A famous old saw among golf architecture aficionados is that Pebble Beach Golf Links consists of six great holes, six good holes and six, well, meh holes. How much truth is in this received wisdom? To find out, we polled more than 50 GOLF Magazine course raters and asked them to break Pebble into thirds: its top six holes, middle six holes and bottom six holes. Their votes (represented here in percentages of the total vote for each hole) suggest some truth to the “tale of three sixes” view—in particular, the overwhelming support for the most outstanding holes—and that course raters are, by their nature, a very opinionated bunch.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 1
Pro: “You are playing golf.”
Con: “Pick your condo window to aim at.”
Voted 18th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 2
Pro: “Awesome, underrated hole, especially as a par 4 for the U.S. Open. Love the barranca.”
Con: “First condos, now car traffic. Where’s that beach?”
Voted 14th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

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Pebble Beach Hole No. 3
Pro: “Welcome to Pebble Beach. Great tee shot and approach.”
Con: “Small back tee, crammed into a corner at the road.”
Voted 12th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.


Pebble Beach Hole No. 4
Pro: “Amazing scenery, and seaside at last!”
Con: “A good drive-and-pitch hole, but a little too long in seaside air to be drivable (i.e., shorten it!).”
Voted ninth best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 5
Pro: “Pretty and pocketed on its perch. Could be Jack’s best design work in the 21st century.”
Con: “New green site leaves a long and uphill backtrack walk to the tees on 6.”
Voted 11th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 6
Pro: “First pure shoreline hole. You’ll swear you’ve seen the hole in a magazine somewhere.”
Con: “The best angle into green is from the left rough.”
Voted sixth best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.


Pebble Beach Hole No. 7
Pro: “One of the greatest holes in golf. Enough said.”
Con: “There ought to be a bar, sofas and an hourly hotel. Be prepared to mingle with strangers and wait.”
Voted fifth best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 8
Pro: “Playing this hole is the equivalent of asking a supermodel on a date.”
Con: “Blind, hit-the-brakes tee shot.”
Voted best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters/

Pebble Beach Hole No. 9
Pro: “One of the most difficult holes in golf, yet with sweeping views to the white sands of Carmel Beach.”
Con: “You have the whole Continental U.S. to the left, so don’t go right.”
Voted third best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.


Pebble Beach Hole No. 10
Pro: “The closer of one of the game’s greatest stretches. Turn around and let it sink in.”
Con: “Like on No. 9, mere mortals will find it hard to make par here.”
Voted third best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 11
Pro: “Decent, skillful, uphill, transition hole.”
Con: “Feels like a letdown after holes 6 through 10.”
Voted 16th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 12
Pro: “Nothing good, really. Not a great hole.”
Con: “Can I discount my greens fee by 1/18th?”
Voted 15th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.


Pebble Beach Hole No. 13
Pro: “The big bunkering is a change of pace. And a MacKenzie green that is fun to play.”
Con: “Mid-length par 4, dead-uphill into a rich retiree’s backyard. Sound familiar?”
Voted 13th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 14
Pro: “Crafty, classic risk-reward three-shotter with slight double dogleg. Fun for every handicap.”
Con: “New green and surrounds neuter the historic challenge.”
Voted 8th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 15
Pro: “Nice green site, with good strong slope.”
Con: “More car traffic. Maybe I should be an Uber driver around here.”
Voted 17th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.


Pebble Beach Hole No. 16
Pro: “Shrewd, smartly angled hole with risk-reward from tee to cup. It hides its brilliance amidst the timber.”
Con: “Back to sharing the course with the DMV.”
Voted 10th best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 17
Pro: “The hole’s history exonerates its design. Getting back to the ocean counts for a lot.”
Con: “The most overrated hole on the course. Green still doesn’t work, and the hole is flat, which lessens the drama.”
Voted seventh best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

Pebble Beach Hole No. 18
Pro: “Iconic. Harder to play than to simply enjoy. The suspense builds on every shot. Maybe the world’s best cape hole.”
Con: “Holing out means the end of your round.”
Voted second best hole at Pebble Beach by course raters.

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