Played Pebble Beach for the first time this weekend. I have been fortunate enough to play Spyglass before and Spanish Bay twice but this was the first time at the Big Kahuna.
I have seen some other threads debating the relative "value" or "worth" of the green fee so I'll skip that and just say that while, absurdly expensive by any measure, I value experiences above all else you can acquire with money, and I will forever remember the day. Speaking only for me (and everyone is entitled to their opinion!), it was absolutely worth it.
As for the round, I can honestly say I've never been so amped up on the first tee. You're at Pebble, there are ten other people milling about in front of the pro shop and you're there with your foursome, the caddies and the starter all watching. I was the second to go in my group and hit one of the best shots of my life! If you're familiar with #1 at Pebble it's slight dog leg right. I dropped my drive in the middle of the fairway between the bunker that is straight out from the tee box and past the last of the trees on the right. The starter turns to everyone else and says - "Follow that ball; that's where you want it." Perfect for a second shot of about 120 into the green. Naturally I chunked the second about 40 yards as my heart rate was still pumping at 2X normal all the way through the first two holes.
I won't bore you with all the details but I will say that going par, par, double bogey, par, par on 4-8 was the best 5 holes I've ever had in my life. On #7, I was the first to go and when the wedge shot went out straight at the pin with all that ocean surrounding the green and the rocks and the surf I seriously almost wet myself. Had a long lag put from the low end of the green up to the hole and a tap in for par. On #8, the caddie said to hit hybrid or 3 wood to about the left edge before where the chasm opens up. Two of us dropped our shots right where he told us to. The second shot was 185 to the green, across that massive chasm with the ocean on your right. I was so dialed into the shot I didn't even look up. Stroked a 4 iron to the bottom edge of the green and was able to two put for par. As we walked up to the green I noticed for the first time that we'd carried over the edge of that chasm and I'm CERTAIN that had I focused on that before the swing I would have never made the shot. No question the best par of my golf life.
Anyway, ended up with a 45 on the front which - for me - was as good as it gets (haven't broken 90 yet). The back I kind of ran out of gas. I think the walking, the hot sun, the excitement, the getting up early, the tension of concentrating on these incredible holes and trying to take it all in kind of caught up with all of us as everyone had a worst back by a good margin. Nonetheless it was a great round and I was super happy to have played some of my best golf on such a big day.
I have been incredibly fortunate to have played the other courses in the area and Torrey Pines South and some other really nice ones, but it really was something extra special to play Pebble. Thinking about Watson chipping in on 17 or Tiger shooting a three wood on 18 out over the ocean and bending it back to stuff it 12 feet from the green, etc. etc. while you're walking around was just amazing. I can't wait to watch a tournament there on TV now and be able to say "I got par on that hole".
If you can swing it without hurting yourself financially and you get the opportunity, it's definitely a bucket list experience.