Everyone knows all about Pebble Beach, but there have been some subtle changes to some key holes that are going to make this trip a little different than in previous trips.

From what I’ve gathered, the rough isn’t too crazy except around the bunkers where it’s pretty fuckin’ gnarly.  The course conditions are fantastic, as to be expected, and we’ll most likely see some firm and fast fairways which is exactly what USGA guru Mike Davis envisioned in bringing the ocean more into play along 6, 8 and 10.  The course’s difficulty will be determined in large by the elements…if it’s nice and the wind isn’t blowing expect some reasonably low scores, but the wind will be a factor…you know this.

Anyways, lets just look at some of the updates from the 2000 Open.

No. 2: The most boring hole at Pebble is now a beastly par 4 that covers 500 yards of prime parking lot location goodness.

No. 3: The traditional miss off the tee was a draw that didn’t draw and went long into a rough area.  This would’ve been a PERFECT chance to test the players ability to adjust to the new groove rule.  Fliers would’ve been dead in the water, literally, but instead of giving us the opportunity to see some epic fail, we’re now treated with bunkers, making it a relatively easy shot without much chance of shadenfraude.

Shame.

No. 5: This is my one of my favorite par 3’s in all of golf, no doubt aided by it’s realistic reaction in Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf for Xbox.  No major changes to the Jack Nicklaus redesigned gem, but I just wanted to mention it because it’s so awesome.  Wind plays a factor, but if you hit a good, accurate shot, you’ll be rewarded with an 16-at-Augusta type rollercoaster as the green feeds towards the pin.

No. 6: Remember Tiger’s shot here in 2000?  The shot at :23 in the video below?

That shot would be in the water at this year’s Open.  The fairways run right into the ocean, and if it’s firm and fast as we should expect, 3w is the club off the tee here.  Unless you’re absolutely fearless and really, really good with your driver, it just doesn’t make sense to risk a waterball here, one of the better scoring holes on the course.

No. 8-10: The ocean will be a factor.

Oh yes.

It will.

No. 14: It’s long, it’s brawny, and yet, reports of Dustin Johnson and Phil reaching it in two make you think that the bombers could pick up some strokes on the rest of the field here.  The landing area of a typical tour driver has been pinched, but somewhere I read Phil teed off with an iron and still reached the green in two makes me think that I should really take golf lessons.  This is an awesome par 5 and it’s been made even better with deep rough behind and left of the green being replaced by closely mowed chipping areas which will alternately provide brilliance via wedge and big number via being a dumbass, as seen by Paul Goydos’ 9 at the ATT Pro Am this year.

No. 17: Watson’s chip in is a shot that’ll never be replicated because it’s no longer there after a chunk of land fell into the ocean some years ago.  The ocean is right behind the hole here, and the wind is going to make this hole one of the most eventful the tournament will have to offer, like it always has been.

No. 18: What better way to close a round, and close this article than the greatest finishing hole in the US?

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