Pebble Beach makes changes retains No 1 ranking


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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. ' For the sixth consecutive year, Pebble Beach Golf Links has earned top honors as Americas No. 1 Public Golf Course as publicized in the May edition of Golf Digest. The legendary course has maintained this position since 2003 when the rankings were first introduced.
Touted as one of the most comprehensive and prestigious rankings in the game of golf, this award is highly coveted. To maintain the top position again is truly rewarding, says Bill Perocchi, Chief Executive Officer. Under the direction of Arnold Palmer, weve made a number of golf course improvements in anticipation of hosting our fifth U.S. Open in June 2010, and weve received a lot of positive feedback. This new Golf Digest ranking provides further recognition that were on the right track.
The primary purpose of these enhancements was to maintain Pebble Beachs historic shot value in light of the increased length exhibited by todays players. The most recent improvement was made to the oceanfront fourth hole. This short par-4 has undergone a bunker redesign to bring the ocean more into play. The existing pot bunker in the left fairway was shifted right, towards the ocean, to force players to the ocean side of the course, and the larger left side fairway bunker has been extended seaward to capture off-center tee shots. Two new bunkers were added along the left side of the fairway requiring more precision and thoughtful club selection on the tee shot. Other notable changes occurred on holes 6 and 18 where, again, the ocean takes center stage through strategic placement of bunkers and Cypress trees.
Overall, four greens and 20 bunkers have been rebuilt, altered or installed; 12 tees have been upgraded, trees have been added on six holes and the total length of the course has been extended to 7,014 yards.
The 2010 U.S. Open Championship will mark the fifth time that the storied course has hosted this prestigious event. Opened in 1919 and designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, Pebble Beach Golf Links has hosted ten previous USGA championships. Tiger Woods 15-stroke victory in 2000 'his first U.S. Open win' was the largest ever recorded at one of golfs majors. Prior winners at Pebble Beach were Jack Nicklaus in 1972, Tom Watson in 1982, and Tom Kite in 1992.