Pebble Beach Starts Work on Long-Awaited Practice Facility

After more than 20 years of planning, Pebble Beach Resorts broke ground on the new Pebble Beach Driving Range and Golf Academy. The ground-breaking ceremony, led by Pebble Beach Company CEO Bill Perocchi, marked the beginning of the Del Monte Forest Project, a multi-phase development and conservation plan designed to protect native habitat, update and expand resort facilities, improve access, and enhance the amenities at Pebble Beach Resorts.

Other project components include 100 new guest rooms and expanded meeting space at the Lodge at Pebble Beach and Inn at Spanish Bay; improved traffic access near the Highway 1 gate into Pebble Beach; supplementary parking areas at the Lodge and Inn; 90 residential lots; a new 100-room hotel near Spyglass Hill Golf Course; and the preservation of an additional 635 acres of native habitat.

"We are excited about the significant enhancements that we will be making to the resort over the next several years," said Perocchi, "starting with the new driving range for Pebble Beach Golf Links and the new and improved Golf Academy, as well as more than 600 acres of native habitat being dedicated to the Del Monte Forest Conservancy."

Located across Portola Road from the current range, the facility will be double-ended and nearly twice the size of the existing range. It will include expanded hitting bays and target greens, a larger putting green, practice bunkers, and chipping tees and greens. Directly adjacent to the range will be the 3,000-square-foot Pebble Beach Golf Academy which will feature updated instructional technology, an expanded club-fitting area, and a covered hitting bay for lessons.

Instructors Laird Small and Dan Pasquariello - considered among the top teachers in the U.S. by both Golf Digest and Golf Magazine - will continue to provide personalized instruction and customized lessons. The new range and acaddemy will open in January 2014 prior the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. The current range will remain open to guests during construction.

Over the next 10 years, the Del Monte Forest Project is expected to create more than 200 permanent hospitality positions and thousands more construction-related jobs. In addition, the conservation of the 635 acres of native habitat, together with lands previously preserved by the company, means that 25 percent of the Del Monte Forest will be protected forever for future generations to enjoy. In May 2012, the California Coastal Commission unanimously approved the plan, calling it a "landmark" project due to its protection for local habitat as well as its visitor-serving and public access components.

"The Del Monte Forest Project speaks to the spirit of perseverance as well as the cooperation between the California Coastal Commission, the county, and the Pebble Beach Company that have allowed us to reach this milestone," Perocchi noted. "We believe guests visit Pebble Beach for the first time because this is a special place, marked by beauty, history, and world-renowned golf. They return year after year because of the world-class service delivered by our employees and of our goal to always 'Keep Improving.' This project is yet another step in that direction."