The U.S. Women's Open takes place this week at Pebble Beach Golf Links. How would you get on as a club golfer? We found out from some women who took a trip with Fairways

What happens when you get to play one of your bucket list golf destinations? Twenty-eight women took a Fairways trip to Pebble Beach, the host of the 2023 U.S. Women's Open.

Here they share their stories:

Alison White Gerrard Cross G.C.

Pebble Beach is one of the world’s most famous golf courses, but only a lucky few of us have got to play it, especially when the U.S. Women’s Open will be played here. What a privilege it is to be able to play a course like this which hugs the California coast and presents iconic challenges on every hole. Woe betide the wayward shot-your ball will be in the ocean! The fairways are narrow, the rough is lush, the bunkers are deep and the greens present invisible borrows. Every hole is stunning, exciting or breathtaking, or all three at once. But the satisfaction of a par on holes of such exceptional difficulty is indescribable.

Angie Harrison Walmley G.C.

The excitement built as we got on the coach to take us to the course. As we walked underneath the Pebble Beach sign and saw the first tee the nerves did jingle with excitement. It’s not very often that any golfer, let alone a group of mixed golfers get the opportunity to walk the hallowed fairways.

We went into the shops and spent too much and putted to try and work out the pace before meeting the starter and our organiser on the tee. The first, a dogleg right, not seeing the green was an immediate psychological challenge. I managed to get it off the tee, not all our group did, due to the nerves, knock it up and chip into the green leaving a 15 footer, which I horseshoed round the hole but walked off with my two points!! 

The course then meanders and takes you on a journey with beautiful trees and greens to the 5th hole, par three where the ocean got into my head and I hooked it left . Then the course just opens up and blows you away, I managed to play the 6th and 7th under net. The stretch from 5-11 is just Jaw dropping, hitting over ravines, looking along the beach, seeing the ocean and drops over the sides, just beautiful.

The course then goes back inland with a stonking par 5, followed but some par 4’s before hitting at the sea again with the 17th and teeing off on the amazing driving hole that is the 18th. Sitting on the terrace overlooking the green, the tree, hearing the waves !! Wow! It has been a privilege and I can’t wait to watch the ladies historic U.S. Open and see them play it properly !! Thanks to Fairways golf and Pebble Beach for making dreams come true.

Val Walsh. Harpenden Golf Club. May 2023

Wow, the highs and lows of a round at Pebble Beach!

Up early for breakfast, then on to the the range at the PB Academy – where I hit some great balls – pity that didn’t continue onto the course..... The day was cool and overcast – which is normal for PB in May – apparently the June Gloom had come early! So there was a chill in the air and a bit of sea fret making things damp when we prepared to tee off the first.

Everything is super efficient but also friendly and welcoming and runs like clockwork at PB. The Starter briefs you, tells you how long your round is expected to be (and they expect you to stick to that!), gets you off on time and then there are Marshals stationed all around the course to keep you on track.

The first tee shot was nerve wracking but a great drive off the tee settled my nerves – we were off! Apparently there are live webcams on the first tee and on the 18th – pity I hadn’t known in advance, I could have got the family to watch back home!

The course as a whole is not particularly long – 5125 yards off the Red tees – so distance was generally not an issue but there are bunkers and hazards everywhere and super fast greens with subtle borrows, so every hole brought a new challenge. On the 6th your second shot is uphill to a massively elevated green – a Marshal stood at the top of the hill to give us the line – fortunately I sent a great 6 hybrid right over his head and onto the fringe of the green.

The 7th is the iconic PB Par 3 hole – sadly I missed the green but scrambled a good chip and two putts for a 4 – another 2 points safely in the bag. On the 9th my best tee shot of the day sailed down the fairway and the nearby Marshal commented that if I kept on hitting them that far he’d have to move me back to the white tees. No thanks, things were already tough enough!

It was hard to concentrate with magnificent Pacific views all around you and superb holes coming up thick and fast. This really is a breathtaking course – one that I feel really privileged to have played. Sadly for me the back 9 turned into a bit of a slog and I didn’t make much of a contribution to our 4-ball score, but on 17 a great 4 hybrid into the wind landed neatly on the apron of the 17th green. A perfect long putt from off the green to 3 feet brought me my only par of the day and 3 points.

All too soon we were stood on the 18th tee – looking down the fairway for the final 454 yard par 5 to finish. A solid drive, 4 hybrid, 6 hybrid and a great wedge onto the green saw me finish with a 6 for 2 points.

I don’t think I have ever played so badly on a course, but yet walked off with the widest smile on my face. PB completely lived up to all my expectations and my poor scoring only means that I am determined to come back someday and have another try. If you ever get the chance to play here, don’t hesitate – it was an honour and a privilege to play such a wonderful course. I can’t wait to come back! Many thanks to Fairways Golf and Pebble Beach for making this dream a reality.

P.S. Top Tip – if you can, walk the course with a trolley rather than using a buggy. It’s such a pleasure to walk the fairways and actually quicker than running back to the cart all the time to grab the right club!

Anna Morris Chartham Park G.C.

I am a lady with quite a high handicap who has got the golf bug, and have been lucky enough to play with my husband on some wonderful golf courses.  However, when Fairways Golf came up with an amazing trip to the States including playing at Pebble Beach, this was a trip of a lifetime for us.  The idea of playing on this very famous course was a little scary, and people warned that the greens were terrifying.

However I found the whole experience amazing.  It is so dramatic, with stunning scenery, but off the ladies' tees, it is very playable. I thought the greens were great; they are true and the ball runs beautifully.  I may not have had a huge score overall, but I was so thrilled to win nearest the pin on the iconic 7th hole, and birdied it.  Something I would never have dreamed of.  It will stay with me forever!  I can't wait to relive it when the Ladies Open is on TV in July.  

So, I would say to ladies with a higher handicap who lack confidence, go for it and believe in yourself.  I would not have missed this for the world.   Thank you so much Steve and Corrinne of Fairways Golf and Pebble Beach. 

Barbara Taylor Leigh G.C.

Walking onto the first tee at the Pebble Beach Links course was a special experience for me, despite being nervous. The Starter, Louie, put us all in the right frame of mind for what lay ahead; his words still ring in my ears, “you came here with a smile, whatever happens, ensure you enjoy it all and leave with a smile”. And all of us did just that!

The course was in great condition and although my golf could have been better, I’ll always treasure playing the Par 3’s in regulation, especially the spectacular 7th, with its green jutting out into the crashing ocean, way below us on the tee. Being nearest the pin here (albeit shortlived) will be a story to dine out on for some time to come, as will the steep uphill 6th, the hidden cliff edge on the 8th and the long Par 5 18th along the wild coastline, which were forces to be reckoned with, but worth the challenge when the greens eventually came into sight.

Everything at Pebble Beach was as magical as I’d hoped it would be, from the polite and welcoming staff to the fantastic photo opportunities, helpful course Marshalls and catering, not forgetting, of course, all the wonderful shops and merchandise!

Gina Christie Gleneagles G.C.

As a lady who started to play golf later in life, I never thought I would be good enough to play Pebble Beach.

When my husband suggested that we join Fairways Golf and play four courses including Pebble Beach, I thought this would be an amazing experience for him.  Little did I know it would turn out to be a great experience for me as well.   I must admit I was a little intimidated, just the mention of Pebble Beach was a huge thing for me. 

The day arrived to play Pebble, I was nervous but told myself I just needed to enjoy the experience.  The first hole wasn’t my best but I was determined not to let it spoil my round. After my shaky start, I loved the whole experience of the course. There was nothing not to enjoy,  it wasn’t an easy course but there was just something about it that made you just want to keep going and enjoy it.

It was a long round but you didn’t seem to notice with the amazing views and the course itself. I parred the 18th hole and like every game of golf there is always something that no matter how badly you’ve played, it makes you come want to come back.  My par on the 18th was my come back moment.

If you ever get the chance to play Pebble Beach it is a must and enjoy!

Find out more about Fairways, golf holidays exclusively for mixed couples, via their website here.