I first learned of Spyglass though my father who had a colleague that owned a house on 17-mile drive and was a member at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, where I was able to play the great Dunes Course (my review is very old and I did not take pictures back in my high school days, but I remember liking it a lot). The day before my round there, this member's son, who worked at Spyglass, said we could get out and play there for free late in the afternoon, which was great. However, we got stuck behind a last minute group of 12 golfers and we were delayed by 1 hour in teeing off. So, we were stuck and played really slow but I was absolutely blown away by the first 5 holes at Spyglass (we played the 7th in the dark and then walked in). The amazing mix of trees, dunes and ocean was etched into my brain and those holes burrowed in my psyche for a decade until I finally got my first shot to play the entire course in 2004.
I remember begging my brother-in-law to come play golf at Spyglass with me (our wives came along). He'd never spent anywhere near that amount on any round (I rarely had), and, as it turned out, it would be a long time before he would again. After an amazing par/par start, I stepped onto the 3rd tee (pictured above) when my wife took what is now known as "the picture". She snapped a shot (shortly after the one above) right in my downswing, which I clearly heard, and then pulled my short iron 30 yards left in the dunes and made double bogey. As you can imagine, after 10 years of being frustrated about my previous shortened golfing experience, and 10 years of excitement built up to play these holes again, I was very agitated. An older and wiser GolfTop18 author perhaps would have been able to recover, but the youthful golfer on that day was emotionally finished as I lost my temper and my swing, and proceeded to shoot 89 (my worst score in many years before or after that and approximately 12 shots over my handicap at that time) blaming my wife the whole way. Suffice it to say, it was not a good experience for either of us. My brother-in-law shot 108 (close to 20 strokes above his handicap) and was not pleased at spending a lot of money to get crushed either.