From The Inbox

From the Morning Read inbox

Pebble Beach lives up to its reputation
I have played golf for 69 years, since age 5, and the game has given me so much, including the opportunity to be a member of the Florida State golf team and to play a number of great golf courses. This past June, I finally got the chance to play Pebble Beach, a Father’s Day gift from my son. Without a doubt, it was the most fantastic experience I have had in golf.

A recent contributor to Morning Read asked if Pebble Beach were moved inland, away from the beautiful coast line views, would anyone pay the $500 green fee? (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 11).

That reminds me of the old saying, if a bullfrog had wings, he wouldn't bump his backside. The fact is, bullfrogs don't have wings and Pebble Beach isn't inland, but it is situated on what has to be one of the most beautiful pieces of land in the country. A poet once said Pebble Beach is "the greatest meeting of land and sea," and it absolutely is. Jack Nicklaus has said a number of times that if he had only one round of golf left to play in his life, it would be at Pebble Beach.

In addition to the beauty of Pebble Beach, the course also was in immaculate condition – as good as I have experienced, fairways, bunkers and greens. They could have held the AT&T that week in June, with no additional work needed.

Yes, if measured only by the fees that you pay to play, Pebble Beach is more expensive than your average public course, but the experience is priceless. I plan on a return visit.

Bill Boutwell
Jacksonville, Fla.

Maybe Pebble Beach should add a black-diamond run
While I was working at Champions Golf Club in Houston in the mid-1970s, Jimmy Demaret walked into the pro shop and made what I thought was an unusual comment at the time. He said, “If Pebble Beach were 40 miles inland, they couldn’t get a $25 green fee.”

I thought it was strange because Pebble would be my choice if I had one round of golf to play before I died … but I could see his point. Demaret was great friends with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby during his career, and I’m sure he tested his joke on Hope before he threw it out to us.

But the greatest line of all was when Demaret woke up from his bedroom after a night of drinking with Phil Harris and his buddies. He was staying in the Lodge, overlooking the 18th hole in 1962, and saw a winter wonderland on the course below. “Damn,” he said. “I know I had a lot to drink last night, but how in the heck did I end up in Squaw Valley?”

Bill Pelham
(Pelham played the PGA Tour in the late 1970s and early '80s and is the author of “Burke and Demaret: The Wit and Wisdom of Golf’s Most Colorful Duo.”)

Pebble Beach lottery could level economic playing field
Pebble Beach is an incredible test of golf, played on perhaps the greatest piece of real estate in the world. If you have enough money, you, too, can get to schedule a round or two and have a “bucket-lister.” Trouble comes with the reality of the price tag (“From the Morning Read inbox,” Feb. 11). It’s prohibitive for most of us.

Of course, they can and do charge what they want, and that is certainly their right. But what about this idea: Have a lottery for a coveted starting time, say 8:30 a.m. or 2 p.m., maybe one day a week. One lucky foursome would be selected by blind draw.

These lucky players would be charged only $150 plus caddie fee for the privilege of playing Pebble Beach.

The course would not miss the money, and that more reasonable amount would not prevent more people from enjoying

all that Pebble Beach has to offer the common golfer.

Bill Lawler
West Wyoming, Pa.

Public courses in name only
When quizzed about the cost to play one his golf courses, Donald Trump said that the game of golf is aspirational. What he meant was, it's a game for rich people, and others need not apply.

Pebble Beach, TPC Sawgrass, Harbour Town and many other courses are public in name only. Beyond the price of green fees, caddies and carts, one must factor in rooms, meals and transportation.

Please don't insult me by telling me that anyone can play there.

Jim Kavanagh
St. Augustine, Fla.

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