Pebble Beach Forced To Alter Iconic Hole To Stop Idiots From Killing Themselves

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Outside of Augusta National, there is perhaps no more famous golf course in the United States than Pebble Beach Golf Links.

The gorgeous California course sits in the heart of the Monterey Peninsula and has hosted six US Opens, including Tiger Woods’ iconic demolition of the entire field in 2000.

Pebble Beach may not be the most difficult course in the country. It regularly plays well under par and has a number of reachable par 5s. But its beauty is unmatched.

Sometimes, however, that beauty can provide a bit of danger. Because it sits directly on the Pacific Ocean, the course offers a wide variety of elevation changes. That includes massive cliffs that would make for quite the fall should you slip off of them.

But three-time major champion Jordan Spieth was unfazed. During last year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, Spieth hit a miraculous shot while standing on the edge of a cliff on the iconic eighth hole that helped him save par.

It was the type of shot that golfers dream of. And, as with any iconic shot, it’s led to amateurs placing the ball where Spieth played from and trying to replicate it.

Most people, however, are not Jordan Spieth and the public course has raised concerns that someone that may send themselves tumbling down the hill.

The concern is so significant that the course has now altered the hole.

Gary Young, the PGA Tour’s chief referee for this week, told ESPN on Wednesday that he met with Pebble Beach representatives Tuesday night who expressed that, during resort play, they had been forced to move the red hazard line back and ensure the rough was thick enough to stop balls from running out to where Spieth’s tee ball landed last year, as guests had tried to emulate the shot. – via ESPN’s Paulo Uggeti

Young said the hope is to discourage players from attempting the shot in the future. Though without a fence it’s nearly impossible to actually police. And a fence would impede second shots within the boundary lines.

Spieth, meanwhile, says he likely wouldn’t attempt the shot again if given the chance.

“I think I saved a stroke,” Spieth said. “Does the reward outweigh the risk? Not if you think the risk was dying. But I also, I felt I could whack it over the water with a 7-iron and get it up near the green. And I thought up near the green would be easier than hitting a 7-iron from 10 yards back. And, yeah, I think now knowing my son a lot better, he was really young at the time, I may not have hit that shot.”

Leave it to golf fans to ruin a good thing. Tale as old as time.