Pebble Beach Golf Links
By R.J. Smiley
The Psychic’s mind hits the pause button as he ponders, “What would it be like to play a round of golf at Pebble Beach?”
He knows that muni golfers, like himself, would never fork-out the cash, to fly halfway across America, stay in the Pebble Beach Inn, pay the $500 plus greens fees not including caddy fee… plus a tip. That is just too much money to play a round of golf when the temperatures could hover in the mid-fifties with the wind gusting to 30 mph.
The Psychic is watching the planet’s very best women golfers locked in a drama-filled final round of the US Women’s Open, but he is lost in the splendor of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Drones equipped with space-aged cameras allow the Psychic to witness Pebble Beach as he has never seen it. The video images are simple yet extremely complex. With the assistance of the latest technology, God’s ultimate plan for this property is on full display. The potpourri of images are so vast that no two viewers see exactly the same detail. The unique sound of the sea birds squawking combined with gusting winds create the background noise unlike any other telecast.
Throughout his lifetime he has watched countless tournaments televised from the famous seaside links. The once famous Crosby Clam Bake Pro Am seemed to always be played in a kaleidoscope of horrible weather conditions. He recalls Nicklaus’ famous 1-iron to #17. Watson’s chip-in and Tiger’s 15 stroke victory are vivid in his mind.
But the Psychic has never before felt the intimate mating of land and sea that created Pebble Beach.
As the drone circles the tee on number 7 the Psychic feels the tension build in his hands as he is addressing his golf ball. He can taste the saltwater spray on his lips as angry Pacific breakers crash onto the rocks 110 yards below.
As his eyes return to the Women’s Open, the Psychic’s mind recalls a recent National Golf Foundation article written by people who monitor golf related travel. The report indicated that reservations for golf destination and amenity rich resorts are up 5-7% over 2022. Looking back one year those same resorts reported an increase of 12% over 2021.
The article stated that 70% of “Core Golfers” plan to make a golf related trip (traveling more than 50 miles) this year. (NGF definition: A Core Golfer plays at least 8 times in a calendar year. Core Golfers average 37 rounds of golf per year.) “So, my golfer buddies from the muni do make up a part of that Core Golfer Travel statistic,” he realizes.
Perfect timing! He finishes his third Arnold Palmer, with just a touch of Kettle One Vodka, as the best player, Allison Corpus, stamped her name boldly in the record books – The first woman to win a US Open at Pebble Beach.
The Psychic knows that he intends to play golf two, three… maybe four times per week until father time forces him to quit. That time is coming but years away, for him and his geriatric golf pals. The Psychic tips up his favorite glass and allows the few remaining AP flavored ice cubes to slide into his mouth. As he crunches the frozen pellets into an AP slush, he strolls into the study and places his ancient turban on his balding head.
As the light from within the crystal glows brighter, the Psychic sees a confusing list of numbers: 27, 32, 35, 37, 40, 44 and 48. The crystal ball senses his question? Men’s US Open 2027, Men’s US Open in 2032, Women’s US Open in 2035, Men’s US Open in 2037, Women’s US Open in 2040, Men’s US Open in 2044 and Women’s US Open in 2048.
Suddenly a series of familiar images and videos fill the enlightened sphere. The Psychic witnesses the tee shot over the hotel at St Andrews, the 12th green at Augusta National, the island green at TPC Sawgrass, the valley of sin that fronts 18 at the Old Course, the second shot on #8 at Pebble Beach. Slowly he understands. His favorite tournaments are those major championships contested on golf courses where he knows every hole. The Masters and the Player’s Championship flash through his mind. The Open at St Andrews (every five years) is third.
Again, a string of years rocket at him like a roman candle on the 4th of July: 1972, 1982, 1992, 2000, 2010, 2019 followed by pictures of winners” Nicklaus, Watson, Kite, Woods, McDowell and Woodland. The Psychic realizes that there have been only six Men’s US Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links in the past 47 years. Now there will be four Men’s Opens from 2027 thru 2044. Plus, four Women’s US Opens in the twenty-five years from 2023 thru 2048.
As he brushes his teeth, the Psychic is hallucinating about the tee shot on the most famous par-5 in the world, #18 at Pebble Beach.
Maybe he would travel and pay to play just one round at Pebble Beach.