The 8th hole at Pebble Beach
The name Pebble Beach is known to golfers worldwide. The California layout has been the host site for numerous key events - including the 2019 US Open - the 6th time the venerable “Links” has served as host in addition to having hosted 13 various USGA national championships.
The par-4 8th is perched along the cliffs of Carmel Bay. Players arrive at the tee after having played the renowned short par-3 7th. As players gather on the 8th tee the sound of waves crashing into the rocks is ever present. Wind velocities are ever changeable - as is weather conditions.
Players face a blind tee shot as the terrain rises blocking views of the landing zone. The fairway runs out at approximately 240 yards. The hole then features a breathtaking approach over a seaside chasm. Jack Nicklaus, the 18-time major champion, has said the 2nd shot to the 8th green is his favorite approach shot in all of golf. Approach shots can easily exceed 200 yards and the wherewithal to maintain one’s concentration for the task -at-hand is clearly no small task.
Like many of the smaller-sized putting surfaces at Pebble Beach, the 8th can prove an elusive target. Wind variations clearly impact club selection. Watching one’s approach shot ascend into the air is one of those indelible moments one savors - especially if the result is successful.
Golfers attempting a bold play had best be aware that missing the green too far right likely means a quick trip to gnarly rough leading down into the Bay. Those too far left or long will face a daunting recovery as the green runs away abruptly from either of those sides. Golfers landing short will likely not receive much of a forward bounce and will need a quality pitch / chip with the utmost precision to escape with par.
The 8th marks the succession of three all-world par-4 holes - all strung along the top of the cliff overlooking Carmel Bay. The views are intoxicating - the golf encountered nothing less than a tour de force moment.
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