Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Fun Facts
February 6, 2014 3:28 PM
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.
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.
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 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!
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.
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.