A perennial leader in magazine golf course ratings, Pebble Beach Golf Links overwhelms visitors with its coastal beauty and then piles on the cognitive dissonance by charging $350 per round. Take away the seals and otters and the occasional Bill Murray sighting, however, and you have an often poorly maintained course in which the glorious ocean holes are offset by very ordinary inland holes. Number I is a snooze of a dogleg. Number 2 should be used for parking. The 12th is a 202-yard par-3 with a great view of houses. Even the par-3 17th, which looks sensational from a blimp, looks like an overexposed photograph from the tee; it's blindingly backlit by sun and sea. Besides, the seagulls eat your sandwiches.
A disastrous burnout of the greens at the 1995 PGA Championship tarnished the reputation of this George C. Thomas-designed stunner, but Riviera Country Club, a.k.a. Hogan's Alley, has more memorable holes than London's Highgate Cemetery. The 315-yard 10th is the best drivable par-4 in the world. The par-3s are unforgettable, particularly the 166-yard 16th, framed by gaunt sycamores; the 175-yard 6th, with its famous doughnut-hole bunker in the middle of the green; and the 236-yard 4th, which Ben Hogan called "the greatest par-3 in America." The first hole calls for a drive off a 75-foot cliff, and the finishing hole is a 451-yard uphill gut check that requires two long, scary shots to a pinnacle green backed by a Mediterranean-style clubhouse that seems to reach into the clouds—a scene that Maxfield Parrish could have painted. (Bonus points: O.J. is gone.)