Time To Par-Tee: Pebble Beach Golf Links Hosts The 119th U.S. Open

The 9th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links

One hundred years ago, a new 18-hole golf course, designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant and commissioned by developer Samuel F.B. Morse, opened on a stretch of the California coast. Thanks to its majestic views and challenging layout, Pebble Beach Golf Links was an instant coastline gem. Over the next century, the course became known as one of the most beautiful and desirable places to play golf in the world—and it is home to many of the greatest moments in the sport’s history.

Brooks Koepka high fives caddie Richard Elliott after winning the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y. on Sunday, June 17, 2018

“It’s Pebble Beach—there’s something about it that brings out the best in each player,” Eric Steimer, the senior manager of the U.S. Open Championships, recently told Haute Living. “Not just the golf course, but when you set foot at Pebble Beach, you take in the sights, you take in the sounds, you take in the scenery, it’s something that goes a long way in the golfing world. This is a golf course that has a lineage for hosting championship golf. It has that history.”

Cody Ross, Douglas Murray, Dan Boyle, Owen Nolan and Stephen Piscotty with the 119th U.S. Open Letters at Pebble Beach Golf Links

This June, Pebble Beach Golf Links hopes to make history again when it hosts the 119th U.S. Open Championship. It’s one of only six public courses that hold the distinction of hosting the U.S. Open. It will be the sixth time that the event has taken place on the Monterey Peninsula and marks a long relationship with the USGA, the United States Golf Association, the organization that puts on the U.S. Open. When the championship marked its centennial in 2000, it took place at Pebble Beach, so it’s fitting the U.S. Open will return for the course’s 100th anniversary. The 2000 U.S. Open was particularly memorable because Tiger Woods won by 15 strokes, arguably the most dominant performance in a golf major ever. With Woods’ miraculous comeback and win at the 2019 Masters, the golf world enthusiastically awaits what’s to come June 10-16, 2019.

Brooks Koepka kisses the trophy after winning the 2018 U.S. Open

For lovers of the sport, the U.S. Open is one of the most thrilling weeks of golf. Unlike the Masters or PGA championships, the competition is open to any player with a handicap of 1.4 or below. Steimer calls it “the most accessible tournament. This is truly a democratic championship.” While recognizable names like Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, and Rory McIlroy will play, there’s always the chance of an unknown rising through the ranks, and that’s part of the U.S. Open’s appeal.

Pebble Beach Golf Links 15th hole

“These guys are going to have to compete with amateurs from around the world,” Steimer says. “Whether it’s here in America, Japan, or Europe, our qualifying stages are across the globe. It’s unique in the sense of how much it’s grown over the years. At this point, we see close to 10,000 applications. There always seems to be one or two names that catch lightning in a bottle going through the process. It’s someone you never heard of but they play their butt off, and they’re able to qualify for the U.S. Open.”

One Hundred

If it sounds exciting, there’s still plenty of time to get in on the fun. “There’s a plethora of different types of tickets,” Steimer explains. “Ranging from our gallery ticket, which starts at $60 for a practice round, up to our lodge premier ticket, which at $1500 gives you exclusive access to the different venues, like the Lodge at Pebble Beach, to experience their exquisite dining options.” These ticket holders will have the chance to taste One Hundred, a special blend of wine made by renowned winemaker Andy Erikson in partnership with Pebble Beach’s sommelier team in honor of the centennial.

The Lodge at Pebble Beach

Other ticket options include access to the trophy club (an air-conditioned pavilion with open seating) or centennial club (premium food and beverage service with views of the 15th hole). There’s also the ultimate investment, a 40K ticket that consists of seven nights at The Inn at Spanish Bay, two premier tickets for the championship week, tee times for two players for seven days at Spyglass Hill Golf Course, The Links at Spanish Bay or Del Monte Golf Course, and much more. Another option is The Monterey Marriott, which has a variety of packages in collaboration with Prime Sports, that include lodging, tee times, and transportation to and from the event. Note that only certain tickets allow access to the restaurants at Pebble Beach.

Brooks Koepka poses with the trophy after winning the 2018 championship

Whatever ticket you purchase, Steimer recommends downloading the official U.S. Open app as it provides pertinent information to fans. Over 45,000 people are expected to attend the championship during peak days, so it’s best to know where to park before you arrive on site. Once you’re there, Steimer promises a seamless experience with 38,000 square feet of premium golf merchandise, activations from sponsors like Lexus, Rolex, American Express, Cisco, Corona, and Deloitte, food, drink, and everything in between.

Spanish Bay fire pits

“Fans will come in, they’ll walk down Peter Hay Hill, they will see the merchandise, our corporate partner activation tents, and there will be fun things to do,” Steimer says. “Then they will cross over 17-mile drive, in front of the Lodge, and step right onto the golf course. They will be able to walk all 18 holes and take in the sights and sounds of the championship.” There will, of course, be grandstands, concessions, and additional amenities along the greens.

The 17th hole

The best seats in the house? Near holes 17 and 18. “Those are two of the more iconic holes in all of golf and we’ll have a couple of thousand seats between those holes in particular,” Steimer says. “You’ll see the entirety of the hole, and you’re overlooking Point Lobos, the Carmel Highlands and the Pacific Ocean. Few places in the world are truly more beautiful than Pebble Beach, and it’s a testament to the golf course, to the area, and to what makes the U.S. Open a success.”

The hotel lobby

Stay at The Bernardus Lodge & Spa

Although it’s only a 20-minute drive from Pebble Beach, the Bernardus Lodge and Spa is a world away from the hustle and bustle of the tournament. Located in gorgeous Carmel Valley, Bernardus is home to 57 recently renovated villas and suites. The 28-acre property is beautifully landscaped and features fragrant gardens, relaxing walkways, and cozy fire pits.

A guest room

Guestrooms are spacious and luxurious with outdoor seating areas, heated bathroom floors, and inviting comfortable beds. The spa is open to all hotel guests, not just those with treatment appointments, so if you’re tired from golf and need to soak in the warm waters of the spa’s 101°F pool or chill in the eucalyptus steam room, you can do so.

The main pool

The resort is home to a signature restaurant, Lucia, where chef Cal Stamenov serves delicious farm-to-table California cuisine (much of the produce is grown on site). Dine all day long on crisp pizzas, freshly caught oysters, and other local delights.

Photos Courtesy of USGA/John Mummert/Michael Cohen/J.D. Cuban, Pebble Beach Company, Kodiak Greenwood, Jeff Haynes, Sherman Chu, And Bernardus Lodge & Spa