Pebble Beach Travel Tips and more…

Recently I made the trek out West for the AT&T Pro-Am for my first trip to Pebble Beach. It goes without saying I shipped my clubs directly to the resort, rather than drag my clubs to the airport. By doing so, it allowed me to walk straight onto the plane with just my carry-on bag and a backpack. About 6.5 grueling hours later…we arrived into San Francisco. Once I landed it was straight to the rental car (since I didn’t have to check any bags on the plane). Part of me actually felt bad for the folks heading to baggage claim with their heads slumped down. As it would turn out, had I not shipped my clubs I would have waited around at the baggage carousel for 30 minutes and missed the opening kickoff of the Super Bowl. Since we had “less stuff” to drag around, myself and a colleague opted for the full-size rental car. Had we had a few more guys with us on a “buddies trip” the savings in NOT having to upgrade to the SUV would have paid for the shipping cost alone. While we made it out of the airport with ease, we didn’t make it very far. Since we are a bunch of east coasters, we opted for the golden fries at In-N-Out Burger over the Golden Gate Bridge. After fueling up, we then hit the open road down to Monterey (about a 2 hour drive).

Arriving At Pebble Beach

Since the golf courses are all connected to the hotels, all packages will get delivered to the main shipping areas at either The Lodge at Pebble Beach or The Inn at Spanish Bay. From there the staff will bring up your clubs to the concierge in anticipation or your arrival, it’s that easy. Not to get too far ahead of myself, but checkout was just as easy. I simply packed up my travel bag and handed over my shipping label for the trip back home and the staff took it from there. Depending on the type of travel bag you have, the resort will even box up the clubs for you. As a side note, if you want to ship your clubs directly to Spyglass Hill, you will actually have to pickup your clubs at The Lodge at Pebble Beach.

If you’re not staying at the resort, I would check with your hotel to see if they will store your clubs for you until you arrive into town. If you prefer to have your clubs anxiously waiting for you at the golf course, the same rule applies. For those Airbnb folks, there are also a few UPS stores in the area that you could ship to, but I would recommend contacting the store prior to setting up your trip.

17 Mile Drive

The Pebble Beach Resorts property essentially consists of golf heaven perched along an amazing coastline. You will find the Lodge at Pebble Beach on the south side of 17 mile drive, with the Inn at Spanish Bay along the north. Along 17 Mile drive you will find yourself distracted by waves crashing, seals barking, and golfers playing some of the most scenic golf holes the country has to offer. If you’re the one driving it can be very distracting. I nearly took out a few surfers and golfers, SO PAY ATTENTION! In between these two iconic properties you will find Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula CC (both play host to the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am). Good luck getting onto Monterey Peninsula CC though, as it’s a 36-hole private facility.

Where is that iconic Pebble Beach logo you ask? Lone Cypress can also be found on 17 mile drive (closer to the Pebble Beach end) and it’s a must see! There are also plenty of other stops along the way to checkout so be sure to make the entire drive.

Lone Cypress

What to do when you’re not playing golf…

Two words….POINT LOBOS! In my opinion, this is an absolute must. Do yourself a favor and make a trip either before or after your round of golf and you will not be disappointed. The views are absolutely stunning at every turn. This place consumed about 40% of my iCloud storage due to the amount of photos I took here. If you want to take the full walking tour it will take you a good 3 hours, but one could literally spend all day here if you wanted. You might even get lucky enough to do some sightseeing here with some seals and whales. This amazing state reserve is just minutes south of Downtown Carmel and 15 minutes from Pebble Beach. You can either park outside the entrance for free or pay $10 to drive around and check out all the state reserve has to offer. From Point Lobos you can actually get a great view of Pebble Beach Golf Links from afar.

Point Lobos State Reserve

Yes Sir to Big Sur…

If you have even more time to explore and want to venture about 30 minutes south of Point Lobos State Reserve, I recommend hitting the open road down to Big Sur. Big Sur offers amazing views of the rugged coastline of California and you will find yourself wanting to pull over every half-mile (as we did). State parks essentially line the coast for miles and miles so you can actually pull over and do some walking around.

Big Sur

Golf at Pebble…

If you have the chance to play Pebble Beach, just do it. The property is absolutely amazing and the views are flat out distracting (if you’re trying to focus on your golf game). I found myself filling up my remaining iCloud storage with pic after pic of just the golf course and the surrounding views. Ultimately, we found ourselves camped out at the 17th hole for a few hours at the event, which is one of the nicest spots and views on property.

17th hole at Pebble Beach Golf Links

Golf outside of Pebble…

If for whatever reason you’re not able to play Pebble Beach, there are a few great alternatives nearby. Many of the locals suggested Bayonet or Poppy Hills as the tracks to play outside of the resort. We opted for Bayonet, which is about 15 minutes north of the resort. They actually have 36 holes (Bayonet/Black Horse) perched on top of a hill with some great views of the coastline. Despite getting about 2 inches of rain dumped on us on the back 9, the course is both fun and challenging. If you’re looking for something a bit more scenic and a little less challenging, head over to Pacific Grove Golf Links (or as the locals call it, the poor man’s Pebble Beach). The front nine is not all that impressive. In my opinion, the back nine is what makes this course fun to play as the majority of the holes are along the water. I would definitely play both of these courses again (hopefully with nicer weather).

Pacific Grove Golf Links

Getting home…

Earlier I mentioned how easy it was to drop off my clubs at the resort prior to heading back up to San Francisco. Since I had some extra weight to spare in my travel bag, I threw in a few souvenirs I picked up at Pebble Beach that wouldn’t fit in my carry-on. Depression began to settle in as it was time to leave golf heaven. I left my clubs with the concierge and it was off to San Francisco for the long flight home. Since I was in not in a huge rush to get my clubs back, I scheduled them to arrive back at my office a few days later.

As I do on every trip, I shook my head as I watched everyone struggling to drag their clubs with them around the airport. If only these folks knew there was an easier way to travel. They could have had their clubs picked up from their front door or office and have them hand delivered to wherever they’re staying or playing. Who knows… maybe some of them will stumble across this article and be shaking their heads at folks next time!

Helpful Links:

Ship Sticks (Golf Bag & Luggage Shipping)

Point Lobos State Reserve

Pebble Beach Resorts

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