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May 6, 2009

Play the Improved Pebble Beach Golf Links a Full Year Before the Pros Play It in the U.S. Open Championship

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

The 2010 U.S. Open Championship will mark the fifth time that the storied course at Pebble Beach, Calif., has hosted this prestigious event. Opened in 1919 and designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted ten previous USGA championships, including Tiger Woods’ 15-stroke victory in 2000; Jack Nicklaus in 1972; Tom Watson in 1982; and Tom Kite in 1992. With a number of improvements to the course, Pebble Beach is poised to host another legendary tournament next June 14-20.

The primary purpose for the improvements was to maintain Pebble Beach’s historic shot value in light of the increased length exhibited by today’s players. Some of the most dramatic changes occurred on the 6th and 18th holes, where the ocean was brought more into play through the strategic placement of bunkers and Cypress trees. At the 6th, the large fairway bunker at the lower landing area was replaced with five new bunkers that shift the landing area to the right towards the ocean. On 18, arguably the greatest finishing hole in golf, two Cypress trees and a fairway bunker were added in the landing area to force longer hitters to aim left towards the Pacific. In total, four greens and 16 bunkers were altered, 11 tees were enhanced, and the total length of the courses was extended by 166 yards to total 7,014 yards.

While the pros have until next June to prepare for their rounds on the improved course at Pebble Beach, visitors can play it now. The property just unveiled an “Ultimate Pebble Beach Golf Experience,” which includes three nights at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, one round of golf each on Pebble Beach Golf Links, The Links at Spanish Bay and Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and a $100 retail credit. The Experience costs $3,425 for single golfers and $4,485 for double golfers, and is valid through March 31, 2010.

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