Play Pebble Beach Without Breaking the Bank

Pebble Beach Golf Links

Pebble Beach Golf Links, the star of California’s Monterey Peninsula. (Image: Pebble Beach)

With careful planning, a trip to California’s fabulously beautiful but pricey Monterey Peninsula (where the green fee at Pebble Beach is a whopping $495) is within the means of most golf travellers. Here’s how to organize — and budget for — the golf vacation of a lifetime.


California’s famously gorgeous Monterey Peninsula includes the communities of Carmel-by-the-Sea, Pacific Grove, Seaside and Pebble Beach, the last a fantasy destination of golfers around the world.

Unfortunately, there’s no way around Pebble Beach Golf Links green fee of $495, one of the most expensive in the game. And anyone hoping to book an advance tee time must also book two nights at the luxurious Lodge at Pebble Beach or Inn at Spanish Bay.

What to do? Golfers willing to roll the dice can try to book a tee time at Pebble Beach the day before or the day of their prospective round without having to stay at the resort. The odds of getting on are said to improve if you show up during holidays, when many people stay home with family.

Though by no means a budget destination, affordable accommodations — from a Marriott hotel to bed-and-breakfasts — are available throughout the Monterey Peninsula.

And even if, heaven forbid, you don’t get to play Pebble Beach, there’s no lack of great courses from which to choose.

Pebble Beach’s sister courses, Spyglass Hill Golf Course  and the Links at Spanish Bay, both offer spectacular ocean views. Another local beauty is Del Monte Golf Course, opened in 1897 and the oldest course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi.

In the community of Seaside, check out sister courses Bayonet and Black Horse, both tracks beautifully redesigned by architect Gene Bates a few years ago. And in Pacific Grove you’ll find Pacific Grove Golf Links, an affordable oceanside beauty known as the “other Pebble.” Pacific Grove’s architect was Jack Neville, who with fellow amateur golfer Douglas Grant laid out Pebble Beach in 1918.

A final must-play course is the Pete Dye-designed Carmel Valley Ranch Golf Course at lovely Carmel Valley Ranch resort. Recently restored, Dye’s course wends through vineyards, rolling hills and lakes. Read more at


  1. So your tip to play PB without breaking the bank is to not play PB? Interesting.