By James A. Frank
In 2019, Pebble Beach Golf Links will celebrate its 100th birthday and host its sixth U.S. Open. To commemorate these milestones, each issue of LINKS Magazine and LINKSdigital between now and then will tell the unique story that is Pebble Beach.
In a few weeks, when the calendar flips over and 2019 begins, it will also mark the start of the centennial year for Pebble Beach Resorts. While an earlier log lodge was built in 1909 and was instrumental in bringing guests and investment to the region (along with Hotel Del Monte, which opened near Monterey in 1880), it was not until 1919—when company founder Samuel F.B. Morse purchased Pebble Beach—that the new Lodge and Pebble Beach Golf Links opened.
In anticipation of this notable anniversary—and the playing of the 119th U.S. Open in June—numerous enhancements have already touched nearly every part of the resort. All 454 guest rooms at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, The Inn at Spanish Bay, and Casa Palmero were updated. Last summer, a new accommodation opened, Fairway One at The Lodge, which is comprised of 30 guest rooms, two four-bedroom golf cottages, and a meeting facility.
And a multi-year program to restore a handful of greens on the course about to host its sixth National Championship was completed. The putting surfaces of holes 9, 13, 14, and 17 were reconfigured to closely resemble how they looked back in as early as the 1920s, each one enlarged and recontoured while also being constructed to USGA specifications and fitted with SubAir underground drainage and ventilation systems.
The latest anniversary gift was unveiled last month with the inauguration of the Pebble Beach Visitor Center, an 8,000-square-foot facility located adjacent to The Lodge that features an exhibit area celebrating a century of Pebble Beach history through narrative, interactive displays, and other presentations. Among the stories told are those of the resort’s five golf courses, how they were built and the many special events they’ve hosted; company ownership, from founding to the current proprietors; and the long-standing commitment to the environment and the community.
“The Visitor Center is something we are very excited about, because it provides us an opportunity to share our history with our resort guests, golfers, two million annual visitors, and local community,” said Bill Perocchi, CEO of Pebble Beach Company. “Since its founding in 1919, Pebble Beach Company has maintained a set of core values that include continuous improvement, being good neighbors, and acting as stewards of this magnificent place.”
Visitors can view archival videos, photography from the archives, and replica trophies; ask knowledgeable employees questions about local history; and shop a retail area offering souvenirs and apparel as well as food and beverages.
The Visitor Center is the centerpiece of the famed 17-Mile Drive, which since first welcoming horse-drawn carriages in 1881 has become one of the most famous roadways in the world. Along the route are numerous points of interest and beauty including the Bird Rock viewing area, the Ghost Trees at Pescadero Point, and the iconic Lone Cypress, more than 250 years old and the logo of the Pebble Beach Company.
The opening of the Visitor Center is just the first in a series of events planned to help celebrate the centennial. For more information on what 2019 has in store, go to pebblebeach.com or call (888) 251-9790.
Next month: The Pebble Beach Centennial Celebration