt like a letdown. The second time I played it, I was focused on score after getting pummeled the first time. The third time I was able to relax and enjoy every minute.
There's so much to love. Name me a better pair of back-to-back holes in golf than the par-3 third and the par-4 fourth? Both are stunning in their beauty and entertaining to play because of the wind off the water. The long par 4s later in the round still feel like a bit of a slog, so I still suggest to move up to the whites for only those holes. The short, downhill par 3s on the back side in the Del Monte Forest and the short par 4s at No. 10 and no. 17 could help mitigate some of the scorecard damage.
Spyglass is a worthy companion course to Pebble Beach for both the AT&T Pro Am and the upcoming 2018 U.S. Amateur. It doesn't matter if you're a pro or an amateur. You'll have your hands full at Spyglass.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 237
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Birmingham Advisor
Top 10 Contributor
First Time Playing
Cold weather
Used cart

Hang in, then hold on

I cannot understand why some people characterize Spyglass as five good seaside holes. True, the remainder of the course lies inland amongst hardwoods, but in my opinion, it is there where the best aspect of it lies.

Make no mistake, the opening stretch is fantastic. I found my round to be marked by survival mode on the opening five holes. Doubles are lurking. But, the inland holes are equally, if not a bit more memorable. The back nine, in particular, may be the best nine among the Pebble Beach Resort's collection. Short irons may be in your hands for the two par 3s on the back, but they demand your attention. Par 4s like the 10th and 16th require long-iron approaches. And the par-5 14th is as lovely a hole as there is on the peninsula.

Deer are abundant here, just as at Spanish Bay. It can be a bit distracting because they are so acclimated to having people in close proximity. But it is an interesting experience and makes for a memorable photo op.

I, like previous reviewers, think all but 3-handicappers and better should play it forward. The white tees are plenty of golf course, as the course plays ~300 yards longer than the scorecard.

The rough should be avoided at all costs, as it is thick and wet, and can make getting getting the Club face on the ball a challenge.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Average
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 512
Handicap 10-14
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Advisor
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Used cart

Play the whites to enjoy Spyglass Hill

The first time I played Spyglass Hill in 2003, I was a beginning golfer and the course destroyed me.
I have a new-found appreciation for its challenging and interesting holes after a triumphant return. Cool weather and with a playing partner who hadn't played in six months, I wisely moved up to the whites and had a fabulous time.
With all the uphill holes and plateau greens, the 6,123-yard white tees still play about 6,400-6,500 yards - plenty tough for most of us.
I've not found a better start to a golf course than the first five holes at Spyglass Hill, all roaming through the dunes near the shore. Workers were busy thinning out trees and a few real estate signs have been hung in this corridor, so development of more homes is coming. That's a shame to clutter such a beautiful setting.
The rest of the day is spent battling the Del Monte forest and its collection of ponds and bunkers. If you shoot your handicap, you've had yourself a day.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather
Walked

Great course and memorable holes

First time I played the course I thought it to be the best of the courses at Pebble Beach. The last time I played it will be ranked as number one of all the course. While Pebble had the views and name, and a definite bucket list. Spyglass Hill has the best layout, challenge and different shot requirements.

Conditions Excellent
Value Excellent
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Somewhat Challenging
Played On
Reviews 84
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 100 Contributor
San Francisco Advisor
First Time Playing

A Bucketlist Must

First off I'll address the issues of tough greens and cart path only comments others talked about. The greens are firm and fast just like ALL top notch golf courses. I found them easier than Black Horse down the road. Courses in the Pebble area are designed to be walked not ridden (the exception is MPCC). By keeping carts off the fairways it helps keep the course in pristine condition.

Yes holes 1-5 steal the show! Think of Spyglass as part Pebble and part Poppy Hills. Even though the back 9 is in the forest the holes still offer plenty of fun elevation challenges with some water hazards thrown in for beauty.

Pace of play at courses like this are designed to be in the 4.5-5 hour range so plan for it and bring your camera. You'll want to take plenty of pictures

Clubhouse could use a remodel.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Layout Excellent
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Average
Played On
Reviews 2
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Walked

Punched Greens - No Notice

Terrible! The course punched the greens the day before our round. No notice, no warnings, no apologizes.... absolutely shocking...

I had a client fly in from the East Coast for a golf trip, we scheduled 4+ months in advance... my client walked off the course after the 9th hole and they would even refund his round....!!

Save your $2k and play a course where the staff has the same etiquette you'd expect from a playing partner....

BTW, the back nine is as bland as a loaf of generic white bread...

Conditions Poor
Value Poor
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Poor
Difficulty Moderate
Played On
Reviews 15
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Tough, tough, tough

The front 9 is spectacular and made for picture taking. The back 9 felt like a mountain course. Some holes on the back 9 looked like Augusta and some looked like the best courses in Lake Tahoe. The condition was excellent.

All of that said, no way I would ever come back to play this course again. As pretty as that front 9 was, it simply wasn't fun to play overall. Brutal elevated greens on virtually every hole. I was surprised too because RTJ is one of my favorite course designers. Paying $400 for punishment is not my idea of a fine investment. Additionally, they charged me $80 for a cart that I shared with my wife (who did not play). Only when I was at the first tee I was told that it was cart-path only (not good). If you have an extra $500 go play Pebble. That is difficult too but at least you'll enjoy yourself.

Conditions Excellent
Value Fair
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
Played On
Reviews 7
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather
Used cart

Tough Challenge but Worth it

Leave your ego in the car and embrace the challenge. Toughest course you can play in Pebble Beach. The whole course is a visual treat but intimidating. Awesome Greens, fun challenge

Conditions Excellent
Value Good
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Good
Difficulty Extremely Challenging
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