OTL AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am


Enjoying watching the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro AM. Was fortunate to play PB in 1991 for $50 as a student at US Naval Postgraduate School during Christmas week. What I remembered was how long the course played, the smalll greens and incredible beauty. A fellow student of mine caddied at PB. Barry was quite a character.
As a caddy he would carry/offer his client and entourage real Cuban cigars and three top shelf beverages…whiskey, scotch and bourbon. He would be tipped $100-$150 a round…back in 1991!


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John Daly holed out a chip in heavy rough. The commentators noted he was wearing Arkansas Razorback gear which elicited a “Go Hogs!” remark. I think it was Nick Price.



Daly has grown a wild looking beard. He looks like a mountain man. It has been said so many times, but he was such a talent. He won two majors, and never really dedicated himself to the game. He had issues, like many of us do. He is one colorful character.

Good stuff Guy. It’s funny that you say Pebble was a long course. It’s considered almost too short now. I say almost because the USGA is still going to host the US Opens there. And, if it’s long enough for an Open, it’s long enough for any purposes.

If you poll almost anyone who has seen it (much less played it), they put Pebble in their top five courses. Anyone who doesn’t is labeled a crazy.

Most of the time, it’s not really a well kept place. I say that not because they don’t try. It’s a money maker and they push as many golfers around that course as possible and it’s always beat up.

Of course, it’s also EXPENSIVE. You must stay in the lodge to play. The combination is going to make it a $500 (or more) day. If you love golf, it might be worth it. My brother and his wife played it two years ago as part of a special anniversary trip to San Francisco. It was right before they closed War Memorial Park Golf Course. They flew to Little Rock the day after playing Pebble. My brother called me and said, “We are going to be the last couple to play Pebble and War Memorial in back-to-back days.” Heck, I can’t imagine that there had been too many do it before them.

I have not played Pebble. It would be a fun day. But I don’t imagine doing it. My destination bucket list includes many of the great trout rivers – and I do long for a try at a big New Zealand brown trout – and not the great golf courses.

I’ve played Augusta National (81), Southern Hills (best of 74), Olympic Club (78), Oak Tree National (76), Seminole (74) and War Memorial Park (63). I included WMPGC score because it was my lowest number in competition. That was 2-under at the time.

My lowest score in relation to par was at Singing Hills in El Cajon, Calif. I shot 5-under 67 in a match with my father and Harry King. I didn’t miss a green in that round.

I guess if I could afford it, I’d enjoy playing the Old Course (St. Andrews) in Scotland. I’ve been invited to play Alotian. I will probably do that. I recently joined Big Creek Golf Club in Mountain Home and I suspect that’s where I’ll play almost all of my golf going forward.

US Open is at Torrey Pines this year. I’ve played Pebble three times, but have a cousin who is a member at Cypress Point and was fortunate to play it with him once. It’s better in my eyes than Pebble Beach.

Those scores are really good on tough tracks. Southern Hills really is impressive to me. We were in Scotland 6 years ago to visit family. We tried to get tee times on the old coarse. Didn’t work out but we spent a day in St. Andrews and watched folks playing there. It was cold, very cold with wind gusting around 30. Didn’t seem to bother the golfers. It sure bothered me. We did get in a round on a local coarse in my sister in laws hometown near Peebles. The pro gave us a good lecture about playing fast. He said Americans played too slow. It was a glorious day even though it was cold and wet.

What was I thinking. You are correct. Thanks for the correction and I did a slight edit. Of course, it’s at Torrey Pines. Quite a bit longer than Pebble. Two iconic courses on different ends of the California coast. Torrey Pines – and that’s both courses – is like Pebble in some ways – especially the wear and tear it gets from too many rounds.

They were supposed to play Open last year at Pebble - I think. Nothing is right in my mind on schedules.

I did get an invitation tonight to come play Southern Hills this summer - in between the Senior PGA and next May’s PGA.

Aloha Clay,

I’m envious of your golf…both courses played and ability! For an average golfer like me, PB played long…not much roll, tight fairways and high rough.


The summer of '89 before my senior year in college I spent some time backpacking in Europe. My buddy and I managed to get a round in at St. Andrews on the “New Course” . We had to play with rented clubs but couldn’t pass up the chance to play even though it was the new course. I bought two boxes of balls and between those six and the ones I found and struggled to get out of the prickly rough…I lost 18 balls that round! I had a blast! I have a picture that amazingly enough came out great that my buddy took of me hitting out of a bunker.

I hear you clay on how expensive it is to play Pebble. We were supposed to go to Cali last summer for my oldest son’s graduation trip from college, and myself and three boys play it. But the COVID screwed that up. Saved me a few thousand bucks I figure. He’s getting it for his honeymoon trip this May.

Average golfers don’t realize how difficult these PGA venues are until they play them. My skills are slipping and my handicap(went from single digits dozen years ago to probably 14-15 now). I’ve played Harbor Town, Old Course at the Greenbriar, TPC Scottsdale and New Orleans and PGA National at West Palm Beach((Honda Classic). Those green complexes and rough on those courses make shooting a good score a task if your not precise in all phases of the game, in my opinion. The most difficult I played was at the Honda Classic venue…that sucker is long and trouble everywhere with tricky Florida greens. My oldest(who’s scratch but doesn’t play much anymore) shot 2 over on it from regular tees(not pro tips). The Greenbrier was a treat to me bc of its backdrop and beauty, but that mountain bluegrass rough was a hack-athon…plus it was right after they had filmed the Big Break on the golf channel and the resort had the Big Break Challenge set up for guests to try to break the glass and the flop wall stuff…and I won it that week we were there and got a nice free dinner at the club house.

Sorry to get ona tangier to…I never broke 80 at any of these above courses was my point bc they’re more difficult than they look on TV.

Guy, I can’t play like that any more. I fish more than I play golf, but I may get back to golf this spring and summer a little more. My short game is gone and that was always my strength.

I live about 2.5 hours drive from Pinehurst #2 which is also an Open course (going back there in 2024). I’m thinking about taking the game back up (which would require new clubs and a whole lot of lessons after 15 years on the sidelines) and if I do I want to play Pinehurst. Probably not in the summer of 2024 though. And peak season rates for #2 are almost $500 plus a caddie or forecaddie. The offseason rate (Thanksgiving through March 1) is $320. If you stay at the Pinehurst resort, two nights and three rounds including one at #2 is $900.

My current residence is on what was the first fairway of the Echo Farms course in Wilmington. Unfortunately they sold the course off to developers and here I am. But the course website is still there.

Big Creek is a nice course, with only a few tough/tight holes. I’ve only played it once, but watched my youngest play numerous rounds during his high school career as it was a stop on the ASGA tour, and we always opened up our season there. The biggest thing you’ll have to get use to is the accents, lol, but you’ve probably have gotten accustomed to them.

I’ve played Big Creek quite a few times as a non-Baxter County resident. When we had a weekend place in Cotter (2012-2019) and were Fayetteville residents, I often played Big Creek and paid the non-resident daily fee. It’s a public course in that respect and part of the Natural State Golf Trail. I love the zoyzia fairways. Not often do you have a bad lie. Ball will sit up on those fairways. The greens are good. I am good from the sand and there is a lot of that. I love the practice facilities, too. It’s not crowded.

Hi, Clay!
Just curious of where your weekend house was in Cotter.

102 Combs. When you crossed the old Cotter bridge it was on the southeast corner of 4-way stop. It was the toll house built at same time as bridge in the 30s.

The historical plate says “Toll House, 1932.”

The rose bush was removed by people we sold to three years ago. It’s since been sold again.

Thanks, Clay! Just curious. Didn’t know if you lived in Cotter or had a place off Denton Ferry.
Next time I go for breakfast at White Sands, I’ll check it out.
You are probably more knowledgeable about the History of Cotter, but recently a neighbor of ours told me that at one time, Denton Ferry road was a railroad track.

The roads next to rivers almost always were railroad tracks. River Ridge Road along Norfork River was a railroad spur.

Thanks Clay. That does make sense.

FYI, I spent the spring of 2018 re-painting the trim of the Cotter house. I scraped a lot of paint. Re-caulked those old windows and re-painted the trim. Everything you see in red was re-done by me. The railing on the front porch was tedious work. I think most of one week of vacation was used and about five weekends. Rewarding to get it done.

I met a lot of Cotter neighbors that I’d never met before. When someone sees you outside working on your house in Cotter, you got honks and thumbs up and often someone would stop to introduce themselves.

The house we bought was many things over the previous 80 years. Most recently it was an antique store and a very good one. The house had been remodeled inside to convert three rooms – including the master bath – into a huge “great room.” In the middle was a nice stand-up desk that was the front counter for sales. It was wired from the basement with an electrical conduit. The previous owners had it built from a gym floor. It was gorgeous.

The previous owners wanted to take it with them it was so beautiful. We held firm in the purchase that it stayed, mainly because it was attached to the floor via the electrical conduit and Internet connection.

My wife was worried that I wanted it for a bar. I didn’t. I thought it would be a great double fly tying desk. There was great lighting from above. The house had track lighting throughout to highlight art on the walls that was for sale.

As we were driving back to Fayetteville after negotiating the price of the home – the official offer would come the next morning – my wife said, “I have a wonderful idea. Let’s keep that desk and you can use it for fly tying.” Oh, how great it is when your wife comes up with the idea you wanted before you have verbalized it. It’s much easier to get to the right conclusion if it’s her conclusion.

I spent many, many nights tying flies there and also had friends sit nearby tying their flies. It was a glorious thing. I wish we could have brought it to Norfork, but I do have a great fly tying desk that Bill Thorne made for me that I brought from Fayetteville. It’s oak and just a gorgeous piece of furniture.

The first summer we owned the Cotter house (and we took possession on Valentine’s Day) there was a week where I stayed there by myself and fished every day. I’d fish early, find a good place for lunch, then take an afternoon nap. Then, I’d find a place to fish in the late afternoon.

Nap time was interesting the first two days. I did not lock the front door. In walked little old ladies thinking it was still an antique store. There I was in my undies asleep on the couch. Are you open? Afraid not. I quickly learned, lock the front door when it’s nap time. And eventually, we just used the back door and left the front door mostly locked.