Making Hay: Pebble Beach Resort’s Newest Course & Dining Venue
The Hay is Pebble Beach Resort’s new Tiger Woods-designed short course, and it may just be one of the most fun golf experiences you’ll have on the Monterey Peninsula. Now, with the addition of Hay’s Place restaurant, your taste buds will be sated as well.
Flanked by The Lodge at Pebble Beach and the Pebble Beach Golf Academy atop Peter Hay Hill, the restaurant, which dishes a Mexican-inspired menu, features an indoor/outdoor bar and the largest outdoor dining area in Pebble Beach. Best yet, it overlooks the golf course, Stillwater Cove and Point Lobos. And all this entire project took to become a reality was a serendipitous twist of fate.
Prior to the 2019 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links, John Sawin, the resort’s newly appointed vice president and director of golf, volunteered – without much coercion — his caddy services for Tiger Woods during a practice round. Nearly three later years later, that looping gig is paying major dividends at The Hay.
“We were walking up the 18th hole when Tiger mentioned that he had noticed all the tents on the Peter Hay course. He asked what the plan was for the land after the championship, and said if we ever wanted to turn it into something special, he’d love to be involved,” said Sawin. “Tiger has evolved into a visionary for short courses, because he knows that it’s a great way for beginners and kids to get introduced to the game in a more welcoming fashion than big 18-hole championship courses. For those reasons, plus his own history here, we felt that Tiger was a natural fit for the project.”
The rest, shall we say is, well … you know.
Woods’ offer was all Sawin needed to seal the deal on his preconceived plan to capitalize on the stress-ridden Peter Hay course (named for Peter Hay, the former long-time head professional at both the Pebble Beach and Del Monte golf courses), which was being continually impacted by special events such as the U.S. Open or the annual Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.
Ultimately, when the project was completed in April 2021, Sawin’s objective catapulted an underutilized venue handling 10,000 rounds per year to a marquee facility that’s on pace for 60,000 rounds the first year. With the added bonus of an 18-hole, 20,000-square-foot putting course (which is free to play), The Hay has evolved into the quintessential playground that golfers of all ages can use to fine-tune their pitch-and-putt skills.
Eight of the nine holes, which range in length from 47 to 106 yards, feature fairways that flow directly to the putting surface. The only bump in this design feature is the 106-yard second hole. Known as “Seven,” it is an exact replica — with surrounding bunkers — of the famed No. 7 on the seaside course across the road. The advantage here is that any tee shot hit long will not end up in the Pacific. Plus, there’s an opportunity to experience the iconic hole for a slightly lower green fee of $65 (kids 12 and under play free).
Even allotting time for Instagram moments, the 670-yard course takes less than an hour to complete and can be enjoyed with one golf ball (with maybe a spare in your pocket), a putter and a minimal selection of clubs.
Continuing with the hole-naming theme, The Hay is a stroll through Pebble Beach’s history, with the yardage on each hole corresponding to a significant moment. Fittingly, the scorecard begins with the 57-yard “Hay” hole, which depicts the year (1957) in which the Peter Hay course opened, and finishes with “Tiger,” a 100-yarder that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the U.S. Open in 2000, when Woods harnessed Pebble Beach GL as his personal playground and won by 15 strokes. It also produced two holes-in-one on opening day. The shortest hole at 47 yards, is a tribute to the first Bing Crosby National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach, in 1947.
Should any golfer be so lucky to score an ace, not only will they be presented with a special medallion, but they’ll also be able to enjoy celebratory drinks, ceviche, tin can nachos, and “Tiger’s Fajitas” just steps away at Hay’s Place, where guests can add to the resort’s treasure trove of stories.