Pebble Beach is getting a makeover. That would be the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, not the actual golf course as one of the longstanding events on the PGA Tour will reportedly be featured as a designated event in 2024.
Jack Nicklaus, of all people, broke the news during the the Honda Classic last week when he noted that Pebble Beach would replace the Phoenix Open as one of the PGA Tour’s 16 designated events next season. The 16 will include four majors, the Players, three FedEx Cup Playoff events and eight middle-of-the-season events, with a general rhythm of one designated event followed by two non-designated events.
That’s great news for Pebble Beach, which has struggled in recent years after decades of success. Fields at Pebble Beach have been lackluster for several years with winners such as Nick Taylor, Tom Hoge, Ted Potter Jr. and Vaughn Taylor emerging in its recent history. Its strength of field trajectory has not been great.
It’s also good news for the Tour, which cannot take tournaments to a place like Pebble Beach with the quality of field it has been taking there. Lastly, it’s good news for fans, which now get to watch the best in the world tee it up at one of the iconic American venues.
It’s been a big week for designated event news. The Tour announced on Wednesday that designated events in 2024 would feature limited fields and not have a cut. It also removed the mandatory nature of the events for top players, instead incentivizing players to play in them by increasing FedEx Cup points and dangling the carrot that you have to be in the top 50 in the FedEx Cup in the previous season to automatically qualify for it the next.
All of this is likely creating more events that more and more consequential golf. That some of that golf will be played at Pebble Beach is a massive bonus.
Interestingly, according to the Golfweek report, the amateur part of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am — which has been a staple of the tournament — could be shortened to two days and played on Thursday and Friday. If we have learned anything over the last year, it’s that nothing is off the table when it comes to changes by the PGA Tour. That’s wise for the Tour as a business and resulted in a great outcome for Pebble (at least for 2024).