St Andrews vs Pebble Beach Which is easier to get on

By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 13, 2010, 4:19 am

No matter how you slice it, playing St. Andrews or Pebble Beach will cost you a few bucks. But at which course is it easier to get a tee time? senior writers Mike Bailey and Brandon Tucker do battle to help you find the answer.


First off, if you want to play Pebble Beach Golf Links, it will cost you. But anybody can play it. There have been golfers from California to Maine, from Mexico to Canada who have fed the piggy bank for a decade or so to get a chance to experience the links above the bluffs of Carmel Bay. And almost to a man -- or a woman -- they will report that it was well worth it, no matter the weather, no matter their score.

But how much will it cost you to play Pebble Beach? The green fee is $495, and you'll probably want to take a caddie, which will cost you a little more. But that's just the beginning. Playing Pebble requires a two-night minimum stay at one of the Pebble Beach lodges, and, as you might expect, they're not cheap. For example, an Ocean View room at the Lodge at Pebble Beach is $965 per night bringing the tab to around $2,500.

There are more economical options. You can get a Garden View room at the Lodge at Spanish Bay for $595 per night, lowering the tab around $1,800. But there are ways to get around the two-night stay as well. For one, you can show up as a single early in the day and wait around for an opening. Even Pebble isn't interested in unsold tee times. It'll still $495, but you don't have to pay for a room.

You can also try to reserve a tee time inside of 24 hours, which doesn't require a stay, but there are no guarantees you'll get a tee time either. And that might be problematic if you're planning a trip to Pebble Beach with the intention of playing. There are other great courses at Pebble, of course, namely Spyglass Hill Golf Course and the Links at Spanish Bay, and those require a one-night stay unless you exercise the other options above.


Getting a tee time on the Old Course at St. Andrews can be a bit more complicated than Pebble Beach, but it's almost always cheaper than $495, listing at 130 pounds in the peak season.

For starters, no mandatory overnight stay is required to book St. Andrews like at Pebble Beach Resort, where the nightly rate at the lodge can be close to that of a roundtrip flight from New York to Edinburgh, Scotland.

If you're headed to St. Andrews for that once-in-a-lifetime round on the Old, chances are you want a guaranteed tee time through a golf packager. You'll pay a hefty surcharge, but also rest easy knowing the starter will call your name.

But the best way to do St. Andrews is with a little flexibility. Stay in the town for an extended time and enter the lottery every day while you're there.

Stay in Fife for four days, and it's practically guaranteed you'll be booked on the Old if you enter the lottery every day, and possibly
even more than once. There are enough golf courses in Fife that accept last-minute tee times that you can head to St. Andrews with no rounds booked and still play a links somewhere everyday. The next door New Course caters to walk-on play, as it was intended for this when built back in the 19th century.

If you're good at planning ahead, write the Links Trust in the fall before the next golf season asking for a tee time. Or, if you're a single golfer, hang by the starter's shed and wait for an available spot (I did this and got on within a half hour of showing up one April afternoon).

Just remember the course is closed every Sunday and becomes a public park. Take a walk around or have a picnic in the Hell Bunker.
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What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

The Ryder Cup topped his list.

Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

“Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

“The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

More bulletin board material, too.

Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

“I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.