The Links at Spanish Bay

Pebble Beach, CA

1987, Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Tom Watson, Sandy Tatum
Middle Tees: 6078, 71.7, 134
'04 Fees:  $215 all day ever y day
Tee times 60 days in advance
#43 Golf Digest 2000 Top 100 You Can Play

Fat Guy Review : Simply a top echelon course all the way around.  I don't care where you're from or where you've played, you'll be impressed with this place from the minute you enter 17 Mile Drive. Spanish Bay seems to get mixed reviews from the golf magazines and other golf snobs, but I thought the seaside holes were as good as anything I've ever played, and the inland holes were tough but enjoyable. A classic West Coast course, a partial- seaside links with a few holes within spitting distance of the beach, wind howling and fescue everywhere. There are s ome imaginative woodland holes as it winds inland. Requires your A game, and worth the cash if you're employed and not on the verge of bankruptcy. Be prepared to deal with tourists of Oriental persuasion.  Rating:  9.75

Tip:  A stay at Spanish Bay will get you access to sister course Pebble Beach, and is a slightly more affordable way to meet the 2-night minimum stay requirement for booking a tee time at Pebble.

T&L Golf Review: Spanish Bay ( Greens fees $215, rooms $460-$620) draws both praise and scorn from many for a manufactured links feel and a brutal routing. "Lose a dozen, shoot a million, come back 3 years later," said a local scratch. Ocean views rivalling Pebble, and tough but playable when the wind isn't up.

Best Bar Nearby: Per Golf Magazine , the on-site bar Traps is a fireside lounge and the perfect place to sip scotch. T&L Golf recommends The Mucky Duck (831-655-3031), or The Tap Room & Club XIX , both in The Lodge at Pebble Beach.  In Monterey, I'd recommend the pool hall, an upscale joint, which if memory serves me is called The Blue Shark . Mike C . says Clint Eastwood's bar in Carmel is called Hog's Breath , more of a divey neighborhood joint than a tourist trap. I've also read good online recommendations for Crown & Anchor (150 W Franklin, Monterey), serving good wings and chowder.

Where To Grub: Per Golf Magazine , The Inn at Spanish Bay boasts Roy's for Euro-Asian fare, and Peppoli for neo-Tuscan. For a good steakhouse, T&L Golf likes Rio Grill in Carmel (831-625-5436). If you're in Monterey and feeling touristy, try The Bubba Gump Shrimp Company for dinner. Jim Furyk digs Sardine Factory for seafood while Rocco Mediate likes it for the lamb.  David Toms goes to Forge In The Forest for the house specials, and Jeff Sluman always hits Mondo's Trattoria for lasagna.