Sunday, and final round of the 2012 AT&T National Pro-Am Golf tournament at the Pebble Beach Golf Links. This is the Monterey Peninsula where four days of gorgeous sun in the weather forecast dazzled the commentators, players, spectators and cameras with the brilliant sunlight of Thursday’s Round 1 play.
Ken Duke, one of the old guys at 42 years of age, set a back-nine Pebble Beach Golf Links course record with an 8-under 28 score for the par 36 back-nine holes on Day 1 of the tournament.
18th hole flag at Pebble Beach Golf Links.
This is the Monterey Peninsula and the sun faded over Pebble Beach as thick fog and drizzle covered the green grass coast for most of the past two days and the temperature dropped from upper 60s on Thursday to lower 50s on Friday and Saturday.
Pebble Beach Lodge is a place I worked for about four months before leaving the Monterey Peninsula to attend college at UC Davis. I landed a job in food service at Pebble Beach as a temp worker for the February golf tournament when it was still known as the Bing Crosby National Pro-Am Golf Championship.
The Lodge at Pebble Beach is a fine place to visit with a large outdoor patio looking out to Carmel Bay.
Even Pebble Beach must change with time and new guests. The long-time fine dining restaurant Club XIX, “Club 19”, at the Lodge closed its doors in October 2011.
Sand bunker near the sea cliff at Pebble Beach GL 18th hole.
The Lodge at Pebble Beach has hotel rooms looking out to the 18th green.
Pebble Beach is a place of natural beauty, yet there is still a constant battle with environmentalists over development plans in this private community on the southwestern portion of the Monterey Peninsula. Hotel and housing development plans in Pebble Beach require cutting down thousands of Monterey pines. The strikingly unique aspect of the scenery on the Monterey Peninsula is the abundance of Monterey pines covering the hills along the coastline. Tree covered land in an urban area is rare on the California coast.
Here are a couple of articles from Sierra Club regarding plans for hotel and golf course development at Pebble Beach in the past decade.
The June 2007 Coastal Commission ruling included this statement:
Commissioner Sara Wan said, “In my 20 years of attending the Coastal Commission’s meetings, this is the most egregious example of development trying to circumvent the Coastal Act. It amounts to wholesale destruction of the environment and destroys the essence of the Monterey pine forest.”
2012 golf and celebrity fans coming to Pebble Beach to see the Woods
The crowds seem way down to me this year for the AT&T Pro Am as a casual observer of traffic patterns in the area and the visuals on TV. Supposedly there were plenty of vacancy signs in the abundant Carmel hotels.
I have not ventured into Pebble Beach to see the tournament this year. My past experiences going to the AT&T convinced me golf is a sport best watched on TV.
Tiger Woods is on this plaque two times for 2000 and 2001 Pro-Am Team wins. Tiger only won the AT&T golf tournament once as the PGA winner in 2000. Phil Mickelson has won the AT&T Pro Am three times in 1998, 2005 and 2007. Dustin Johnson is going for a three-peat in 2012.
Charlie Wi starts Sunday Feb 12, 2012 final round with a 4-shot lead over Tiger Woods who sits in 3rd place. I’ll be watching Tiger Woods today. If you are watching too, you might want to focus your eyes on the trees behind the Woods.
The Monterey pines are an integral component of the beauty of this place we call the Monterey Peninsula.