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Spyglass Hill - Victim of course routing?


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#1 chrisp

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 03:36 PM

Backing in Sept 2017 I got to play Spyglass Hill while staying with friends in Monterrey.  Many Wrxer's gave me advice on the courses and places in that area to which I am grateful.

I did not get onto Pebble due to no openings for single walk-ons (I tried calling in the morning before every day when the phones lined opened).
Some locals told me I was better off playing Spyglass.

No problem getting on Spyglass on what a course it was (is).  That course is a test!  The inland holes were great.                                                       Course plays much longer than its yardage.

After finishing I went in the club house and was asked by one of the employees what I thought of the course.

I told him it is an awesome course and that I believe the issue why people don't hear more about Spyglass in the media/press is due to the course routing and that if they finished on the seaside holes it would be more popular.


He stated that many people have made the same remark and that ownership has expressed interest in a re-route.



What do you all think?


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#2 Pepe8714

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 10:05 PM

I agree 100%. Having played tournaments starting on hole 10 there, is the way to go

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#3 raynorfan1

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 10:14 PM

I don't think it's the routing, per se, that holds Spyglass back (but let's be reasonable - it's pretty highly regarded as a top 15 "you can play" course).

The bigger issue is that for raters knocking out the Peninsula, every score you give it has to make sense in the context of Cypress, Pebble and MPCC. Couple that with the fact that you almost certainly shot your worst score (of the four) at Spyglass...and it doesn't get as high a rating as it might in isolation from the other three.

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#4 leftyDH04

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Posted 04 November 2018 - 11:12 PM

It's a classic just the way it is.  Both Spyglass and Poppy have a lot of elevation change.  They're difficult golf courses.  But, MP is a Mecca and they're part of the reason.

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#5 krtgolfing

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:58 AM

Don't really know how much higher it would go with a re-route. It is already a top 15 public course in America.

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#6 duffer987

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 10:54 AM

It's a victim of course routing in as much as it's largely an endless slog of up and down holes, requiring one aerial shot after the next, once you get past the first 4 holes, which are indeed really neat, especially #4.
Reverse the 9s and those just become 10-13, yes it gets it later in the round, but it doesn't erase the other 14 holes.

IMHO it's overrated as it is and has been dragged UP the rankings due to the neighbourhood it's in.

Edited by duffer987, 05 November 2018 - 11:12 AM.


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#7 Argonne69

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 11:10 AM

For such a highly rated course, the 17th and 18th have to be the biggest yawners for closing holes I've played. Zero wow.

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#8 chrisp

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Posted 05 November 2018 - 06:37 PM

Interesting responses.

Before returning to Houston, my friends and I went out to a place called Monterey's Fish House.  
Maybe the best restaurant I went to in Monterey IMOP.
(2nd place for me was Compagno's Market and Deli.)

While seated at the bar, a few locals chatted up with me about where I had played.
I mentioned Del Monte, Bayonet, Naval Course, Poppy Hills, & Spyglass to which they said Spyglass was the best public course in the area.

I told them that I was not able to get on Pebble to which they said I only missed out on a 6 hour plus round for $500.  Interesting comment.
One of them said "hole #18 at Pebble has done wonders for that course as it is great finishing hole."

People usually remember the last hole and #18 at Spyglass is forgettable as a finishing hole.


With Spyglass, i can only imagine if #4 or #6 was #18.

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#9 North Texas

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:41 AM

View Postduffer987, on 05 November 2018 - 10:54 AM, said:

It's a victim of course routing in as much as it's largely an endless slog of up and down holes, requiring one aerial shot after the next, once you get past the first 4 holes, which are indeed really neat, especially #4.
Reverse the 9s and those just become 10-13, yes it gets it later in the round, but it doesn't erase the other 14 holes.

IMHO it's overrated as it is and has been dragged UP the rankings due to the neighbourhood it's in.

Pretty much my experience playing it as well. A very unmemorable course after the first 4 holes.

We paid only $115 more to play Pebble and it was well worth it. Not even a comparison between the two for what it cost.

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#10 WestCoastHacker

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 01:35 PM

Could you start play on number 7, ending on current number 6?  Six green and seven tee are proximate(ish) to the pro shop being at the end of the driving range.  The flow would actually work well.  Hit your bag of range balls, then get a cart around the range to the new first tee (old 7).

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#11 RSinSG

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Posted 06 November 2018 - 09:38 PM

I played it and Pebble this summer. Pebble was a bucket list epic round that was amazing. Spyglass is definitely not on the same level, but I really enjoyed the round. On most holes we had deer grazing nearby, the tall trees bordered several holes, and in general it is as one of the better public courses I’ve played.
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#12 Jackhammer993

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 01:42 AM

The 18th is the worst hole on the course. The 17th is a fun hole to watch the pros play as some can go for the green. I prefer Pasatiempo over Spyglass but not by a wide margin. Pasatiempo has the 17th hole which is as uninspiring as Spyglassís 18th. Iím also fine with the overall routing of Spyglass, no changes needed.

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#13 callawayjay

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 04:46 PM

With minimal work you could make 7 hole 1 to finish on 6. The thing I would love to see is the pga of America hold a pga championship there sh but that would never happen with pebble beach holding the reigns.

Edited by callawayjay, 07 November 2018 - 04:47 PM.


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#14 dlygrisse

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 05:25 PM

It's a great course, but it's not perfect.  The 11th through the 16th holes at Pebble are a bit of a let down for example.  I hear the 18th at Cypress is the worst hole on the course.....I guess when you have a seaside course and the 18th heads back inland it's never going to live up to the seaside holes.  PB is the exception with the 18th along the cliffs.  

I still regard Spyglass one of the best courses I have ever played, I shot a pretty good score there as well, it REALLY helps if you don't play it too far back cause it plays long.  

If y'all ever get a chance to play it, it's a great round of golf you will never forget, I probably wouldn't pay out of my own pocket to play it again at full price, but it's a really fun round of golf.
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#15 leftyDH04

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 05:32 PM

I don't buy that the seaside holes have to be at the end of the round.  If by the end of a round of golf you can't remember the first four holes, that's a problem in itself.  Spyglass is a tough layout on a great piece of land.  But, like Pebble Beach, it's *just* a golf course.  Enjoy it for what it's worth.  Great golf in a spectacular location.  Sublime.


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#16 bogey_bakes

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Posted 07 November 2018 - 05:54 PM

View Postduffer987, on 05 November 2018 - 10:54 AM, said:

It's a victim of course routing in as much as it's largely an endless slog of up and down holes, requiring one aerial shot after the next, once you get past the first 4 holes, which are indeed really neat, especially #4.
Reverse the 9s and those just become 10-13, yes it gets it later in the round, but it doesn't erase the other 14 holes.

IMHO it's overrated as it is and has been dragged UP the rankings due to the neighbourhood it's in.

Those are valid thoughts.  I disagree, though.  I always think of it as a few holes at the beginning that are about atmosphere, and then beginning at 5/6 the gloves come off.  It is a serious mental and physical battle if you want to score well, and it is just pure golf.

Also, the par 3's on the back 9 are visually awesome.

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#17 Santiago Golf

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Posted 12 November 2018 - 10:48 AM

Id love to see a major be played a Spyglass. Poppy would be cool to, but you cannot fit crowds out there.
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#18 Roody

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 11:51 AM

I've played both Pebble and Spyglass, and I gotta say I enjoyed Spyglass better than Pebble. Not that you can go wrong with either. If I ever get back there, I'm planning on playing Spyglass at least twice.
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#19 Tap-in Fore Eagle

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Posted 13 November 2018 - 04:03 PM

I played both Spyglass and Pebble two weeks ago. While Pebble is my new #1 course, I was really impressed by Spyglass and it is just outside my top 10. I can't believe it doesn't get ranked in the top 100 in the world. The first 5 holes are spectacular and I was expecting the course to drop off after that stretch, but it holds its own. It has a great mix of uphill/downhill holes, left and right dog legs, interesting par 5's, great par 3's, every par 4 has a different feel and conditions were top notch. It's definitely a tough course though.
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#20 Seth Pistol

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Posted 15 November 2018 - 03:16 PM

i might get flamed for this comment but i think spyglass is overrated.  i much prefer spanish bay.  but then again, when im out there, i want ocean courses where i can see the ocean on most of the holes (a la Pebble, Half Moon Bay, Links at Bodega, etc).

Edited by Seth Pistol, 27 November 2018 - 08:52 AM.


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#21 teeituphigh

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 06:17 PM

Is Spyglass not the best collection of Par 3s anywhere?
3 - amazing view, short enough when there is no wind
5 - how cool is the green complex. I had a RH pin which tough
12 - time to man up and hit the shot!
15 - just a fun par three. Short and looks easy with a short iron in your hand but make sure your decision doesn't change on your down swing!

Im a fan of shorter rather than longer par 3s so these were fun to play.

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#22 aloha b.

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 06:53 PM

View Postteeituphigh, on 25 November 2018 - 06:17 PM, said:

Is Spyglass not the best collection of Par 3s anywhere?
3 - amazing view, short enough when there is no wind
5 - how cool is the green complex. I had a RH pin which tough
12 - time to man up and hit the shot!
15 - just a fun par three. Short and looks easy with a short iron in your hand but make sure your decision doesn't change on your down swing!

Im a fan of shorter rather than longer par 3s so these were fun to play.

I'm probably in the minority that doesn't mind it as is and I also like the par 3's.

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#23 AC168

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 11:32 PM

I think flipping the nines would help a lot but making the now back nine more interesting would help more.

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#24 ArtMBgolf

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Posted 25 November 2018 - 11:42 PM

When talking about other courses, I do see guys rate a course with 2 great finishing holes higher than a course with a lot more
good holes, so good/scenic final holes to impact what some golfers think.

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