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Pebble Beach 2004
by Chuck Clark

Links Corner Course Database ID Number - 1592
Release Date CRZ Filesize Par Course Length
2005-06-09  88,693,947  bytes 72  6840 yards
Type Style CRZ Filename
REAL  OCEAN  Pebble Beach 2004_locked.crz.crz 
Course ID Course Key
a0db3bfe4b844c4ca0cb4ea87b7bce02  062a0b81adc89fd198c5986e682c4e1f 



Reviewed by Chris Gormley

Background Info:
This is 12th course released by Chuck and it is his best IMHO. Some of his other courses include: Prairie Dog GC, Rocky Nuts GC, Torrey Pines South 2002 and Floodlands to just name a few. Pebble Beach 2004 is one of the most anticipated course recreations of the year and I am for one grateful that Chuck took this project on and put the effort into it that he did. Here is a little excerpt from the Pebble Beach 2004 readme:

“Now let’s get on to the course itself. If you know anything about golf then you have probably heard of Pebble Beach. PB is one of the world’s best golf courses. It’s consistently ranked as one of the top ten golf courses in the world. It has been the venue for many major golf championships (US Open’s, PGA Championships, US Amateur’s and others). It’s also the home to the yearly PGA Tour event once known as the Crosby Clambake. It is one of the most beautiful and challenging golf courses ever created. It is famous the world over! Recreating it accurately for Links was a daunting task. However, as a native Californian and having actually played PB in real life (only once unfortunately); I figured I was the logical choice to take it on.

However, I had to pick a moment in time to use as my model. Pebble Beach is an ever changing animal. Not only from year to year; but from season to season (see below). This course was originally built early in the 20th century; before the advent of heavy machinery. The look and character of the course has changed many times over the years; but the basic layout and elevations remain the same as the original design. The changes are due to a number of reasons including deliberate (man made) and non-deliberate events. The capability, cost and feasibility of maintenance (and irrigation) has changed the look of Pebble over the years. At times the course has looked rugged and wild (and sometimes even like an unloved municipal course); but most recently the course has been immaculately maintained and manicured. Generally these days the course is very well groomed; and boy it better be considering the price to play there (currently $425 US).

As for the seasons, any of you who are familiar with California know that we have two distinct seasons here; the “rainy” season and everything else. During the winter months we get all of our rain; therefore the country-side (including golf courses) turn green and lush. It doesn’t generally rain any other time of year so the hills get brown and dry. Although Pebble Beach is well irrigated the fringes of the course get dried out as well. This changes the look quite a bit. I had to make a decision on which season to model here; so I made the decision to go with the lush/green look.

The other changes to this golf course are man-made types. The people who own Pebble Beach are constantly (it seems) upgrading the course (over the period of many years). They have been removing and adding trees (they have had a bunch die from disease), changing tees and adding fairway bunkers to many places on the course (especially to the 2nd, 6th, 13th, 14th and 18th holes). I have tried to include these bunkers as best I can; but at some point you have to just go with what you have and/or know.

The other major change that has happened at Pebble Beach over the years is the new 5th hole. When the course was originally laid out the 5th hole was built as a non-descript uphill (and blind) inland par 3. Over the years the people who have owned Pebble have wanted to move the hole down to the bluffs right above the beach. But that piece of property was owned by someone else and not for sale. The PB Company waited for years and years until the property finally came on the market back in the mid ‘90s. They bought it and immediately hired Jack Nicklaus to design a new 5th hole. The new 5th is a fun and exciting hole right along the ocean. This version of Pebble Beach is the first Links version of PB that includes the new 5th hole. Enjoy!”

Overall Impressions:
Chuck through the years has produced some excellent courses that have been enjoyed by many but with the release of Pebble Beach 2004 he has taken his talents to a new level. Pebble Beach 2004 is probably the best recreation of this classic venue that we have today, it ranks right up there with other IRL recreations like Augusta National, Wagga Wagga, and RLSA’s just to name a few.

The views throughout the course are breathe taking, everything looks about as real as you can get with a computer simulation IMHO. The attention to detail that Chuck has accomplished is staggering as well. Everything just seems to fit perfectly without any one area of the course seeming to be unpolished. Even someone who knows nothing about the APCD will be able to appreciate the amount of time that Chuck has taken to give us the best course possible.

The APCD work all through out the course is top notch. There are no visible mistakes or problems that I can see, which is normal for Chucks work. I must say that the coastline looks really good and rivals even Mike Jones’s creations. I cannot even begin to imagine how long it took just to create that coastline, but I am glad that Chuck took the time to do it right.

The overall terrain of the course is very smooth and contoured well, no sharp edges or places where the elevations look unreal. The fairways and greens fit well into the terrain and offer a player many different contours to work with. The terrain especially along the coastline offers a ton of risk/reward to the course. There are many places where an errant shot can get into some real trouble. I now know how the pro’s feel when they stand on the tee and try and thread a shot through to the green on some of these holes.

The greens are constructed very well and are contoured to challenge even the best of players, as I would assume they are IRL. Although the putting is tough I would not say that it is unfair. Chuck has done a nice job of placing the pins so that this does not happen. Since I play with the 1.06 MOD I would say it is very compatible with it and even on the faster settings, but be ready for a challenge if you venture into these.

The hazard areas all throughout the course are constructed superbly. The bunker textures are especially good, and unfortunately all during my review rounds I was in there looking at it up close and personal. The bunkers are placed perfectly to challenge a players shot not only from the tee but on the approach shots to the green as well.

The planting throughout the course is also spectacular (go figure everything about this course is great ). Everything from the trees to the shrubs on the ground are done very well. Nothing is overdone or out of place. I commend Chuck for this as I feel he has reached the level with the other Planting Masters of the APCD community (Wayne Hewitt and Mike Jones). Planting is tough to do well but Chuck has shown with Pebble Beach 2004 that he has this technique down perfectly.

Now let’s walk through some holes on the course:

Hole 5: This is a Par 3 hole that measures in at around 188 yards from the back tees. This hole is a prime example as to how much attention to detail has gone into the course. The green is protected by 4 bunkers with the front side bunker being the most dangerous. Trees protect the backside of the green. Getting it close to the pin is not necessary but does make that birdie put a lot easier.

Hole 7: This is another Par 3 hole that measures in at 111 yards but there is about a 32 foot drop from the back tees to the green, thus making this hole extremely difficult to judge when hitting off the tee. This hole is surrounded by 6 bunkers, and if that did not make things hard enough there are rocks and coastline as well to gobble errant shots up. The green slopes from back to front so make sure you hit it far enough or else you may spin back right off the green if the conditions are right.

Hole 18: This is one of the classic finishing holes that we have in the Links Community. It is a medium Par 5 hole that measures in at around 551 yards. There are 2 trees to navigate in the landing zone of your initial drive. The entire left side of the hole is protected by the coastline, which is just gorgeous to look at IMHO. The green, although it is protected by bunkers, is pretty easy to reach unless the wind is blowing into your face. The green is flat for the most part so getting it close is not necessary to make eagle on this hole.

These are just 3 of the holes on the course. There are 15 other classic ones that I could have listed here but I decided to just chose a couple of my personal favorites.

Closing comments:
Like I stated above this is probably one of the best real course recreations I have seen for Links. Chuck has taken his designing to a new level and we the Links Community get to enjoy his talents once again. I remember purchasing the Access version of Pebble Beach and thinking it was one of the best courses we had in the community at the time. After playing some rounds on Chuck’s version of Pebble Beach I have the same feeling, this is one of the must have courses that we have available to us. There is nothing about this course that should deter a player from downloading this one and keeping it on the hard drive for a very long time. I highly recommended Pebble Beach 2004.

"I am writing this review from the viewpoint of not only a player but as a Tour Director. Although I am not a designer I understand the work that goes into a design as I have beta tested many courses and my review is simply how I as a player/Tour Director would view this course."

CLIPNOTES by Ben Bateson (ousgg)

Real, ocean course
Concept  10/10
I don’t think there is any knocking the Pebble Beach concept. The world’s most famous course is the very pinnacle of course design and the shoreline holes are all renowned as some of the world’s finest. The fact that it has remained at the top of the ladder for over 70 years is doubly remarkable. This re-creation goes to painstaking lengths to render every inch of the course, and does an absolutely stunning job.
Appearance  10/10
Unbelievable. Planting is beautiful, elevations are natural, and the shoreline is from another planet. The bunkers are brilliantly understated and look wonderful. I cannot find a single thing to fault here.
Playability  8/10
As with all real course conversions, the joy is just imagining that you’re playing the real thing. But, for some reason, Pebble Beach’s legendary charm seems to pall on Links, particularly around the new (and quite nondescript) turn. When the course continually dumps you in the same sort of trouble, it becomes a tad wearisome, a problem that – say – Augusta never suffers. But there’s plenty to make up for it, including the heart-stopping final hole, which if I could play just one Links hole for the rest of eternity, I would surely choose.
Challenge  9/10
Respect Pebble Beach and it’ll respect you, the locals say. Disrespect it, and you’re going to rack up a mammoth score very quickly. Even playing conservatively, the course really pushes you to break par, and with the hazard areas just off line on many holes, some might say the course is a shade too difficult. It’s still a brilliant and original test of golf, though.
Technical  10/10
The lengths that went into this course are unbelievable. Real green maps were incorporated, and photographs of the course used in their dozens. And the whole thing has been translated beautifully and flawlessly to the small screen. Worth 11/10, if I would give it.
Overall Sheer brilliance from a very talented designer. One of the best re-creations of a real course, ever. 47/50
Please remember that Clipnote reviews are the opinion of one person and do not constitute an 'Official' Links Corner review of the course.


 Votes cast
Ace88 %219
Eagle11 %28
Birdie0 %1
Par0 %1
Bogey or worse0 %0

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