Welcome to Tour Stops, Back9Network’s in-depth look at the best restaurants, bars, events and more at each PGA Tour stop. For outside-the-rope access to living the golf lifestyle where the pros are, follow Tour Stops throughout the season.
The PGA Tour heads north up the California coast this week to the “most felicitous meeting of land and sea in creation” — Pebble Beach Golf Links — for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. While you won’t be able to play Pebble Beach (or Spyglass Hill or the Shore Course) this week since the pros and some of the world’s luckiest amateurs and celebrities will be, there’s still plenty to do at and around Pebble Beach. Here are our picks:
Best Hotel/Resort: The Inn at Spanish Bay/The Lodge at Pebble Beach
If you’re headed to Pebble Beach, your best bet is to stay at the world famous Lodge at Pebble Beach. Sure, the rooms are a little pricey, but that’s because the Lodge represents the best in luxury accommodations. Not to mention, it’s on the property, which means that after a day of libations and watching the world’s best golfers and mediocre amateurs stumble around the course, you’ll be able to safely stumble back to your room.
With rates starting at $765 a night for the Lodge, it’s certainly easy to experience a little sticker shock — but if my words haven’t convinced you that it’s money well-spent, then be sure to check out the Lodge’s promotional footage below. Dramatic music played under breathtaking drone footage usually does the trick.
If you’re looking for something (a little) more affordable, give the Inn at Spanish Bay a look. Rooms there start just over $600 a night, and offers nearly all the same amenities and opportunities the Lodge does.
Best Bar: The Tap Room
When you’re at Pebble Beach and looking for a drink or a bite to eat, the Tap Room isn’t simply a choice — it’s the only choice. The Tap Room is arguably golf’s most legendary 19th hole. Whether you’re a tour pro, celebrity, esteemed amateur or hack living out your fantasy, the Tap Room is a must.
Along with the history and warm tavern atmosphere, the fare is exquisite as well. The Tap Room is world-reknown for it’s steak and American pub food, as well as vintage wine and top-shelf spirits. And while you’re waiting for your meal or tuning out your buddies story, take a look around at one of the greatest collections of golf memorabilia in the world.
Simply put, if you’re in Pebble, the Tap Room is a must.
Best Restaurant: Stillwater Bar & Grill
Another on-site favorite at Pebble Beach is the Stillwater Bar & Grill. According to the site, the Stillwater offers “the freshest and most flavorful in sustainable seafood and organic produce.” Like seemingly every other building on the property, the Stillwater offers spectacular views of Carmel Bay and the world-famous 18th hole of Pebble Beach Golf Links.
If seafood isn’t your thing, the Stillwater also offers mouthwatering steaks and signature dishes.
All of this, combined with courteous, customer-minded staff have made the Stillwater Bar & Grill Wine Spectator’s Best Award of Excellence winner the last five years.
Where to Play: Pasatiempo Golf Course/Pacific Grove Golf Links
Obviously, if you’re in town to watch the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, then you won’t be playing any of the three courses — Pebble Beach, the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula or Spyglass Hill. If you’re itching to play, you might consider heading an hour north to Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz or head over to the most scenic municipal courses in the world — Pacific Grove Golf Links.
Pasatiempo isn’t Pebble — but it is everything we’ve come to expect from a world-class golf course. So wonderful a layout, in fact, that the courses original architect — Alister MacKenzie — claims it as his favorite design ever. That’s saying something when you consider he also designed Cypress Point and Augusta National.
As a semi-private course, you know you’re enjoying a special treat when you’re playing the course that is routinely counted among the best in the United States. With greens fee starting at $260, it’s worth every penny.
If you’re looking for golf but are trying to work inside a limited budget, then you’re going to want to check out Pacific Grove Golf Links. Pacific Grove is the area’s municipal option, but don’t be fooled by that. The course still offers incredible views and great golf, just at a serious discount from Pasatiempo or Pebble Beach.
What to Do: 17 Mile Drive
The scenic winding road offers some of the best views in the world without even leaving your car. As much as the course is known for scenic views and breathtaking panoramas, 17 mile drive offers much more. Don’t believe me? Take a look for yourself: