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« "I'm probably 15 yards longer than I was when I came onto the tour in 1996, and that's a result of the equipment and the ball and the fact that my swing has gotten better." | Main | "Women's Open mystery" »
Wednesday
Jun232010

Pebble's Double Fairway 9th Could Be Restored!

I understand if you have Pebble Beach fatigue by now, but come on, it beats talking about the Traveler's Championship, no?

Anyway, for years I've been told by Pebble Beach Company folks that the old alternate fairway on the 9th fairway, created by Chandler Egan in the 1928 redo along with a shift of the 9th green toward the cliffs, was not possible because of cliff erosion.

Last week I wandered over to the now abandoned fairway and of course, there is plenty of space for the fairway and it provides the optimum angle to attack hole locations cut behind the gaping left bunker.

So for starters, here is a drawing of the hole that appeared in the 1929 National Greenkeeper:

And here is a view of the righthand fairway from the 8th hole:


And the view as you first walk down this now-abandoned stretch of pricey real estate:

And the view of the second shot from the right, a great angle to approach from:

 Finally, the fairway view:

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Reader Comments (14)

Let's fill in the beach and sea-wall it for added width!

Let's see some green restoration first?
06.24.2010 | Unregistered Commenterthe real redanman
I think there is no point in discussing such changes.

I Pebble had not been killed by not watering it for 3 weeks, we would have had a very good tournament and no one would think this is an inadequate course. Put the greens on 11, and maybe let the players play real golf and only shoot-and-hope golf!
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBule
Of all the commentary on pb this week I think this is the one that strikes me the most, the "oh is that why I have never understood this hole" moment. In the more than 10 competitive rounds I have played there I have never been able to been able to pick out why I have felt that 9 was out of character with the rest of the course, just kind of boring straight and long.

Now I get it, the challenge of finding the waters edge for the benefit of the cliff angle would make the tee shot a great and fun test.

All I can add is that I hope the folks at PB continue to listen to people like Geoff and other authorities in the minimalist cause and consider these pictures and drawings as a call to action.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterDrew Sanders
Geoff, What would it take to restore this feature? Is it just a matter of cutting the rough down to fairway height. That seems easy enough.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterRM
@Drew.. the only problem is that if IMO Arnie doesn't come up the "idea" of doing something like this on 10 nobody else (course architect) has a prayer of seeing it done.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
I wonder if a good player would take this route or just go to the left, sort of like the 8th at Riviera which doesn't seem to get much play on both fairways.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered Commentertlavin
My error.. above should read on 9.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterOWGR Fan
I don't think anyone in their right mind would want to risk a large number because of a better angle on the approach. Double fairways used to work if you could save significant yardage going the riskier route. Distance isn't as large a factor anymore.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBuck
What's in the middle? A bunker? A tree? I can't tell.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterMC
Why have a double fairway? Why not just shift the existing fairway closer to the right like they did on other holes for this Open?
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterFred Jones
Wouldn't be a clear double fairway, just a central hazard, right? Looks like a great idea, my only question is would balls actually stop on the right, or would the slope take them to the ocean? Seems like they may not.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterCHARLIE
I don't think Egan had a double fw. It was just a wider fw. The right side slopes dramatically towards the ocean. I'm not sure how realistic it would be as a playing option. But it would be worth a try.

There is very little that is strategic about the hole in its current configuration.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered Commenterelwood
Nice point Geoff--and not just about the Traveller's. I think there's reason for optimism for something like this--I think everyone thought that the cliffside shaving of the fairways was a good change for Pebble, so maybe they'll look to make this change too.

Then again, if it's up to the members who decided on the gift prices, they might just build a big apartment complex on that land instead.
06.24.2010 | Unregistered CommenterJim S
I worked for several years as an NCGA committeeman with Charlie Seaver. Charlie was Cal. Amatuer champion in the mid '30's. I talked to Charlie, as a spectator, at the 1992 US Open at Pebble and he said that he had come out to the course because he read that Jack Nicklaus had "restored" the course to its "original" layout, but Charlie said that was not so. Charlie said that in the Championship matchIn (I think 1935) he hit his tee shot on number 9 to the penisnula om the right which was mowed and playable. From there he had a better angle and shorter shot to the green. At the time, we were standing just off the ninth tee and could clearly see that the peninisula was in high grass and would have been unplayable in 1992. So, Charlie said, the course hadn't been retrurned to its "original" layout. That visit with Charlie was priceless.
06.25.2010 | Unregistered CommenterBill Provan

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