It’s hard to keep up with the weather in the States these days. There’s ice storms in Texas, Nevada is so dry the lakes are literally coughing up skeletons, and Tahoe has been caught in a perpetual blizzard this winter, with the snowfall totals at Palisades Tahoe Ski Resort eclipsing 50 feet this week.
A short ways west of there, along California’s mid-coast, things have been equally wet, with devastating flooding plaguing the area. The human toll has been significant, and is the most important concern by some distance, but those heavy rains have also wreaked havoc on the region’s iconic golf courses, washing away much of Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s 14th green complex (while also producing an unforgettable image of Pebble Beach’s Lone Cypress) back in January.
Just a #tragic scene on the #monterey peninsula ⛳️ #MPCC dunes course#chernobyl but destruction by 💦 🌊 #golf #power #adios 🙏 ☠️ pic.twitter.com/906fnhHNWb
— @HackersWindow (@hackers_window) January 5, 2023
The rains have let up slightly since then, long enough for the Pebble Beach AT&T Pro-Am to come and go without issue, but with spring the wet weather has returned, opening up a sinkhole on Pebble Beach’s legendary 18th fairway this week. Check it out:
Crazy scene on 18 at #PebbleBeach tonight!
All the rain has left it’s mark!
Anyone ever seen this type of thing? #GolfTalk #Golf pic.twitter.com/xgPaAlmGU0
— glorifieddonkey (@GlorifiedDonkey) March 14, 2023
As far as sinkholes go, this is just a whippersnapper, but the thing about sinkholes is they only get bigger. More heavy rain is expected in the area on Tuesday, so this could get significantly worse before it gets better.
Golf is tough enough as is — water, sand, wind, rough, and the heat conspire to make every round we play a disaster. The last thing we need is to add Titleist-swallowing sinkholes to the list.
The good news is that Pebble Beach has a world-class grounds crew. They replaced the entire 67-foot Cypress on the 18th hole a few years ago and you would never even know it today. So no matter how bad this gets in the coming days, we’re sure they’ll be on top of it, working tirelessly to preserve one of golf’s most picturesque pilgrimages.
Mother Nature always wins, but they’ll do their best to force a playoff.