Pebble Beach golf course is one of the most beautiful and prestigious golf courses in the world. Located on the beautiful Monterrey peninsula, the course follows the pacific ocean and offers the golfer breath-taking scenery and challenging golf.
The course, and the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, are very near several family members including my in-laws and my mom’s brother. Several years ago, my wife and I decided that our annual trip to northern California would coincide with the golf tournament and I would take in some golf while on vacation. Because my uncle knows some people who live on the 17 Mile Drive, right across a tiny, two-lane road from the course and graciously allow us to park at their house, I made him my partner in golf watching.
Over the years we have had many adventures at the tournament. Included are brief but individual conversations with Bill Murray, George Lopez, Ray Romano, and Chris Berman. I have professed my love shouted (along with a group of teenage girls) to Justin Timberlake and let Phil Mickelson know that “he da man.” I’ve watched Vijay hit the most amazing flop shot over a bunker to 18 inches, and Jerry Kelly lose a ball in a tuft of grass against the lip of a fairway bunker (we all saw it go in, but never came out). Most notably, however, was the year my brother-in-law came along (props to me, best Christmas gift ever!) and nearly got kicked off the course for taking pictures of Phil Mickelson as cameras and cell phones are strictly forbidden. This picture was taken seconds before Bones turned to Seth and said, “No camerca’s sir!” As is always the case in life, the best stories are usually the most nerve-wracking experiences.
Due to current circumstances we are not in northern California, and I am forlornly watching the tournament on tv. The grass is not quite as green, the water not quite as blue, and I definitely can’t enjoy a cigar while watching the golf this year. The 27 degree temps are not conducive to enjoying a cigar outside. I did find time to get indoors and enjoy a cigar that, while disappointing in some respects, was quite tasty. The Punch drew very well but burned absolutely terribly. At one point it had an uneven burn by almost 3/4″… quite a gap when you consider the cigar itself was only 4″ when I started it. The taste was great, almost good enough to trick me into smoking another one, but the burn was simply too uneven for me to risk smoking another. If I want that much maintenance in a smoke, I’ll get my pipe!
Lord willing, I will find myself back at the hallowed grounds of Pebble Beach in February 2011 for the tournament… and might even take along my oldest son. He’ll be five and may be ready for a day of walking and watching golf? Yea right.