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Pebble Beach golf for high handicapper beginners

Independent golf tips for the professional at Leisure

July 2009

Pebble Beach golf for the high handicapper

Pebble Beach is a legendary course, both for its scenic beauty and for its challenging holes.  As a high handicapper, I was intimidated at the prospect of playing Pebble beach, and I studied the course layout in eager anticipation of my afternoon of basking in the glory of one of the world’s most famous golf links.    

In all fairness, Pebble Beach is also a giant tourist trap.  In addition to the $500 green fees they had “limited edition” Pebble Beach shirts for $250 plus Pebble Beach bags, putters, you name it, they slapped a Pebble Beach logo on it and tripled the price.  I think that the only “limit” to those $250 shirts were the number of suckers who are dump enough to plonk down that kind of cash!

After shelling out over $1,200 for two, Janet and I were happy to find out that we were not the only high handicap beginners at Pebble Beach, and that we fine with us! 


A lady in the twosome in front of us took a dozen strokes on the first hole, and this immediately put us at-ease knowing that we were not the worst beginners to play Pebble Beach that day!  Plus, the slow play gave us more time to soak-in the drop-dead natural beauty of the area.

In the summer of 2009, getting a tee time at Pebble is easier than ever, see my notes here on Pebble Beach for the first time player.  Here are some tips for playing Pebble Beach for the high handicapper:

  • Warm-up – Arrive 90 minutes early and take the shuttle to the driving range.

  • Skip the caddie – Unless who want someone to carry your golf clubs, skip the caddy, it won’t do you any good.  Pebble Beach is an extremely difficult course, and if you want to have a good time, leave the score card in your bag.  Pebble Beach eats high handicap beginners for lunch!

  • Get in shape – Beware, Pebble Beach is cart path only, and if you are a beginner who doesn’t hit far, you will do far more walking back-and-forth to the cart than if you simple hire a caddy and walk the course.

  • Beware of fairway bunkers – Pebble Beach is a “mean spirited” course because it’s designed not just to challenge professionals but to make beginners have a bad day.  The 12th hole at Pebble Beach is a perfect example.  Jack Nicklaus put a fairway bunker right where a high handicapper would hit a drive.  Professionals will sail right over this bunker, but it will catch kids and arthritic old folks like me!

Also, see my notes on tips for Pebble Beach golf for first time players








Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

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