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4.9
16 Reviews (16)
5 Stars
12
4 Stars
3
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
1
Conditions
4.9
Value
4.1
Layout
5.0
Friendliness
4.9
Pace
4.3
Amenities
4.5
98.7%
Recommend this course
15 out of 16 reviews
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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
4.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
2 out of 2 reviews
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5.0
3 Reviews (3)
5 Stars
3
4 Stars
0
3 Stars
0
2 Stars
0
1 Stars
0
Conditions
5.0
Value
4.0
Layout
5.0
Pace
4.0
StaffFriendliness
5.0
100.0%
Recommend this course
3 out of 3 reviews
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About

Holes 18
Type Resort
Par 72
Length 6960 yards
Slope 144
Rating 75.5

"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.

Tee Par Length Rating Slope
Blue 72 6960 yards 75.5 144
Gold 72 6538 yards 73.8 140
White 72 6123 yards 72.2 132
Red (W) 73 5381 yards 72.6 130
Scorecard for Spyglass Hill
Metrics:
Hole 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Out 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 In Total
Blue M: 75.5/144 595 349 172 370 197 446 529 399 431 3488 407 528 178 460 560 130 476 325 408 3472 6960
Gold M: 73.8/140 564 321 150 358 169 413 513 375 414 3277 377 491 160 435 525 120 454 312 387 3261 6538
White M: 72.2/132 W: 76.5/138 529 293 125 345 134 379 480 354 394 3033 366 463 145 398 514 98 440 301 365 3090 6123
Red M: 68.9/126 W: 72.6/130 487 242 90 299 89 327 464 305 349 2652 316 419 96 324 481 84 411 266 332 2729 5381
Handicap 3 13 17 9 15 7 11 1 5 12 10 16 4 6 18 2 14 8
Par 5 4 3 4 3 4 5 4 4 36 4 5 3 4 5 3 4 4 4 36 72
Handicap (W) 1 13 17 11 15 7 3 9 5 10 4 18 8 2 16 6 14 12

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
Clubs Yes
Pull-carts Yes

Practice/Instruction

Driving Range Yes
Caddies Yes
Golf School Academy Yes - "Pebble Beach Golf Academy"
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

Best of Lists

  • Golf Advisor: Top Courses in California (2018 #6) (2017 #12)
  • Golf Advisor: Top 25 Off-course amenities in the U.S. (2017 #3)
  • 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

4.9
16 Reviews (16)
Advanced Filters
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Recommended
Handicap
Age
Type of Golfer
Gender
Played On
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
Played On
Handicap 15-19
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

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
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Perfect weather

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.

Played On
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
Played On
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

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
Played On
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
Played On
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
Played On
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
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Previously Played
Perfect weather

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
Played On
Handicap 10-14
Skill Intermediate
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
San Francisco Advisor
Top 50 Contributor
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
Handicap 5-9
Skill Intermediate
Plays Once a week
1.0
First Time Playing
Excellent weather

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
Played On
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
Played On
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
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays Once a month
I Recommend This Course
5.0
First Time Playing
Used cart

More Pines than Ocean

The 1st 5 holes are some of the best you'll ever play. Unfortunately, the course is rather forgettable from that point in. Not that it's a bad course (cuz it's FAR from that), it just opens so strong, there's nowhere to go from there.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Good
Amenities Excellent
Played On
Handicap 5-9
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
4.0
Top 10 Contributor
Previously Played
Excellent weather

Spyglass Hill - Treasure the experience

If you can't get on or afford Pebble Beach, try to get out to Spyglass Hill (Legend has it that Robert Louis Stevenson roamed these hills and sandy dunes of Pebble Beach for inspiration while writing his classic 'Treasure Island.') While nothing can duplicate the topography of Pebble, Spyglass is a pretty good consolation with some pretty good ocean views of its own on the front nine. And even though the back nine is inland, it's pretty special in its own right. Designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., the course got a much-needed renovation a few years ago, drastically improving drainage and the speed of the fairways.

Conditions Good
Value Good
Friendliness Good
Pace Good
Amenities Good
Played On
Handicap 0-4
Skill Advanced
Plays A few times a week
I Recommend This Course
5.0
Golf Channel
Previously Played
Excellent weather

Masterpiece

In the two AT&T's I was able to play in back in the early 90's, I found Spyglass to be one of the top 2 or 3 designs that I've ever seen. Granted, if you're planning a trip to the Monterey Peninsula, you're first choice is likely to be Pebble Beach. However, if you have the time and the resources, so yourself a favor and play Spyglass...you'll be very glad you did.

While it's not exactly oceanside, the views on the first 4 holes are stunning. But more than that, it has 18 holes that you will remember for as long as your able to not hide your own Easter eggs. Spyglass is old-school, traditional, challenging golf at its finest. Small greens that are typically in excellent shape, sloping fairways, swirling breezes, and a timeless design will keep you on your toes the entire time.

One word of advice: leave the rangefinder in the bag and play it by feel. The approach shots almost always play longer than the yardage, and you can't afford to be off by much.

Conditions Excellent
Value Average
Friendliness Excellent
Pace Excellent
Amenities Excellent
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