Pebble Beach Vacation
Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:49 PM
- For one of the Pebble rounds I took a caddie (wife went to the spa), for the other I took cart (wife played with me). I really enjoyed both rounds, but I think I enjoyed walking with the caddie more. (that's not a dig on the wife, just that I recommend the caddie)
- When I played Spyglass we took cart, and my wife rode along and took pictures (didn't play).
- If I could do it all over again, I'd play Spyglass twice and Pebble once
- If you can afford the caddie for all your rounds, I say why not? I would at least get one for Pebble.
We ate at the restaurant right at the main Pebble Beach lodge, which was very nice (the name escapes me at the moment). Also made sure to have lunch in The Tap Room. We also headed over to Clint Eastwood's old restaurant called The Hog's Breath Inn in Carmel.
As for other activities, there's plenty of hiking nearby (we did Point Lobos). We also really enjoyed sitting out by the firepits at Spanish Bay and watching the sun set over the ocean.
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Posted 15 May 2018 - 03:59 PM
1. Definitely walk Pebble, take a caddie and hope you get a good one. The other two, most will get carts, so I'd just do that. They are not Pebble/Pinehurst #2/Old Course, they're just resort courses so I don't think you are really missing anything by not walking them.
While you are there, if you could fit in Poppy Hills that'd be cool. I'd put it above Spy and Spanish and that's a good course to walk also.
2. Drive down to Big Sur and back, stop at a few beaches/trails along the way, as mentioned above Point Lobos park is right there.
3. Passionfish in Pacific Grove. Bistro Moulin in Monterey.
Edited by duffer987, 15 May 2018 - 04:00 PM.
Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:52 PM
Be prepared that the caddie will double bag with your buddy; solo caddies just don't really happen there unless you're playing as a single. But they're very good at it and you'll still get plenty of special attention. It also helps increase the odds of getting a more experienced caddie, as they tend to assign the more junior ones to people playing as a single. Once I stopped by the pro shop the day before my round and asked if they could do me the favor of getting me an older, grizzled caddie, like someone right out of central casting. The guy behind the desk laughed and said he knew exactly what I meant, and sure enough the next day had an older guy who was outstanding, with a great sarcastic sense of humor, excellent knowledge of the course, and fun stories about past players and residents.
Spyglass is fairly hilly, but I'd also walk it, and taking a caddie is nice but not really needed. If you don't mind the cost, it certainly makes the round easier and adds to the special feel. Again, if you take a cart you end up walking almost as much anyway. Another reason I'd walk Spy is that to me, it is the most sensuous courses I've ever played, and walking only enhances that feeling, especially if you're lucky and the sun is out. The way the shadows dance across the fairways, combined with the ever-present smell of the sea air, the sounds of sea lions barking in the distance and the wind whispering through the trees, birds chirping everywhere, the sight of deer bounding across a fairway, and the constant feeling of slight slopes under your feet as you walk...they all combine to engage all your senses, not just those focused on golf. Spy is truly magical in the late afternoon when the light is getting golden and the shadows long.
I don't care much for Spanish Bay, but some love it. To me it tries too hard to be like a British Isles links course but misses the mark, and doesn't have the greens typical of a links design, so you want to play like a links course but it really requires a more typical American hit-it-high type of game. If you do play there, I wouldn't bother with a caddie. Not much hidden there, and it makes a good warm up round. Speaking of warm up, Spanish Bay doesn't have its own range, so you need to go up the hill to Spyglass which is closest to use their range first if you need it.
I like Poppy, both before and after the remodel, but I wouldn't place it above Spyglass. The course design and conditioning is nice, but I just like Spy a little better, especially because of its sensuous nature (more so than Poppy). Poppy is fully up in the forest and is lovely, but doesn't have views. While much of Spy is also in the forest, the first holes wander down the hill towards the water, then back up the hill into the trees, offering more design variety and different flow through the round.
If you're staying at either the Inn or the Lodge, they have handy shuttle that runs between the properties. It's nice to go to one of the other restaurants and enjoy adult beverages without having to worry about driving back on the twisty roads in the dark. One can also take a shuttle into Carmel which is nice for the wives if they don't want to deal with Carmel's notorious parking problems. And although the shuttle is convenient, I always use my own car to get around for golf as parking is plentiful at all the courses. First time I played Spanish Bay I warmed up at the range at Spyglass and then had to wait 15 minute for the shuttle back, which kind of negated the purpose of the warm up.
For food at the resorts, Tap Room is fun for the history and it's often a good spot to run into a celeb or two. One time I was there I ran into Condoleezza Rice while walking in and Roger Maltby was holding court at a big table in the middle, going through a bunch of wine bottles with a few couples (and all the wives were stunning). The food there is good but not spectacular, and I'd do it for lunch but wouldn't bother with dinner there. They do have a very proper, well stocked bar, though. Stillwater has pretty good food, and is nice upscale spot for dining if you don't want to into Carmel or Monterey. The Bench at the Lodge has become "the" spot for casual fare and drinks after a round at Pebble, served outside overlooking the 18th green. Over at the Inn at Spanish Bay, Roy's has pretty good Asian fusion food, but Roy's is a pretty big chain so if you're familiar with them on Hawaii or other locations it isn't that different. Peppoli's has very good Italian food, but the two times I've been there the service has been lacking.
I also like Passionfish. For other dining, I'd highly recommend Casanova in Carmel. It's one of our favorite restaurants anywhere. If you're into wine, ask the sommelier if you can get a tour of their cellar, and if he isn't too busy he'll gladly take you down. It was hand dug over years under the restaurant, extremely well stocked, and just feels like one of most interesting cellars you'll ever visit. The food is casual French, really good, with outstanding service (at least it has been every time I've been), and the interior is very quaint and romantic. Another nice thing is they have a large selection of very good wine half bottles, so it is easy to come up with interesting wine pairings for every course.
And I completely agree with the prior posts about driving around Big Sur and going to Point Lobos. Stunning scenery. Absolutely stunning. A nice lunch destination a bit over an hour south of Pebble in Big Sur is Sierra Mar, the restaurant at the Post Ranch Inn. Outstanding place, perched up high on the bluffs with amazing views of the coast line. Makes for a nice excursion to leisurely drive down the coast, stopping a few times to enjoy the sights, the relax with great food at the Post Ranch Inn, and either go further south or just return. I've always wanted to stay there, but at well over $1000 a night for a room that's never going to happen, but it's neat to eat there and experience a bit of it. Nepenthe is also a good lunch place, not quite as dramatic setting, and the food is pretty good but not up to the Post Ranch. But it is sort of a quintessential Big Sur experience, sort of bohemian, new age and quirky, with an interesting shop next door.
Damn, man, just typing this stuff has me wanting to get back there right away!!!
Edited by Clambake, 15 May 2018 - 07:50 PM.
Posted 15 May 2018 - 06:53 PM
Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:25 PM
Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:44 PM
Posted 15 May 2018 - 08:52 PM
As far as food, THE WHALING STATION in Monterey is awesome!!! My wife and I got married at Pebble back in 2011, and every time we go back this place is a must. A little pricey, but definitely worth it.
Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:14 PM
You can take a pic of Clint Eastwood's old place, The Hog's Breath Inn. He now hangs out at Mission Ranch in Carmel. Nice place to eat and have drinks. Not uncommon for him to stroll in and hang out with people. If you have an extra day, explore Big Sur and Point Lobos Reserve. We like to drive into PLR and go to the extreme far left and park you car at the last parking lot on the left. There are hiking trails to China Beach ((stairs were damaged so access might be blocked off) and Gibson Beach. A really nice "private" feeling walking on Gibson Beach. Very NorCal. Now on to Big Sur. Absolutely my fave in the state. Lunch at Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn is exceptional as Clambake said. Nepenthe is nice for drinks and a lot more casual. I also love Big Sur Bakery for coffee and pastries. Nice quaint place. The Big Sur Roadhouse Grill is a couple years old so fairly new but a great place for good eats.
Try to go to Pfeiffer Beach. An amazing beach with areas of purple sand. And a rock with a square doorway in it due to the pounding surf. Just getting there is an adventure. It's unmarked off HWY 1 but just go to yelp and you'll find out the markers to get to the beach. I love Big Sur!!
Posted 15 May 2018 - 11:29 PM
This picture is not of the rock at Pfeiffer Beach but it is very similar. This is at a beach in Santa Cruz. I'll try to post more pics of Big Sur and Pfeiffer Beach later. It's on my other phone and I'll try to post them here
Posted 16 May 2018 - 07:44 AM
Can't wait to get there!
Posted 16 May 2018 - 08:52 AM
Edited by RSinSG, 16 May 2018 - 08:53 AM.
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Posted 16 May 2018 - 10:57 AM
Edited by aloha b., 16 May 2018 - 11:06 AM.
Posted 16 May 2018 - 11:29 AM
For those of you that are going to Pebble in the future and if there's at least two golfing you may want to consider joining Duke's Club through Del Monte Golf Course for $360 per year.
Normal price for Spyglass is $395 and Duke's price is $225, Spanish Bay is $290 and Duke's price is $165 and the normal price for 2 = $1,370 for normal price and Duke's price for two would be $940 a savings of $430. The only thing is that you can only make a reservation 30 days in advance. With Duke's you also get a free round at Del Monte for you and a guest, 25% off of merchandise at Del Monte Golf Course including custom orders for golf equipment, 20% off at Pebble Beach property restaurants including drinks up to 8 people. Twice a year there's a Duke's Club special which usually includes Pebble Beach golf for ~ $385 and Spyglass and Spanish Bay with rates cheaper than the normal Duke's Club prices.
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