After a dream round at the magnificent Pebble Beach Golf Links, it was hard to imagine another course living up to the task of following the famed layout. While we had planned to tee it up at Spyglass Hill Golf Course for our second and final round at the Pebble Beach Resort, recently aerated greens left us booking a mid-morning round at The Links at Spanish Bay. We did not know much about the course and hoped it would live up to the lofty standard set by Pebble Beach Golf Links.
The opening hole is a friendly, 500-yard straightaway par 5 that points directly toward the Pacific Ocean. Assuming you can maintain your focus amidst the beautiful views, it’s a great opportunity to start the round in red figures.
Although The Links at Spanish Bay may lack the dramatic cliff drop-offs that are unique to Pebble Beach Golf Links, the layout provides a great variety of golf holes with spectacular views of their own. Keep your cameras ready from the onset of the round as the majority of the front nine makes its way along the beaches of the Pacific Coast. At several points during the round, you may find yourself so close to the beaches that you’re tempted to roll out the beach towel and catch some rays!
Making the turn, the course takes a break from the classic links-style feel in favor of tree-lined fairways as holes 10-13 wind their way through the forest away from the coastline. These holes provide a nice contrast to the front nine and latter holes on the back, and ultimately make this course a unique and interesting layout.
A few of my favorite holes were the par 5 first and tenth holes, which offer very different layouts but provide golfers with a great opportunity for a birdie assuming the drive finds the short grass. Another great hole is the 158-yard par three eighth that is nestled a mere twenty yards from the beach and challenges golfers with a narrow, muli-tiered green. Lastly, the elevated tee box and fairway on the 576-yard par 5 fourteenth hole again offers a fantastic view of the Pacific, and requires a precise approach shot to another narrow and undulating green.
Just as we had experienced at Pebble Beach Golf Links, the staff at The Links at Spanish Bay were extremely accommodative and ultra friendly, adding to the great experience. After the round, be sure to head to Traps restaurant to enjoy the panoramic views and delicious food in a laid-back atmosphere. As the sun sets over the horizon and the Scottish bag-piper closes the course in Scottish tradition, you are certain to realize you’ve fallen in love with The Links at Spanish Bay, too.