LATROBE, PA – Arnold Palmer discusses the recent changes to the Pebble Beach Golf Links that he and his golf course design company recently performed for the upcoming 2010 U.S. Open.
The primary purpose of the course renovation was to maintain Pebble Beach’s historic value.
“It’s been a great privilege for me to be on the board at Pebble. And of course my position as a board member is looking after the golf course and the operations that concern the golf course. We tried to really keep it, much as the intentions for maintaining the historic value of the golf course. And of course for me to be doing it, it has been a lot of fun.” said Palmer.
“We’re extremely pleased to have the Open coming and to work with the USGA. We think it’s going to be one of the great Opens of all time.”
In looking at old photos of the course, Palmer and his design team “put the golf course where it was when it was beginning.” said Palmer. “We tried to restore the greens to their original positions.” Play will be shaped in the U.S. Open this year with the changes to the fairways and “will force the players to go closer to the ocean.”
The most dramatic hole changes were:
- Hole #1 – Restored green & greenside bunkering to original from 1918 photo
- Hole #3 – Added bunkers on the right side of the fairway; turns hole visually to the left
- Hole #4 – Added a trio of new bunkers short and left of the green
- Hole #6 – Reconfigured bunkering left of fairway to tighten landing area
- Hole #18 – Replaced pine in front of the green with cypress
A total of 4 greens and 16 bunkers were rebuilt, altered or installed. 11 tees were enhanced and 6 holes have new or adjusted trees.
The total length of the course is now 7,014 yards with an average green size of 3,500 sq. ft.
So how will PGA TOUR players fare with the changes at this year’s U.S. Open? “I would look for the scores to be pretty good. Moving the hitting areas to the ocean on 9 of the holes is going to have some effect and the fact that some of the greens are smaller will also have an effect. I look for a great tournament. I think the excitement of seeing the guys scoring well at Pebble will be good, but they’ll be some disasters too.” said Palmer.
[Click here to download a Quicktime of the whole interview. ] Length 20 Min / 48MB
Palmer discusses the Pebble Beach renovation
Courtesy of the USGA