Hole 16: Par 4, 355 Yards
The 16th tee, perched atop a dune adjacent to the historic Point Pinos Lighthouse, occupies the highest land on the back nine and opens up a new vista — the cliffs and the sea on the east side of the point, where the course comes to a serene conclusion.
From the elevated tee, the 16th tumbles down toward the ocean. The capacious fairway will encourage you to take a lash with the driver, and but for the best angle into the green you will need to be precise. A tongue of sand and scrub, the last bit of duneland that you will reckon with on the course, pushes into the fairway from the left at about 250 yards. Not coincidentally, architect Jack Neville designed the green complex to be most receptive to approaches from the left side of the fairway.
If you land your drive close to the waste area, not only will you create a good angle for yourself between the two green-side bunkers and down the length of the putting surface, but you may also get a big kick off of a downslope 75 yards from the green. So with a little power and a willingness to aim at trouble, you could leave yourself a pitch-and-putt birdie opportunity. Or you could lose your ball.
Hole 17: Par 3, 153 Yards
Over Crespi Pond, alongside Sunset Drive… to your left, the cliffs and the rocks and the ocean, the joggers and the dogwalkers… this is a gorgeous setting for golf, no doubt. Unfortunately, the hole itself presents no particular strategic quandaries. You shouldn’t worry about the pond, which stops 20 paces short of the front fringe, and you probably won’t even notice the back-left bunker. Just keep in mind that the green tilts severely back to front, so you will want to avoid over-clubbing.
Hole 18: Par 4, 298 Yards
Let’s not talk too much about this hole. It is short, straight, uphill. Strategically bland. Aesthetically unremarkable. Compromised and perhaps forever limited in its potential by the driving range to the right. Not a bad hole; just a relatively boring one.
(The driving range, by the way, occupies far superior golfing terrain — wide, rolling, and sandy. But there is nowhere else to put a practice facility.)
Instead, reflect on the many fun, beautiful, and surprising holes you have played, and remember that this is a municipal course, maintained for the public good by the city of Pacific Grove and offered to citizens and visitors at affordable rates. Perhaps the best thing that the game of golf can do for the world is to create more places like PG Golf Links.