Golf

Photos: Del Monte, one of the original courses in California, turns 125 years old this weekend


Called the oldest U.S. course west of the Mississippi River to still be in continuous operation by its owner, Pebble Beach Resort, Del Monte Golf Course is celebrating its 125th anniversary this weekend. It seems the perfect time to check out a few photos of how it was going then, and how it’s going now.

Del Monte Golf Course, in Monterey, California, opened in 1897 with a nine-hole layout designed by Charles E. Maud. An amenity of the Hotel Del Monte, it was expanded to 18 holes in 1903. It was the site of the first California Amateur Championship in 1912 and hosted the Western Amateur in 1916, among the first top-tier competitions in a long string of events that included the PGA Tour Champions from 2005-14. It still is the site of the Monterey Open and the Monterey City Amateur.

Among the remaining early courses in California, the Presidio in San Francisco actually opened a year earlier than Del Monte. But the Presidio was briefly converted to a military practice field during the Spanish-American War in 1898, leaving Del Monte with the claim as the oldest course in the state in continuous operation.

Del Monte has seen many changes through the years, as would be expected. Pebble Beach Resorts reports it was further expanded and incorporated as Del Monte Golf and Country Club in 1912, then William Herbert Fowler redesigned it in 1920. It was rerouted in the 1960s to accommodate a highway, and it reopened in 1970 with three holes – Nos. 6, 7 and 8 – designed by Roger Larson.

Today the course plays to a tight and tidy 6,356 yards with a par of 72.

Del Monte Pebble Beach

Del Monte Golf Course in 1909In 1909, young caddies work for female golfers in one of the many ladies’ tournaments hosted…In 1909, young caddies work for female golfers in one of the many ladies’ tournaments hosted at the Del Monte Golf Course. (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)more

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Del Monte Golf Course in 1910During an August 1910 practice round for the Del Monte Cup Championship, a photographer caught these…During an August 1910 practice round for the Del Monte Cup Championship, a photographer caught these young golfers playing in a fivesome. From left to right: Charles Templeton, grandson of railroad baron Charles Crocker; Jack Neville, who would later co-design Pebble Beach Golf Links and win a record five California Amateurs; Albert S. Lilly of Standard Oil; Vincent Whitney, who a couple weeks later won the 1910 Pacific Coast Championship at Del Monte; and Austin H. White, who defeated Whitney in the semifinal match of the 1910 Del Monte Cup but finished runner-up in the finals. (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)more

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Del Monte Golf Course in 1911In 1911, golfers play the early 17th hole at Del Monte Golf Course. The green of…In 1911, golfers play the early 17th hole at Del Monte Golf Course. The green of the par 3 was surrounded by bunkers and nicknamed “The Punch Bowl.” For perspective, the camera is pointed southwest, and shows the Presidio of Monterey in the distance. (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)more

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Del Monte in 1911Designed by Charles Maude, Del Monte Golf Course – pictured in 1911 – opened as a…Designed by Charles Maude, Del Monte Golf Course – pictured in 1911 – opened as a 9-hole course in 1897 and was expanded to 18 holes in 1903. (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)more

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Del Monte Golf Course in 1931In September 1931, as the men moved to championship matches on Pebble Beach Golf Links, the…In September 1931, as the men moved to championship matches on Pebble Beach Golf Links, the women took over the first tee and clubhouse of Del Monte Golf Course for the 23rd annual Del Monte Championship. (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)more

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Modern Del MonteDel Monte Golf Course as it appears today (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Modern Del MonteDel Monte Golf Course as it appears today (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)

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Del Monte Pebble Beach

Modern Del MonteDel Monte Golf Course as it appears today (Courtesy of Pebble Beach Resort)

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