Is Pebble Beach Worth It?
This past November, I got to check an enormous name off my bucket list when I played Pebble Beach Golf Links. When I got home, the first question I got from 99% of golfers was, “Was it worth it?” This is my long answer.
What Does Pebble Beach Golf Links Cost?
Let’s start with a breakdown of the actual cost to play golf at Pebble Beach. First, there’s the green fee, which is $575. The cart fee – $45 – is comped if you’re a resort guest. Taking a caddie is $145 plus gratuity for a single bag, $190 for a double bag.
The bigger cost is a bit hidden. To book a round at Pebble Beach Golf Links more than 24 hours in advance, you need to be a resort guest. If you live in the area, this isn’t an issue – you can call the pro shop in the morning and take advantage of any cancellations. However, most of us aren’t going to roll the dice like that if we’re traveling from out of state. The least expensive rooms are at The Inn at Spanish Bay. Through March 31, 2022, they go for $870 per night. That will go up to $895 on April 1. To stay at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, the prices are $990 and $1,025, respectively.
Finally, since most of us don’t live in northern California, you need to consider travel. Since this cost is highly variable depending on where you live, I’ll leave this for you to calculate for yourself.
This brings the minimum cost of a round at Pebble Beach to $1,445 plus travel.
Note: All prices are accurate as of publication. Check the Pebble Beach website HERE for the most up-to-date pricing.
The Hotel Experience
Let’s talk about what you get for your money, starting with the hotel. I stayed at The Inn at Spanish Bay, so I will speak to that specifically, though I expect The Lodge at Pebble Beach and Casa Palmero are comparable, if not better.
The smallest rooms at Spanish Bay are a sizable 470 square feet, which gives you plenty of space to spread out. Every room has a fireplace and an “honor bar” stocked with a mix of complimentary and paid items that are refilled daily. They also have all the hotel room essentials you’d expect: coffee maker, safe, Wi-Fi, LCD TV.
My biggest takeaway about The Inn at Spanish Bay is that it’s everything you expect from a hotel but nicer. Every hotel room has a bed, but this bed has a better mattress and softer sheets. Every hotel room has a TV, but this one has a better picture and more channels. This extends to the service which is ever present but not smothering, friendly and helpful without being over the top.
Thrifty traveler suggestion: having an ocean view room is great, but it adds to the cost. If you want to save a bit, book a standard room and watch the sunset and/or sunrise from one of the numerous seating areas on the west side of the hotel. Windows cover nearly the entire side of the building, so there are always available spots.
The star of the show, of course, is the round at Pebble Beach Golf Links. I have a full review of the course HERE, but the short version is that it’s a tremendous experience. The scenery is unsurpassed, the golf is fun and challenging, and you’re quite literally walking in the footsteps of all the game’s greats. It’s the definition of a bucket list experience.
Also, there are nice “extras” adjacent to the round. As a resort guest/golfer, you have access to the Pebble Beach Golf Academy. This is a world-class training facility up the road from the course. A shuttle runs back and forth all day to get warmed-up golfers to the first tee. When you come off the 18th green, you’re shuttled back to the pro shop and given your souvenir bag tag. You’re welcome to scoff about a “free” bag tag with such an expensive round, but this is an item most golfers are going to display prominently and look at fondly for a long time.
Is Pebble Beach Worth the Cost?
You already knew the answer for yourself before you clicked this article. Most golfers that I know want to play Pebble Beach at some point in their life, and what I’ve written here has only whet their appetite. However, there are people who, for various reasons, have no interest in a round of golf this expensive. I doubt I’ve done anything to convince them otherwise.
For those that want something more definitive, my answer is yes. I’m very happy with my choice to have played Pebble Beach, even at the substantial cost. It’s an experience I’ll never forget