This Wall Street Journal article details the trials and tribulations of playing the 1919 vintage 18 holes at Pebble Beach. Many a scratch golfer has had to scratch his head after shootIng 90 or more, even on a calm day. One of the problems is the miniscule greens comprised of Poa Anna, essentially a well-mannered weed that grows toward the Briny Pacific Ocean.
Another reason is the greens fees (currently $495, but if you take a caddy, it adds lots more). And of course tee times are generally easier to get if you are staying at the nearby expensive Lodge.
Our dermatologist was an All-American golfer at Stanford and played at the AT&T National Pro-Ams as part of a pro-am team. His team won that year but he swore that it was the hardest course he ever played! He used every club in his bag, lost two balls over the edge, and came home weary.
I have walked the course and ridden in a cart to play but walking is much preferred. When you reach 18 you can pretend that an anxious crowd is cheering you on, if only for a moment.
So, unless you feel guilty, buy a 12 dollar bag tag to impress the folks back home and save the aggravation!
Hyatt has great views and food. Nepenthe is an experince, try the Ambrosia Burger. Post Ranch (expense account prices) is spectacular. All reachable via CA 1. In Carmel I would recommend L'Escagot, in Pacific Grove Passionfish and in Monterey "C" which is in the Intercontinental Hotel.