PEBBLE BEACH   (June 5, 2004)

 

Today I was able to cross off one of the items on my list of things to do in my lifetime:  Play a round at Pebble Beach!  Pebble Beach, one of the most famous golf courses in the world, is one of the most scenic courses in the world, and a pretty difficult one as well.  To get on at Pebble, you can either stay in one of their very expensive resorts, or call for a tee time within a 24 hour window (ie. you call for a tee time for the next day).  The latter is exactly what I did, calling the reservation line at 7:30am on Friday, June 4th to get the only tee time available for a threesome on that day at 3:20pm.

 

Glenn Sarigumba, Eric Hill and I left my house in Ventura at 6:15am on Saturday for the 5+ hour trek up to Monterrey.  We stopped in Buellton for breakfast and made it up to Pebble Beach around 11am.  After checking out the grounds and pro shop, we checked in and paid the whopping $395 per person greens fee (not including cart), and then took a shuttle up to the driving range to hit some balls.  After hitting a bucket, we came back down to where the shops and restaurants were and had lunch in The Lodge, where we ate lunch overlooking the 18th green and Monterrey Bay.  The views were awesome!!  (Also at lunch, while watching players coming finishing up on the 18th, a deer darted onto the fairway!!  First time I've seen a deer on a golf course...)

 

After doing some shopping after lunch, it was time for our tee time.  We met "Mark", the single that was added to our group.  Mark was a nice guy from South Dakota that walked on last second.  Needless to say, Mark also served as our on-course group photographer.

 

The first hole I lucked out with a drive that skipped off the right cart path and went forward so that I was only 30 yards from the green, but in the rough.  The rough was brutal at Pebble, and I had to scramble for a bogey despite the length on my drive.  I managed to birdie the par 5 second hole with a wonderful drive and an even better 5-wood that carried 233 yards to within 20 feet of the flag.  However, after that, it was a series of bogeys and double bogeys the rest of the day...  I did manage to par the famous 17th hole (the Tom Watson chip in birdie in a past US Open) with a nice tee shot that gave me a 20 foot birdie putt that I just missed.  To end the day, I shot a 99--barely meeting my goal of breaking 100.  I'm sure I could get into the low 90's or high 80's if I were to play again now that I've played the course and know it a little better...  But the scores weren't the point of today...it was to experience history and beauty by playing at Pebble Beach.

 

Overlooking the 18th green from The Lodge, where we had lunch.

Deer on the 18th fairway.

Eric Hill, Glenn Sarigumba and me on the first tee, ready to tee off.

Plaque commemorating Jack Nicklaus' redesigned

Par 3, 5th hole

On the tee box of the short, yet intimidating 7th hole.

On the 17th tee box.

 

After my par on 17.

 

The 18th hole nearing dusk...

Finishing on the 18th green!!