Lengthening Pebble’s 15th came at a price

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PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – One of the best spectator viewpoints on one of the best holes at Pebble Beach Golf Links has been eliminated.

At the 2000 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, the slope behind the green on the par-5 14th was the only vantage point that allowed clear viewing of the entire elevated putting surface.

Now, because the 15th tee was moved backwards to lengthen the hole, no spectators are allowed behind the 14th green.

Collateral damage, I suppose. The first of two par 5s among the final five holes at Pebble Beach (the 18th is the other), No. 14 is a wonderful hole with a slopey-dopey green that makes grown men cry.

It could easily play a pivotal role in the outcome of this year’s U.S. Open. Too bad nobody will see it.

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