How Can I Play Pebble Beach?

The California course is regarded as one of the most beautiful in the world, but how can you play it?

The eighth green at Pebble Beach
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Pebble Beach barely needs any introduction for fans of the game. The course has long been a fixture on the PGA Tour with the ever-popular Pebble Beach Pro-Am, where some of the world's best players compete alongside amateurs and celebrities.

It's also hosted one PGA Championship, in 1977, and six US Opens, most recently in 2019 when Gary Woodland beat Brooks Koepka to the title. Other iconic moments in the Major at the course include Tom Watson's stunning chip-in in 1982 and Tiger Woods' record-breaking 2000 triumph in the tournament where he won by 15 shots. 

Its association with the US Open is guaranteed to continue for some time, too - the course has been confirmed as host of the tournament four more times by 2044, while it was also the venue for the 2023 US Women's Open.

While that exposure has helped make Pebble Beach one of the most recognisable courses in the world, its undeniable beauty has plenty to do with it too. Situated on California’s Monterey Peninsula and overlooking the Pacific’s rugged Carmel Bay, it offers tricky holes defined by predominantly tiny greens. Meanwhile, when the wind's blowing in from the Pacific, it can play havoc with tee shots. Even if the course proves too challenging though, there's at least the consolation of frequently stunning views over the ocean.

All these factors combine to ensure Pebble Beach is one of the best golf courses in California - even on earth. It was nearly a very different story, though. The course opened in 1919 but only after the land had been earmarked for housing before a change of heart led to its development. Even then, it wasn't particularly loved until several improvements were made over the ensuing decade.

The shortest hole on the course is the par 3 seventh at just 106 yards. Don't get fooled into thinking it's easy though - if a gale's blowing, you'll do very well to get your tee shot anywhere near the hole

The green on the seventh hole at Pebble Beach

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Holes eight, nine and 10 offer an incredible challenge, too. The first of those features an approach over the cliffs to a sloped green. Meanwhile, the ninth and 10th  each have fairways sloping towards the Pacific with greens guarded by bunkers. Finally, the par 5 18th is one of the most famous holes in golf with the ocean all the way along the left tempting tee shots over it to reach the fairway.

The green on the 18th at Pebble Beach

(Image credit: Getty Images)

But how can you play it? Despite its stellar reputation, playing a round at Pebble Beach is straightforward as it is open to the public. The easiest way to reserve a tee time is to book a stay at Pebble Beach Resorts. You can book a slot up to 18 months in advance if you’re staying at The Lodge at Pebble Beach or The Inn at Spanish Bay. Another option is to book a room at the resort’s Casa Palmero hotel, which allows you to reserve your slot 12 months in advance. The resort recommends you reserve your tee time at the same time you’re booking your stay.

If staying at the resort is out of the question, you can still reserve a tee time. However, you’ll be taking a chance on availability as you can only reserve your slot 24 hours in advance. In particular, open slots for any more than one player are likely to be a rarity so close to your round.

Not surprisingly, green fees aren’t cheap. If you’re a guest at the resort, they’re between $595 and $625. For non-guests, the fee is the same, but there’s an additional cart fee of $50. If you plan to stay at one of Pebble Beach’s resorts, it’s also not for the budget-restricted, with rates ranging from $920 to $8590 per night.

You can make a reservation inquiry to stay at the resort via the Pebble Beach website or over the phone. If you’re not staying at the resort, phone them to book a tee time.  

Pebble Beach is located on Monterrey Peninsula, California around 2hrs drive south from San Francisco and 1hr 30mins from San Jose.

Is Pebble Beach Open To The Public?

Yes. Unlike many famous US courses, Pebble Beach is open to the public. You can either play the course as a guest of the resort. Otherwise you can book a slot within 24 hours of your tee time.

How Much Does It Cost To Play Pebble Beach?

The cost to play in 2023 is between $595 and $625 with resort guests avoiding the cart fee. If you wish to play as a non-guest, you'll need to pay an additional $50 for the cart.

Why Is Pebble Beach So Famous?

Pebble Beach is one of the best-known courses in the world, renowned for its stunning links location. It has hosted six US Opens and one PGA Championship. Meanwhile, it also hosts the PGA Tour's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.