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Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Fun Facts

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The tournament trophy is seen during the trophy presentation after the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The tournament trophy is seen during the trophy presentation after the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach Golf Links. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

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What’s in a name?

  • The late actor, singer Bing Crosby came up with the idea of pairing his Hollywood golfing buddies with professional golfers. He even provided the $500 purse.
  • Originally, the event was called the ‘Bing Crosby National Pro-Amateur’ or the ‘Crosby Clambake’.
  • In 1985 the Crosby name was dropped and AT&T became the title sponsor.
  • Crosby’s event was originally only 18 holes. It was first played in 1937 at Southern California’s Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club.
  • From 1942 to 1946 the event was cancelled due to World War II.
  • In 1947, the tournament moved north to Pebble Beach, where it has been played ever since.
  • The tournament became a 72-hole event in 1958.
  • The event was first televised in 1958.
  • Women were invited to participate in the 1970s.
  • Crosby also owned a race horse, had a stake in the Pittsburgh Pirates, was an expert fly fisherman, and owned a 20,000-acre cattle ranch.

  • Pebble Beach

  • First of all, Pebble Beach is not a city. It’s a corporation owned by the Pebble Beach Company. There is a post office, but no sidewalks.
  • Pebble Beach is famous for its scenic 17-mile drive. Guests and tourists must pay a fee to enter the gated community.

  • Crosby Weather

  • Every year rainfall slows down play.
  • The term “Crosby weather” was coined during the first tournament in 1937 at Rancho Santa Fe. The event was rain-shortened to just one round. In fact, it rained so hard for 3 days, players starting shooting ducks on a pond near the 18th green.
  • When the rains hit in 1960, Johnny Weissmuller (Tarzan), once the world’s greatest swimmer said, “I’ve never been so wet in my life.”
  • True to tradition, Crosby Weather has overcome California’s 2013/14 drought. The tournament brought rain to one of the region’s driest winters on record.

  • The Course

  • The Pebble Beach Company and the golf course were the brainchild of Samuel F.B. Morse, (not the inventor of the telegraph, but a distant relative). He proposed his idea in 1915.
  • Morse was captain of Yale’s football team and a member of the Skull and Bones society.
  • Jack Neville and Douglas Grant designed the course and it opened February 22, 1919.
  • Pebble Beach Golf Course is one of 4 at Pebble Beach Resort, which also includes the Links at Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill and Del Monte.
  • Del Monte is the oldest continuous course west of the Mississippi.
  • Hundreds of years ago, Spanish Bay was a sacred Indian cooking site. Stacks of abalone shells have been found in the sand.
  • In 1999, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood, and former baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth bought the Pebble Beach Golf Course for $820 million from a Japanese company that had acquired the property in 1992.
  • A 6500-foot, 6-bedroom, 9-bath home behind the 13th green was one of the locations for the 1944 Elizabeth Taylor movie, “National Velvet.”
  • Alfred Hitchcock filmed “Vertigo” near Cypress Point.
  • Don’t get too close to the edge on the 8th hole. Two people died after they drove their golf cart off the cliff.
  • One of the world’s most picturesque golf courses, Golf Digest ranks Pebble Beach Golf Links number one on its list of the top 100 greatest public golf courses.
  • Tee times cost more than $500 a round!

  • Who’s who?

  • The event pairs pros and amateurs.
  • Notable pros have included Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Mark O’Meara, Davis Love III, Vijay Singh, Sam Snead and Ben Hogan.
  • Celebrities include Justin Timberlake, Bill Murray, Glenn Frey, Kevin Costner, Steve Young, George Lopez, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Carson Daly, Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon and Bob Hope.
  • Famous Pebble Beach residents include Clint Eastwood, comedian George Lopez, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Charles Schwab.
  • Famous amateur holes-in-one include Roger Clemens, Donald Trump, Johnny Mathis, John Purcell and Randy Quaid.
  • More…

  • Five U.S. Open Championship Golf Tournaments have been played at Pebble Beach. A sixth is scheduled for 2019.
  • In the summer, Pebble Beach also hosts the famous, annual ‘Concours d’Elegance’ auto show, a showcase of classic cars.
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