Your friendly neighborhood Golfblogger has made an appearance in a Northern California paper called The Record. A reporter there had contacted me asking what is the best way to watch the Pebble Beach. I’ve never been to Pebble Beach, but gave him some general tips on tournament watching, some of which he reported verbatim.
Hooray. I’m SOMEBODY now.
For posterity’s sake the full text of the article is below:
Don’t get lost in the crowd at Pebble Beach
How to make the most of a trip to Monterey to watch a little golf
by Ian Hill
Each year, the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am draws many of the world’s best-known celebrities, along with top golfers, to the Monterey Peninsula for a week of socializing, relaxation, spectacular views and, of course, golf.
The event also attracts huge crowds, with more than 150,000 fans expected to descend on Pebble Beach for the 2007 tournament, which opens Monday. Those attendance numbers mean that it can be difficult trying to catch a glimpse of Bill Murray or Donald Trump teeing off.
But there are ways not to get lost in the crowd and maximize your day in the gallery. Here are some tips for pro-am fans from bloggers John Retzer of https://www.golfblogger.com and Tony Korologos of http://www.thegolfspace.com, as well as Dave Berner, host of a weekly podcast at http://www.travelgolf.com and producer of an audio documentary on Pebble Beach.
1. Don’t bother trying to watch anything on the first few holes, as there’s just not enough room.
2. The best stretch to watch the action is around the sixth, seventh and eighth holes, where there is more room for spectators.
3. The second-best stretch for spectators is around the 16th green, the 17th tee and along the 18th hole. Amateurs and celebrities are more likely to react with the crowd here.
4. The new Jack Nicklaus-designed par-3 fifth hole might become a secret spot for a good view. It’s a bit secluded and space for the gallery is small, but it’s a fun hole to watch players tee off.
5. Staying at a single hole is a good idea for fans hoping to get a look at the golfers and celebrities. The best position for this is probably a par 3.
6. Following a single group, on the other hand, is probably better for people who are more interested in the game itself.
7. If you decide to follow a group, it’s probably best to choose one with lesser-known players. Large crowds will follow the marquee names and make it difficult to see.
8. Consider starting on the last hole and walk the course backwards. You’ll be going the opposite direction of the crowd.
9. Take a moment to relax and check out the magnificent homes near some of the fairways. There are rumors about who owns a house near the course – Oprah, Alice Cooper, Paris Hilton – but none of them live anywhere near Pebble Beach.