No matter how you spin it, you’re going to fork out a bit of cash to walk the majestic fairways of Pebble Beach Golf Links. However, there are ways to make the cost of a Pebble Beach golf trip a little more reasonable and avoid dipping into your retirement savings to stay at the resort.
Here is my step-by-step guide to saving a lot of money on your Pebble Beach Trip:
1. Travel in a Pack
Put together a foursome, or more, and rent a condo or a house in the trendy nearby communities of Pacific Grove or Monterey. Per-person accommodation costs drop dramatically when you travel in a pack. Although staying at the Pebble Beach Resort is incredible, it’s a budget killer.
2. Purchase a Duke’s Club Membership (click here for information).
At certain times of year, Duke Club members are able to book select times at Pebble Beach for discounted rates. The first time I played Pebble Beach was in December and I paid $395 (instead of $495), AND received a $50 gift card for the pro shop.
If you’re visiting Pebble Beach, you should also play their other courses – Spyglass Hill, The Links at Spanish Bay, and Del Monte. The Duke’s Club membership gets you (and 3 guests) significantly discounted rates at these other courses. We also received $50 gift cards each after playing at Spyglass Hill and The Links at Spanish Bay in December. When the one-time membership cost is split amongst the group, it more than pays for itself in just one round.
As an added bonus, the Duke Club membership entitles you to 20% off in most of the restaurants at Pebble Beach Resorts. No catch, just 20% off your group’s tab. This makes for significant savings on 19th hole beers and snacks at The Bench or Taproom.
As a Duke Club member you can book tee times at Pebble Beach 24 hours in advance, and 2 weeks in advance at their other courses. If you’re making a special trip from afar and can’t risk not getting a time at Pebble, it’s possible that they will make an exception and book a Pebble Beach tee time further in advance without a resort stay. It has happened before so it could happen again. No guarantees, but it never hurts to ask (or beg).
3. Visit During Slow Season
To ensure you get your Pebble Beach tee time, try visiting between December and February. Particularly at the end of January or beginning of February right before the AT&T pro-am. You can shoot a cannon off at all of their courses. Keep in mind that you may have a few grandstands in your photos as they prepare for the tournament.
Visiting at this time of year also increases the chances of additional Duke Member promotions, however, promotions aren’t unheard of in mid-summer either. It’ll just be busier.
4. Carry Your Bag
A common misconception of Pebble Beach is that they require you to take a caddie. Not true. You can head out and carry your own bag. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very cool having a caddie and it adds to the experience. However, if your first priority is saving cash, you can save another $80 plus gratuity by carrying your own bag.
5. Utilize the Replay Discount
Pebble Beach resorts offers replay rates. If you play one of their courses in the morning, you can do a second lap the same day on any of their other courses for 50% off. You can utilize this whether you’re staying at the resort or not. This can only be booked the day of, and is based on availability.
6. Value Golf on the Monterey Peninsula
While in the area, you might want to check out other courses on the Monterey Peninsula that offer great value – Pacific Grove Golf Links (aka Poor Man’s Pebble), Laguna Seca Golf Ranch, and Bayonet/Blackhorse (36 holes) can all be played for under $100 depending on day and time. Some for as little as $50-$60 including a cart if you book last minute deals online.
Poppy Hills is another great and underrated play (which will run you about $150 on Golf Now) and one of my favorite public courses in the area.
There you have it, your Pebble Beach golf trip just became an affordable, epic adventure.
If you’re able and willing to fork out the big bucks for the full resort and caddie experience, by all means, it is truly incredible.
If your mission is to save money, you can still have an experience of a lifetime at Pebble Beach without emptying your life savings.