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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 19 September, 2022
Expert travel writer: Fionn Davenport

As oceanside courses go, Pebble Beach is unrivalled in the United States. Routed along the craggy headlands and cliff tops that tumble into Carmel Bay, the exterior holes are bedazzling – 5 through 11 might just be the best six holes in a row you’ll ever play (Nicklaus described the second shot at the 8th to be his favourite in golf).

The interior holes mightn’t have the same magic, but the finishing holes are a suitably wonderful to wrap up a round – 17 and 18 are even better than they appear on TV.

That’s right, TV – because the magic of Pebble is wrapped up in its history – Nicklaus’ 1-iron on 17 in 1972, Tiger dominating the course in 2000 to win the most spectacular US Open in history. And the best thing about it? It’s a public course, which means anyone can play it.

Price from: £360
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 13+
When: All year around
Duration: -

Getting there & doing it

If you stay at one of the Pebble Beach golf resorts (two-night minimum stay required at weekends) you can book a tee time up to 18 months in advance; try Casa Palmero, once a private home, this 1920’s Spanish colonial house, is a 24-room, high-end boutique hotel next to the course. Non-resort guests can look for a time the day before, but availability will be spotty.


When to do it

The course is open all year round, seven days a week, but August to October is peak time; June and July are quieter because of the threat of fog.

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Casa Palmero at Pebble Beach

Pebble Beach, California, United States of America (USA)[0.2 miles]

Once a private home, this 1920’s Spanish colonial house is now a 24-room, high-end boutique hotel. The dramatic Pebble Beach Golf Links – voted the no 1 public course in the US – is right outside the door.

Official star rating:

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Drive Big Sur

California, United States of America (USA)[23 miles]

This 90-mile mountainous section of the California State Route 1, between Carmel and Heart Castle, is arguably the US’s most scenic drive. It’s fiercely undeveloped – no assaulting billboard or signage. Highlights en route include dramatic craggy coastlines, dreamy ocean views, giant redwood trees, Bixby Creek Bridge, exceptional hiking, condors and whales.

Best for ages: 13+ | Free | 1-2 hours

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