Spanish Bay doesn't get the accolades of its world famous Monterey Peninsula siblings but make sure to include this fun coastal course in your Monterey golf trip. Another benefit of Spanish Bay compared to other Monterey Peninsula courses is its less expensive and easier to secure desirable tee-times.
Spanish Bay Links is a links course (duh!) set along the ocean in natural sand dunes with firm conditions. The primary course architect was Robert Trent Jones, Jr. who also received guidance from Tom Watson and Frank "Sandy" Tatum. The course opened in 1987 becoming the 4th 18 hole course of the Pebble Beach Golf Company in Monterey Peninsula.
Come prepared knowing there is only a small chipping and putting practice area so you won't be able to fine tune the entire game on a range. You will also likely be teeing off in front of an audience enjoying a beverage or waiting in the queue. The first hole is a par five that although it is reachable in 2 (risk/reward type of shot required) a 3 shot strategy will still give you a good chance to birdie since the 3rd shot approach should be quite short with easy angle into green. So what I am getting at is you can take a nice easy swing off hole 1 tee (driver not even required) to quickly alleviate any anxiety and still give yourself a good chance to score.
The track was a ton of fun, challenging but not difficult with a great variety of hole layouts. To score you need the ability position your ball, and hit clean shots off tight and undulated lies. Other beneficial areas to practice up before playing include wind shots and heavy slope putting. While the green complexes have some significant contours they play true and aren't wicked fast with harsh penalties for getting above the pin.
The course was in great shape and well manicured with pure tight fairways, fringes and greens, and admirable bunkering. Its primary defenses are weather (wind and rain), steep and undulated green complexes, and a few longer carries over environmental obstacles and wetlands.
Its not a long course with significant elevation changes so walking is recommended and will enhance taking in the fabulous scenery, coastal holes and lively wetlands.
A caddie is recommended as there are a few holes with concealed and deceptive shot lines, and the greens will require sharp reads for approaches and putting. Our caddie and the staff were professional, friendly, enjoyable helping boost the overall experience.
Our final word on Spanish Bay is its truly an enjoyable round of fun and challenging golf with exceptional views and oceanfront holes. Stick around in the evening for the bagpiper as an extra bonus.
GO BIG HOLES
1, 3, 5, 10, 14, 15, 18
ON THE LINKS