Pebble Beach opens new range and golf academy
After more than 20 years of planning and nine months of construction, there’s a new addition to the fabled Pebble Beach Golf Links complex. The Pebble Beach Driving Range and Golf Academy has opened.
"It almost doesn't feel real," CBS golf announcer and Pebble Beach resident Jim Nantz told The Monterey Herald newspaper. He also called it "the one last missing link" at Pebble Beach.
The range, 350 yards long and double-ended, is next to the nine-hole, par-3 Peter Hay Golf Course at Collins Field, and also includes a putting green and 40,000-square-foot short game complex.
The academy is housed in a 3,000-square-foot building that replaces the small tent structure at Spyglass Hill Golf Course that long housed the school. Among its amenities are a 3-D motion capture system for swing analysis and an indoor putting area.
The new structure is "a dream come true," according to PGA Professional Laird Small, the academy's longtime director.
"The way that I've always looked at this is that Pebble Beach is one of the best places in the world to come and play the game," Small told The Herald. "My dream has always been to make it one of the best places to come and learn how to play the game. Golf is a passion for people. So if we can then make a change in their game, you're changing their life for the positive."
The motion capture system helps instructors identify the specific areas of a golfer's swing that need help, Small said, adding that it is especially useful for junior golfers and players just learning the game. Along with that system is what he calls a robot golf pro, which guides golfers through their perfect swing to help ingrain the proper muscle memory.
"We now have a practice facility and a golf academy that rivals any in the world," said Bill Perocchi, CEO of Pebble Beach Co. "Most importantly, it's one that is befitting the legendary golf, the legendary customer service and just the stunning beauty of Pebble Beach."