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Joel_Stewart

  • Karma: +0/-0
What happened at Spyglass
« on: November 04, 2002, 12:13:29 PM »
I played Spyglass last week for the first time in 10 years.  (I live close but just didn't make the time).  Anyway, I was very surprised to see 2 major changes.  
The 16th (named Black Dog) was always one of the hardest par 4's in the world looks like someone completely reshaped and lowered the green?  Furthermore a tree which was in the middle right of the fairway has been removed on died.





The other major change was the 11th, a par 5. A lake which was in front of the green was removed completely and replaced by a series of bunkers.  I believe all of this was done by Tom Fazio.



Lastly, attached is a picture of the great #4 taken from the green of #2.  Hopefully you can see the fantastic #5 in the background.  Spectacular day.







« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2002, 12:21:19 PM »
Joel - after the AT&T cancellation fiasco a few years, major drainage work was done at Spyglass, resulting in the changes you saw particularly on 11 and 16.  I kinda like the new 11, but the new 16 is sad... a great brutal hole was sadly softened.  Apparently this had to be done though for the good of the drainage... there are many here who know all the details of this far better than I, but that's the gist of it.

Looks like you had a nice day anyway!

TH
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Tim Weiman

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2002, 01:02:56 PM »
Tom Huckaby:

I share your sadness about the changes to #16 at Spyglass. It was a brute, but always made you feel good about reaching the green in regulation. The new hole looks pretty weak by comparison.

Joel Stewart:

Thanks for the pictures. I'll always remember the start at Spyglass amongst the best in the game. Kind of weird, but I used to feel sad standing on #6 tee.......like I wanted to go back and start over again.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

D. Kilfara

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2002, 01:02:57 PM »
I just LOVE those stripes in the fairway! (Not.)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Joel_Stewart

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2002, 01:05:27 PM »
The course was built in 1965-66 at a cost of only 600k.  I understand they skimped on everything especially the irrigation and drainage system which as you mentioned was completely replaced over the last 5 years.  I will say the course was in great shape, fast and dry.  The greens are slow (7 on the stimp) but they are trying not to stress them out and are fighting with some disease.

I'll agree that 11 is OK although those bunkers don't really come into play unless you are trying to reach the green in two.  #16 has been destroyed.  It still measures 462 from the back tee and 435 from the gold tee but doesn't have the same fear factor.

Spyglass (IMHO) is barely a Top 100 course anymore.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2002, 04:19:24 PM »
I know that the tree on the right side of 16 fairway, at 210 to the green, was just recently downed. There is no doubt that the old green was vastly superior. I'll never forget my virgin trip and I hit the right corner of the leg with a perfect look at the green. What I saw was the most intimidating shot I had ever seen. The tree on the left front had that spanish moss looking EVIL about it. The very next year 96' they altered the hole by removing the trees and by lowering the green considerably.

11's right side bunkers are truely serlyn magnets. Most of them are containment from going into the ravine right of right. The greenside bunker plays very intimidatingly to a right pin and is sloped off the back side. So a shot which just carries hits and goes long, leaving a downhill chip from thickish rough.

If Spy was just five holes it would still be a top 100.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

John_D._Bernhardt

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #6 on: November 11, 2002, 08:09:39 AM »
Now lets take a look at this again,Spyglass is one of the great tough courses in the world. I find it worthy of top 100 status. this is a course with a lot of strong to very strong 4's. solid par 5's, 3 and 5 are great par 3's and 4 is one of the great short 4's on earth. 2 is very good too. The only weakness is the two par 3's on the back are somewhat similar holes but not really and contrast pretty well with the strong holes before and after them. It is head and shoulders the toughest course in that part of the country. watering down 16 did not make this a course any less challenging in its totality.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2002, 09:12:06 AM »
John- I guess becasue of the high green fees not too many people get to actually play it enough to appreciate it. So, one time or infrequent players may not appreciate those par 3's on the back, but in my book, 12 is awesome and 15 is one of the toughest shortist holes I've seen.  

Thinking about evolution, imagine how Spy will be if the trees all succomb to the Pitch Cancre. There will be no more Spyglass Symphony but in my extrapolation, I don't see the course suffering one bit. As I matter of fact, if handled properly, I believe it could get better and significantly so. The vistas alone will improve and I believe with some minor expansion widthwise the courses strengths will really shine which are those greens and greensite.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2002, 09:36:58 AM »
John D.

I think you have been drinking Lousiana's finest Chardonnays! Spyglass tougher than Bayonet? No way. Just compare the scores of the PGA events held on the Peninsula. A better course, yes, a tougher test, no.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Scott_Burroughs

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2002, 09:40:45 AM »
Hasn't The Bayonet been softened recently?  Huckaby said so not long ago after playing it for the first time in a long time (perhaps even re-rating it).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

A_Clay_Man

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2002, 10:30:52 AM »
Bob- There is no doubt that if JB's is hitting the JB, that that hail Mary ending to the Tiger's game was worthy of an extended stuper. As for difficulty, I know in the six years I was on the peninsula I never saw all the pirates teeth. Bayo's difficulty is mostly found in the kikuyu rough.(IMO) I wonder... if set-up at Spy was ever  truely optimized that Spy would indeed be tougher. For example I once tossed a 78 at Bayo while never ever coming close to that at Spy.

That Picture of the 5th hole looks like there was some bunker work done recently. As I know those four bunkers, the front three had a different color sand and the one in the back use to be the narliest on the course if not the peninsula. It was all beach sand and full of it. Most if not all the other bunkers have minimal amounts of sand in them.

Has Tom Fazio been tinkering at Spy, while waiting for the Forest? What's the story there?
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Craig Van Egmond

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #11 on: November 11, 2002, 11:41:38 AM »

I had the pleasure of playing the kindler gentler Bayonet with America's favorite guest and it is still a brute, miss the fairway and hope for bogey. Keep it in the fairway and the course is not too bad though. The rough is rough! I'm glad I didn't play it when it was tough.   ;D

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Kevin_Reilly

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #12 on: November 11, 2002, 12:26:09 PM »
The Buy.com tour played Bayonet a month ago, and the scores were all US Open-like (ie HIGH).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
"GOLF COURSES SHOULD BE ENJOYED RATHER THAN RATED" - Tom Watson

Glen_Fergo

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2002, 05:28:12 PM »
I played Spyglass in 1998 on the weekend before the AT&T final round was played on the Monday, you couldn't find your feet in the rough (our 4 found over 40 balls without trying).

I am a Scratch Marker in OZ and I was lucky to play really well (75 off the stick) the day I was there, the Black Tees were a real challenge.

I think to compare scores between Main tour and Buy.com at different courses is dangerous. At Spyglass the players have played often enough to know where and how to play the course best. Although I don't know the Bayonet Course I'd be interested in knowing Buy.com have palyed before and if the conditions were favourable to low scoring (they are on the secondary tour for a reason). :)
Quote
The Buy.com tour played Bayonet a month ago, and the scores were all US Open-like (ie HIGH).
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2002, 05:38:05 PM »
Glen:

Go through the PGA records and you will see that Bayonet has never played easier than the A.T. and T. courses.

I played in US Qualifying there thirty odd years ago in miserable weather and half the field failed to break 80!

When Simon Hobday came over from South Africa and played the first of his two qualifying tourneys for the
Senior Tour, he opined that it was the hardest test he had faced in his lifetime. He came in first.

Frankly, the place is a pussy cat from what it was years ago. The cypress tress have been cut several feet up their trunks to allow a bit of a swing iff one is offline. The greens are swift and swirly.

The current operators are doing a whale of a job.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Gib_Papazian

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2002, 07:09:45 PM »
There is no point in making a comparison between Spyglass and Bayonet. One is a work of art and the other is a brainless slog that any left-handed monkey with a few stripes on his sleeve could have designed  . . . . .  but that is hardly the point.

If Bayonet were designed today from scratch, this group of design savants would rip it to shreds as a boring, one-dimensional obstacle course. . . . now add a ridiculous overgrowth of trees the course used to (and to some extent still does) suffer from and the Armenian gives it a "3" . . . .

While we are discussing Spyglass, I recall the golf course when I was much younger. My best friend went to RLS - his dormroom was adjacent to the golf course.

Those who bemoan the changes at Spyglass forget how much it has has been defanged over the years to accomodate the rumba-line of absolute choppers who aimlessly wander the golf course for six hours without ever seeing the short grass - unless they lose track of the cartpath and happen to drive across the fairway.

Everything has been dumbed-down to cater to the lowest common denominator. Can you blame them for making it a bit easier? The Yakatori foursome pays ridiculous dough to play golf once a month (if that) and can barely reach the first green in 6 blows. What are you going to do, chase them off? Or maybe just be satisified with seven hour rounds?

I would have never touched a thing, but I am not king. Once you begin to prostitute a golf facility, the slope gets slippery.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:11 PM by -1 »

John_D._Bernhardt

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2002, 07:23:47 PM »
Well gee it seems I opened a can of worms. Gib i hope you will come visit again soon so we can discuss the course over 18. I have not played Bayonet so I am not qualified to say, but i have always felt Spyglass is a man's course. I have played it about 20 times over 15 years now. Yes, It has been changed but I still do  not think to the point it is not one of the really tough courses around and yes still worthy of top 100 status. Adam you are corect about the holes indiviaually and how they blend. My only reason to mention it is there are 3 fairly short steep downhill par 3's. I would keep 3 first and 12 second but 15 is a really good hole too. there is the greatness of the course. even where critized the holes are great and make for splended routing and flow. Well Bob, I was Kentucky sampling the best of local bourbons this weekend. life is good.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:11 PM by -1 »

Glen_Fergo

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2002, 12:56:31 AM »
Bob, please forgive my ignorance, I've never heard of the course before now.

Can you tell more about it and where it is? Can you play it travelling from OS? :o
Quote
Glen:

Go through the PGA records and you will see that Bayonet has never played easier than the A.T. and T. courses.

I played in US Qualifying there thirty odd years ago in miserable weather and half the field failed to break 80!

When Simon Hobday came over from South Africa and played the first of his two qualifying tourneys for the
Senior Tour, he opined that it was the hardest test he had faced in his lifetime. He came in first.

Frankly, the place is a pussy cat from what it was years ago. The cypress tress have been cut several feet up their trunks to allow a bit of a swing iff one is offline. The greens are swift and swirly.

The current operators are doing a whale of a job.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Gib_Papazian

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2002, 08:16:02 AM »
I'd like to clarify that Uncle bob is correct that Bayonnet is a brutally hard golf course, but in comparison to Spyglass it seem entirely devoid of charm, personality and flow.

Spyglass might beat you up, but it never fails to present an interesting shot opportunity. Think about the 9th. Miss the green (always) and the up-and-down is one of the most interesting and challenging pitch shots I've played. What a green! I cannot think of any green complex at Bayonet even close.

Plus, if played from an appropriate length to the distance you hit the ball, Spyglass is all about strategy. Any decent mid-handicapper can score on it if they just use their heads.

Playing Bayonet is like banging your head against a tree 18 times.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

RJ_Daley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #19 on: November 12, 2002, 09:47:58 AM »
Gee Gib, I thought you were packed in some sea container sitting on some dock on the bay, with a stamp on it saying "do not open til Christmas". ;D  Nice to see you out in fresh air again... 8)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »
No actual golf rounds were ruined or delayed, nor golf rules broken, in the taking of any photographs that may be displayed by the above forum user.

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #20 on: November 12, 2002, 01:32:09 PM »
Glen:

Both Bayonet and Black Horse are in Fort Ord, a ten minute or less, drive from the Hill Gate at Pebble Beach. Access is easy, the price is right and the telephone number is 831-899-7271.

It is not, as our dear scribe Gib Papazion notes, his favorite course in the world, but on the the other hand it is a lot better than Beit Bridge. More on that later.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #21 on: November 12, 2002, 01:33:25 PM »
Oops, sorry, that should be Papazian.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Steve Sailer

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #22 on: November 12, 2002, 03:58:28 PM »
Thinking about how good Spyglass Hill is makes me wonder just how many outstanding courses Robert Trent Jones Sr. would have designed if he been in his prime during a more economically elitist time than the 50s thru 70s. I think it's correct to say that Robber Baron eras, past and present, produce a demand for outstanding golf courses. Whereas the more egalitarian postwar era, with income tax rates running up to 93% and corporate executives' salaries far lower than today, wanted a lot of standardized, rationalized courses that provided a good test of golf at a limited cost. Similarly, the post-war years saw a the construction of a lot of highly-rationalized cookie-cutter skyscrapers, but few buildings of real distinction or excitement. RTJ Sr. got awfully good at providing what the era demanded, but I suspect that he could have done more exciting courses if he'd worked in a different time.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

THuckaby2

Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2002, 08:09:10 AM »
As it stands today, Spyglass is a more difficult golf course than Bayonet.  The latter has been softened more than a roll of Charmin over the last few years, for the purpose of making it more user-friendly post-military.  They've done a fine job in that respect.

BUT... they tore the soul out of what once was a wonderfully brutal golf course. Gib's right - it never was any marvel of architecture - hell, it was designed by an Army general with a left-handed slice - but it was THE toughest course in the greater SF Bay Area unquestionably, with its reason for existence being A TEST.  I loved it.  It kicked my ass up and down and every which way, but I loved it.  Nope - Spyglass was tough, but it wasn't Bayonet.

As it stands today Gib's right - it really has little soul - I'd give it more than a "3" on any scale, but to each his own...

The main point is that it existed to be penal, brutal, "unfair", just a bitch of a test.  Think you're good?  Play Bayonet.  That was always the rallying cry.... In that respect I'd rate the course VERY high as it was about 15 years ago.  It succeeded mightily in its reason for being,  That means a lot to me....

But I've lamented this on GCA's dg many times before.  

It's nearly equally sad what's been done to #16 at Spyglass.  Some things are MEANT to be tough, you know?

TH
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

Bob_Huntley

  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: What happened at Spyglass
« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2002, 08:53:48 AM »
Thomas of Huckaby:

In spite of the sissifying out at Fort Ord, I've got ten bob at odds of 2 to 1 that you will score higher at Bayonet than Spyglass, the next time you are down here.

Pick any tees.

Good luck.

Bob

« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by 1056376800 »

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