Anyone who doesn’t stop and ponder their fortunate fate when on the 9th hole is missing out, as the view toward Carmel and beyond never gets tiresome.
That said, the 9th as a piece of architecture, has some issues.
Players in last summer’s U.S. Amateur were less than enthralled with the new 526-yard tee leaving an awkward decision. Many actually hit 3-wood and even a few irons late in the day, leaving their ball atop the hill instead of an undesirable hanging lie and stance. There is a definite advantage for bombers here to play the hole as it had been attacked before the latest tee was added to offset the amazing modern athleticism delivered by Trackman.
Originally the fairway spilled down to the right next to the ocean. It would appear the tees were positioned to hit into that fairway and a lovely spot exists to restore such a tee. But the hole would play very short in a world where players better manage their rest to hit the ball longer than the geeks of yesteryear.
Either way, the 1929 renovation of Pebble Beach by Chandler Egan appeared to present a far more interesting and complicated hole.
The USGA’s flyover:
The 10th is far less complicated but beautiful in the simple way it fits the landscape. It’s as demanding as they come but also sadly missing some great hole locations back left and front/middle right near the water’s edge.