One of Pebble Beach’s most epic holes is about to get even more dramatic
One of the most famous holes in golf is going under the knife.
The surgery is happening on the green of the 8th hole at Pebble Beach, a dramatic seaside par-4 with an approach over the Pacific that Jack Nicklaus once called the most magnificent second shot in the game.
The work came to light Friday when Twitter user @GlorifiedDonkey, who identifies himself as a Pebble Beach caddie, posted four photos of the construction project.
Pebble Beach representatives could not immediately be reached for comment, but a source familiar with the project told GOLF.com that the green is being enlarged and its back-to-front slope made less severe to create more hole locations.
The photos posted to social media appear to corroborate that. They show the turf on the old putting surface torn up, with a fence encircling what appears to be an expanded green in the works, its right side drawn closer to the bluffs.
The course remains open for resort play, with a temporary green on the 8th that will remain in place until the work is completed in July, said a Pebble Beach tee-time reservationist who answered the phone Friday.
Construction on the hole comes in the wake of news of Pebble being named as an “anchor site” for the USGA, pegged to host a number of U.S. Opens and U.S. Women’s Opens in a regular rotation that will also include Pinehurst No. 2 and Oakmont.
Pebble, of course, also hosts a regular Tour stop, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, which has long been a fixture of the West Coast swing.
While it is not uncommon for both the Tour and the USGA to request design changes at venues hosting their events, it’s not certain that’s the case here.
A source familiar with the project told GOLF.com that work on the 8th is part of an ongoing series of course improvements, which in recent years have included renovations to the 9th, 11th, 14th and 17th greens.
Among those weighing in on Twitter was the former long-time Tour caddie John Wood, who carried for Matt Kuchar before taking a job as an on-course commentator for NBC Sports.
“Good idea,” Wood tweeted of the work on 8. “That green is so limited w/pin positions. When original green was built, stimp speeds were around 8-9 & you could use first 2/3 of the green. Now, with US Open speeds closer to 13, the first 2/3 of the green is unusable.. Will give more options in setup. #11 should be next.”