AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am 2022 Overview
The No. 1 public golf course in the United States is Pebble Beach Golf Links. The magnificent coastline that stretches across California’s Monterey Peninsula is truly sacred ground in the golf world.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am is a full-field event played over 3 different courses.The host course is Pebble Beach Golf Links, and all participants must play the course once before making the 54-hole cut. The top 25 Pro-Am teams and the top 65 professionals will compete in the final round on Sunday.
The other two rounds are held at Spyglass Hill Golf Club and the Shore Course at Monterey Peninsula Country Club. All 3 of the courses are under 7,000 yards long.
The greens are the smallest on the PGA Tour, measuring around 3,500 square feet. You’ll want to look at the numbers for players that excel on Poa annua and have a good approach to greens. When playing at Pebble Beach, power isn’t required, and the large fairways allow for more lies in the short grass to attack the smaller greens.Players with both elite level iron play and short games will have success throughout the week.
Pebble Beach has some of the tiniest greens on the TOUR, with an average green size of about 3,500 square feet. Playing from the fairway and dialling in approach shots become more important as a result. It also has one of the lowest percentages of Greens In Regulation on the TOUR, making SG: Around The Green an important number this week.
Pebble Beach gives away the shortest average driving distance on the TOUR, forcing layups on several holes off the tee and virtually completely eliminating any advantage for longer hitters. Despite the modest length on the scorecard, this course may be a significant challenge for the field.
On the Monterey Peninsula and Spyglass Hill courses, there is less data to sort through. What we do know is that the Monterey Peninsula course, which was dropped from the rotation last year, is the simplest of the three and where players will need to take advantage, especially if the winds are light. Monterey Peninsula is a 6,958-yard Par-71 course comprising five Par-3 holes, four Par-5 holes, and nine Par-4 holes. The Par-5s are reachable and should provide plenty of opportunity for birdies and eagles.
The most difficult of the three courses, Spyglass Hill, can be the most challenging. There are five holes that are exposed to the coast, but the area is mainly tree-lined, which helps to shield it from the weather. When the winds are calm, Spyglass is the most challenging of the three tests; when the winds are strong, it is marginally easier than Pebble Beach. At 7,035 yards, this Par-72 course is the longest of the three, with four Par 4s under 400 yards on which competitors must capitalise.
It will be critical to monitor weather forecasts throughout the week to determine if any of the course rotation waves or AM/PM tee time splits have an edge.
5 Key Skills Set Required
- SG approach – Approach play is one of the key metrics each and every week on the PGA TOUR and this week it will play a significant factor. As you will see on my next point there is a particular distance on approach play that the players must excel at, but wedges aside you have to be dialled in with your iron play at Pebble Beach given the green sizes are the smallest on tour.
- Proximity from 75-125 Yards – Nearly double the amount of shots will come from this key distance at the pebble Beach Pro-Am this week compared to the average PGA TOUR event. This is one of the weeks on tour where all player types can win, long or short off the tee is nearly irrelevant here at Pebble Beach. This is all about attacking the small greens when you have wedges in hand.
- GIR Gained – You can see the theme this week is all about approach play. As I have touched upon the greens here are particularly small, and therefore the players that hit a high amount of greens in regulation will inevitably give themselves plenty of birdie opportunities. This week isn’t about attacking every pin, it’s about controlling your iron play and hitting a high majority of greens in regulation. When we look at previous winners they have hit more greens than the average player that given week, I see it being no different this week.
- SG Around the Green – The smallest greens on tour, a coastal course where the wind can blow significantly means one thing, plenty of greens will be missed and therefore your ability to get up and down will be key to success. Look at the record of somebody like Jason Day here at Pebble, he has one of the best short games over the last decade on the PGA Tour. Jordan Speith another with an outstanding short game has thrived at Pebble.
- SG Putting Poa Annua – The players face the dreaded Poa Annua greens again this week on the notoriously difficult Pebble Beach putting surfaces. These green surfaces are not too many players liking. When doing my research this week I want to pay particular attention to those players have put it well on the Poa Annua surface over their career, or certainly over the last 50 rounds on tour.