You’ve watched the professionals struggle to figure out how to play Pebble Beach’s tricky par three seventh hole. Pros have hit sand wedges, nine irons, three irons, and everything in between in their attempts to conquer the hole’s unique setup. The legendary Sam Snead once teed off with a putter to keep his ball out of the wind.
Golf’s Most Challenging Hole?
Listed at 106 yards, Hole 7 can measure between 92 and 106 yards and has a 40 foot drop in elevation from tee to green. Hitting the ball far enough is not the issue.
The primary challenge is negotiating the wind, which is usually directly into your shot. Second, on the tee box, you’re staring directly at the Pacific Ocean, which appears to surround the back and sides of the green. Often, waves are crashing against the rugged shoreline. You definitely don’t want to go long. As if that were not enough, there are numerous deep sand bunkers guarding the green just about everywhere you look. The intimidation factor here is high and can lead to fear and doubt.
While Pebble Beach is open to the public, many golfers never get to play there. If you have the chance to visit in person, or play it on a simulator, here are some tips that will help you make a decent score on this tough hole.
Distance and Elevation
First select the club you hit 106 yards. It’s important to know your distance for every club in your bag. Then, for every 15 foot drop in elevation, subtract one club. Since Pebble Beach’s seventh hole drops 40 feet from tee to green, you should subtract almost three clubs. Since it’s a short hole, subtracting two clubs should be enough. Let’s say you hit your pitching wedge 105 yards. You’re most likely going to end up with a sand wedge or a three quarter gap wedge.
Wind Speed and Direction
If there’s little to no wind, tee it up with the club you selected and make a good swing, trusting that you picked the right club. If there is wind, which will usually be into your shot, you need to determine how many clubs to add back to your club selection. The rule of thumb is to add one club for every 10 mph of wind speed. With wind speeds sometimes reaching gale force, it’s easy to see how this can quickly add up, and why some pros need to pull out mid to long irons on this short hole.
Enjoy The Experience
Whatever the conditions are on the seventh hole at Pebble Beach, savor your experience. You’ll get better each time you play. If you’re fortunate enough to be able to play on a simulator, vary the conditions each time so that when you do get to play it in person, you’ll be ready to make your best score.