Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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Page 113 of 227

By the time Pebble Beach Golf Links opened in 1919, Morse's intentions had changed. He purchased the land himself, forming Del Monte Properties Company (the precursor to Pebble Beach Company) five days after the first guests teed off. Over the next four decades, the ama- teur designers that Morse chose for these now world-renowned fairways continued to shape other Monterey Peninsula courses—including the Pacific Grove Golf Links, an affordable, under-the- radar gem that's been named one of the nation's top 50 courses under $50 by Golf Magazine. Though Pacific Improvement Company board members gave Morse the go-ahead to construct a Pebble Beach course in 1916, he didn't have the budget for a top designer. Instead, he turned to two players: Jack Neville and Douglas Grant. Grant was a California native and accomplished golfer who spent some time in England studying business and British links courses. Neville, who won the California State Amateur Championship five times between 1912 and 1929, was well known in golfing circles and well versed in western cours- es. Because Morse planned to sell what the pair built in Pebble Beach, they came up with what Hotelling calls, "a well designed, but not well constructed" course. "The original plan, because they were in liqui- dation mode, was to maintain the course with sheep. A few rocks in the fairways didn't create a problem for those mowers, so Neville and Grant didn't take all the rocks out of the fair- way," he says. That proved unpopular with players, as did the hoof prints left behind by the herd. "Sheep weren't very good for the greens," adds Hotelling, "and their fertil- izer delivery system left something to be desired." After Morse pur- chased the Pebble Beach Golf Links, he brought people in to improve and maintain turf conditions. With the exception of a few changes (the orig- inal par-four 18th was lengthened to a par five in 1922; various holes were reconfigured in advance of the 1929 U.S. Amateur Champion- ship; and the fifth hole was later moved to the coastline), the course layout stays mostly true That 1929 U.S. Amateur Championship was the tournament's f irst presentation west of St. Louis, and organizers brought in H. Chandler Egan and Robert Hunter to prepare Pebble Beach Golf Links for play. 112 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 The 8th green at the 1929 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach was reworked by H. Chandler Egan and Robert Hunter for the tournament's first presentation west of St. Louis. Hunter, a nearby resident, also helped Alister Mackenzie design the Cypress Point course. Photo: Julian P. Graham/Pebble Beach Company Lagorio Archives

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