Even three-placing on nationwide tv is one in every of existence’s spacious experiences on the AT&T Pebble Seaside Pro-Am. This year became as soon as my seventh time as an newbie in the topic. On 18 at Pebble on Saturday, I saved my first putt on the pro side, so it regarded take care of it can probably perchance perchance trudge in, however beneath wet prerequisites the putts silent roll out and I uncared for my three-footer coming aid.
My buddy Jim Nantz in the tower, making an try for something tremendous to reveal about me, famed that my tee photographs are so straight that I’m identified for never shedding a golf ball. (I as soon as played seven straight days on a associates outing to Scotland utilizing the identical ball from originate up to develop.) However whenever you happen to suspect about it, the praise is de facto a knock. It fully approach I’m so immediate off the tee, I’m in a position to’t hit it some distance enough to lose it. As Peter Ueberroth acknowledged to me at one cocktail birthday celebration, “Our drives are so immediate, we are in a position to speed out and think them.”
How’d I salvage an invite? Serendipity. On a Saturday in late October, my cell phone rang and it became as soon as Invoice Perocchi, the CEO of Pebble Seaside Company, and he asked me if I would possibly perchance perchance perchance also play. Within the occasion you ever salvage one in every of those calls, yes is the answer. Yes, sweet mother of pearl, yes. Then a leather-based completely completely-dawdle invitation arrives in the mail with Clint Eastwood’s signature. You ship on your take a look at and you’re in. Most invitees stop at The Hotel, which is every bit as colossal and frigid as it sounds. You’d also’t wait.
The first week in February arrives, and you fly into San Francisco, pressure the 2 hours to Del Monte Woodland, then make a selection 17-Mile Drive to Pebble Seaside. Even the instructions are frigid. I grab to reach on Sunday and trudge to church on the Carmel Mission, the place Junipero Serra became as soon as the club pro. The mission looks take care of a backdrop from the movie Zorro. Dine at Casanova, clearly, the easiest restaurant in Carmel.
Each and every night is a birthday celebration. On Monday, it’s at Mission Ranch, the hotel complex owned by Clint, Carmel’s passe mayor. The spotlight of the week for my wife Beth became as soon as getting her picture alive to in Clint. At 88, he’s the match host and making an try out comparatively accurate. It’s a strolling dinner dance with tune by Clay Walker (a Four handicap) and diversified big title dawdle-ons.
On Tuesday night on the Hospitality Village by the ancient polo grounds, Golf Digest hands out the Arnie Awards for golfers who give aid. Davis Love III, Darius Rucker (7) and Jim Nantz received this year’s Arnies. The full amateurs point out up—so every golf CEO in The united states and Invoice Murray (16) are there—since it’s after we uncover who our pro partners will doubtless be. A chosen few salvage picked by pros upfront, however most of us don’t know who we’ll be playing with unless that night, whenever you happen to moreover uncover which classes you’re playing on what days. This year I received Dru Love, son of Davis, as my partner and the so-called “big title rotation,” meaning Pebble Seaside on Saturday when the CBS cameras are on (Monterey Peninsula Nation Membership Shore Course on Thursday and Spyglass Hill on Friday). To point out you the truth, I made one set a matter to of Tournament Director Steve John: “Right don’t set me on Pebble on Saturday.” Thanks, Steve.
After the pairings are launched, there’s one other birthday celebration on the Seaside Membership hosted by a bunch of spacious guys, including Stu Francis (three), Chuck Schwab (10) and Chris O’Donnell (6). Within the occasion you look a sample right here, the amateurs who salvage invited all appreciate low handicaps. That’s the procedure Bing wanted it. So you don’t whinge concerning the tees being fully 20 yards in entrance of the professionals, even when the fairways are saturated by every week of rain. The classes play lengthy and you indulge in it.
You’d also be part of prepare rounds with the Avid gamers App downloaded on your phone. I played in the rain and wind on Monday with recent Cypress Level president Dick Barrett (6), ex-49er Harris Barton (10) and Heidi Ueberroth (14 that became as soon as greater than my 11). We played in about Four hours, reasonably a bit faster than the six hours it takes as soon as the pro-am begins. I played a convention round with Davis and Dru Love on Wednesday morning (pictured above).
Monday afternoon, I signed in officially and picked up my credentials and goodie baggage—on the AT&T, the candies required Four baggage. Section of the deal is you salvage $900 credit ranking for particular pro-am merchandise in “Bing’s Pro Shop.” Beth went shopping for our daughters. My favourite goodie is a ceramic commemorative decanter, this year in the form of a golf fetch.
Tuesday morning, I went to a Leadership Dialogue board on Selection sponsored by Chevron, whose CEO Mike Wirth interviewed AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson and Lynn Swan. PGA Tour pro Cam Champ came by and spoke eloquently. There I without discover met PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan (6), whose father Joe at Seventy five became as soon as caddying for him. In varied trivialities: Mike Wirth became as soon as caddying for his wife Julie, whose handicap became as soon as Four and clearly low Wirth.
So the match begins and you play three rounds in the identical foursome. Dru and I appreciate been paired with U.S. Golf Association CEO Mike Davis (Four) and pro partner Curtis Luck, the 2016 U.S. Amateur champ. “Luck” and “Love” acknowledged our walking scoreboard. We played in the aid of Andy Garcia (7) and in entrance of Larry Fitzgerald (Eight).
A 25-year-ancient who went to Alabama, Dru became as soon as spacious to be with. He struggled a bit since it became as soon as his first time playing any of the classes, however hung in there, helped me read my putts, saved his humorousness, and became as soon as repeatedly accurate firm. He’s the 1/three technology of Loves I’ve played with, starting with his grandfather who became as soon as an renowned trainer in the Golf Digest Colleges. Bonus trivialities: Dru’s chunky title is Davis Love IV—the Dru coming from quadruple.
The job of the newbie, I’ve came across, is to enact three issues: 1. Don’t step on your pros’ placing traces. 2. Don’t talk when the professionals are hitting. three. Support at least Four strokes a day. It’s greater-ball opt up. Within the occasion you would possibly perchance perchance nick your pro’s rating by Four or 5, it’s a tight round. Handiest 25 groups out of 156 originate the 54-gap nick. It took 18 beneath par to originate it this year. We fully uncared for it by 14 photographs. And that became as soon as despite the unbelievable caddying by Reduce Galante, a a hit racecar driver who doubles as my Pebble Seaside caddie. His aim is in some unspecified time in the future to play in the pro-am as a big title athlete. My money’s on him doing it.
Pointers for the week:
Start a routine of well being coaching and golf lessons at an indoor vary three months upfront. Because of Joe Ostrowski and Jason Jenkins at Golf & Physique in NYC.
Pack just like you’re going away for a month. You don’t know what the climate will doubtless be. Summer in Pebble Seaside comes for 30 days in September.
Inquire Crosby climate. Bring two pairs of footwear to alternate. Support a pair of rain gloves on your golf fetch. A in point of fact significant suggestion I discovered from my buddy David Owen: Decide a pair of clip-on suspenders on your rain pants so that you just’re now now not repeatedly pulling up your drawers.
Decide a time without work from playing. I skip Tuesdays. It’s too noteworthy for a Recent England golfer in iciness to play day by day for every week. The full veterans will present y