As published in Golfweek Magazine – February 17, 2012 – By Alex Miceli
Pebble Beach, Calif. – Arnold Palmer made the trip to the Monterey Peninsula last week with more on his mind than promoting his eponymous invitational next month.
Palmer, a board member of the Pebble Beach Co. that owns the iconic resort, was scouting Pebble Beach Golf Links for some modest design changes in advance of the 2019 U.S. Open here.
Palmer had overseen a few nips and tucks before the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach.
In the past 10 years, the Pebble Beach Co. has taken a green out of commission nine times in the early spring months, after the annual AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, and rebuilt it to U.S. Golf Association specifications. The original push-up greens date to the 1919 Jack Neville-Douglas Grant design (No. 9, Golfweek’s Best Classic).
With a two-year irrigation project wrapping up this year, the Arnold Palmer Design Co. will look to rebuild the green complexes at the par-5 14th and par-3 17the holes in the next two to three years.
The green at the 17th tends to repel what appears to be a good shot into a bunker. At the 14th green, the changes would open the right side to more hole locations. Palmer also would look to soften front edges where sand has built up over time.
“We haven’t put the final touches to it,” said Pebble Beach executive R.J. Harper, classifying the work as “more a restoration program than it is a rebuild or redesign.”
It’s to bring some of these greens back to their original shapes, which would enlarge them a little bit.”