I had the good fortune to play all three of the courses used in the rotation for this week’s AT&T tournament, so I thought I’d just take a second to highlight those reviews.
I’ll say this — regardless of the proponents for Spyglass, there’s no way it is a better course than Pebble Beach, with or without the ocean. The holes at Pebble simply offer more variety. Spyglass opens with some great holes but feels like a slog of long par fours once you get past the first five holes. Monterey Peninsula, on the other hand, is wide and intriguing and offers a fascinating perspective on Mike Strantz, the late architect who revamped it. I interviewed Strantz about a year before his death after a long battle with cancer. That interview is here.
Frankly, Monterey is a lot of fun to play and has some great views of the ocean, but it can’t touch Pebble. It is fun to play and I understand why the pros would enjoy it more than Poppy Hills, but it can’t rival the greatness of Pebble Beach. However, it is a great example of making an interesting course on relatively flat land.