Whether it is the captivating views or the tournament storylines, Pebble Beach Golf Links has created its share of memorable moments. Share your favorites.
From the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am to U.S. Open, Pebble Beach Golf Links has been the site of many memorable moments — Bing Crosby's clam bakes, Jack Lemmon's futile attempts to make the pro-am cut, Tom Watson's chip-in at No. 17 in the 1982 U.S. Open, Tiger Woods' dominance of the 2000 U.S. Open ...
Whether you have played the course or just seen tournaments on TV, what is your favorite Pebble Beach moment, and why?
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My favorite moment at Pebble Beach was at the 1956 Bing Crosby National Pro-Am. Having been born and raised on the Monterey Peninsula, I had been to Pebble Beach many times. This year was different, though.
My father, George Galios, was playing in the tournament as the amateur partner of professional Ralph Bloomquist. On the tournament’s final day, it was raining. My father and Bloomquist were paired with Bing Crosby and his partner, Ben Hogan. I was 10 years old and remember walking all 18 holes in the rain. On the 18th hole, my father got a birdie (net eagle) and won the pro-am division.
After winning the tournament, my father became good friends with Crosby and would play with him when he would come back to Monterey. Every time I go back to Pebble Beach, I always look at the plaque below the first tee that has the names of the previous pro-am winners. Seeing my father's name on that plaque brings back so many great memories of Pebble Beach and the Monterey Peninsula.
Oro Valley, Ariz.
In December 1999, I was retiring as a firefighter. A friend and I were driving from Oregon to Palm Springs to bring in the New Year, and we decided we would detour to Carmel on the way. We walked to the course and while in the pro shop we saw the golf concierge. My friend suggested I ask if they had any deals, so I did. The reply was something along these lines, “I’ve been the golf concierge at Pebble Beach for seven years and we’ve never had a deal. However, it just so happens that you can play the course January 2nd through 5th for $150 and you can stay at the lodge for $125.”
We made our reservation for January 2 and our tee time was 9 a.m. on the 3rd. It was 70 degrees and no wind. It seems there are some things that you put such high expectations on that the reality can never meet those expectations. Not the case with Pebble Beach. The course was breathtaking and the lodge was first rate. I’m going back again with my wife some day soon.
In fairness and truth, I can’t split them — 1972, final round of the U.S. Open, Jack William Nicklaus' 1-iron at the 17th into the wind and hitting the flag; Tom Watson in 1982 behind the 17th green and chipping in for birdie, when bogey was imminent, to gain the lead and go on to beat Jack and win the Open.
Dr. Robert S. Will
St. Charles, Ill.