A new course in the rotation at Pebble
. . . and an old one worth getting to know
PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP)— Just taking a scenic stroll around Pebble Beach makes it obvious the U.S. Open will be here this summer.
Not because of who’s here, but what’s not. The rock is gone. While not the most famous landmark in golf, the white, kneehigh rock has been part of the eighth fairway at Pebble Beach for years. Because the tee shot is uphill to a blind fairway, it was positioned at the top of the hill to serve as a target.
But with the U.S. Open four months away, the target has changed.
“It’s not really in a good line anymore,” Adam Scott said Wednesday. He hasn’t been to Pebble Beach since 1999 when he lost in the first round of the U.S. Amateur, and Scott noticed it was missing right away.
The fairway used to be plenty wide, stretching from inside the cart path on the left to the water hazard — also known as the Pacific Ocean — to the right. The USGA already is defining the fair- way widths, so the rough now juts in some 25 yards from the left.
Tim Petrovic found that out the hard way. He hit what appeared to be a suitable drive on the eighth hole, only to climb the hill and see his ball in the rough.
“ The fairway used to be all the way to that fence,” he said, pointing to an enclosed concession area. “ Yeah, this is different.”
That’s not the only change this week.
The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am gets under way Thursday with a different rotation of courses and some new faces.
Several players decided to sign up this year to get acquainted with a U.S. Open course, such as Scott, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia, who last played Pebble in 2001 with his sister as his amateur partner.
More significant is the change in course rotation.
Poppy Hills, which players notso-affectionately referred to as “Sloppy Hills” because it drained so poorly, has been replaced by the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club.