Monterey Peninsula - Top 5 Hidden Gems

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The Monterey Peninsula is home to some of the most popular courses in the world. Here are five you may not know about.

No. 5Del Monte Golf Course
pebble beach del monteDel Monte is the oldest golf course in continuous operation west of the Mississippi River. It's one of four courses owned by the Pebble Beach Co. (along with Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and Pebble Beach), but Del Monte has a feeling of municipality unmatched by its brethren.

Constructed in 1897 after guests of the nearby Del Monte Hotel desired a golf course, Del Monte immediately became known as one of the finest golf courses in the world, and became part of one of the first true golf resorts ever created. The walking rate is $110.


No. 4Peter Hay Par-3 Golf Course
peter hay golf courseThis 9-hole pitch-and-putt is the namesake of longtime Pebble Beach Golf Links head professional, Peter Hay. At $25 for an all-day pass, it makes for a fun skins game or an un-intimidating entrée for juniors. It was a favorite spot for Bing Crosby, and is a bladed sand wedge from the first tee at Pebble. No tee time necessary; just show up.


No. 3 – Carmel Valley Ranch Resort
carmel valley ranch20 minutes inland from 17-mile drive, Carmel Valley Ranch offers another perspective of golf on the Monterey Peninsula. This Pete Dye design sits in the gorgeous Carmel Valley with dramatic hill-country views. Two distinct 9s tip out at an unassuming 6,117 yards but with a slope of 131 it’s anything but docile. No ocean views here, but the course is rarely crowded and the conditions are top-notch, perhaps the best on the Peninsula.


No. 2Bayonet/Black Horse
bayonet black horse
© Bayonet Black Horse
One of the up-and-coming golf destinations on the Peninsula, Bayonet Black Horse is a 36-hole facility in Seaside that has been resurrected under the watchful eye of course architect, Gene Bates. The redesign team successfully elevated Bayonet and Blackhorse golf courses’ design and conditioning to a level rivaling the Pebble Beach courses. A Fairmont Hotel & Resort and 125 home sites are also part of the property’s master plan. This place won’t be “hidden” for long, and must be included in any golfer’s Monterey Peninsula rotation.


No. 1Pacific Grove Golf Links
pacific grove golf course
© Joann Dost
One of my favorite courses on the Peninsula, Pacific Grove is a blue-collar version of Pebble Beach. The front nine is inland, while the back nine is as close to the ocean as you can get without falling in.

Known as one of the best values on the Peninsula, it’s a shoo-in on any Top Courses Under $50 list in America. Rates are $45 for 18 holes, but here's an insiders tip: Show up before 10 a.m. for a back-nine-only rate of $20