Carmel Magazine

Spring-Summer 2019

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Slopes were softened and edges expanded to offer more diverse pin placements and spread out the wear and tear on larger putting sur- faces. The most visible change came on 17, as the face of the front bunker was lowered to offer better visibility to the traditional back-left Sunday pin. "I like all the little tweaks," says McDowell. "Seventeen looks really cool now. It's such an iconic hole, it's nice to now get a little better peek at it." Pebble Beach will play 35 yards longer than it did for the last Open, thanks to new back tees at 9 and 13. But at only 7,075 yards, it's very, very short for the modern game. The USGA has fortified the challenge by dra- matically narrowing the fairways and cultivating thick, juicy rough. "Man, I can't believe how skinny some of those fairways are going to be," 2015 U.S. Open champ Jordan Spieth said at this year's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, when the new rough lines were already visi- ble. "Driving the ball well is going to be crucial." So, too, will be iron- play, as Pebble Beach's greens are among the tiniest in championship golf, and wayward shots come with a heavy penalty. Other significant changes for this Open include a reshaping of the 11th hole. In 2010, the fairway played down the right side, leaving an awkward angle to a shallow, sloping green. The USGA has wisely shifted the fairway 162 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • S P R I N G / S U M M E R 2 0 1 9 At the 2010 U.S. Open, Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland prevailed in a Sunday dogfight that included five current or future Hall of Famers. Photo: TGO Photography The new Wall of Champions behind the first tee pays tribute to Pebble Beach's rich history, including a bust of patriarch S.F.B. Morse. Photo: Pebble Beach Company

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