AT&T Pro-Am welcomes fans back this week, close and careful

0

PEBBLE BEACH — A year ago, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Golf Tournament went off without a hitch — and with no amateur golfers, no spectators, and no rain. This week, amid pandemic precautions, amateurs and aficionados were urged to return to the greens, up close and careful. However, this legendary tournament in the kingdom of golf has never been more sought after, leading to the sale of items from the five-day event.

“After moving from a weekly ticket to individual tickets, $70 a ticket for general admission on Thursday and Sunday, and $80 a ticket for general admission on Friday and Saturday, sales of tickets and projected revenue are up this year,” Lesley said. Varney, vice president of marketing and corporate relations for the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which hosts the event. “General admission tickets remain available, but some upgraded tickets have already sold out.”

Wednesday’s Community Day, presented by Cisco, which offered free admission, has reached capacity. The event will include the five-hole 3M Celebrity Challenge at The Hay, the Chevron Challenge Putting Contest, also at The Hay, and the Million Dollar Hole-in-One for Charity at the iconic 17th hole at Pebble Beach.

Some tournament enhanced hospitality tickets are sold out for Friday and Saturday, but tickets remain available, starting Monday morning, for Thursday and Sunday. Similarly, the Palmers Club 18, presented by Citrix, considered “golf’s most coveted ticket”, providing access to an air-conditioned venue, with outdoor stadium seating, breakfast, lunch and hors d’oeuvres. Lobby, along with premium spirits and cocktails, is sold out for Saturday and Sunday admission, but premium tickets are still available for Thursday and Friday.

This year, all tickets were sold digitally, says Varney. Spectators still receive a commemorative, portable ticket, but proof of admission will be accessed electronically rather than passing paper through hands. This way no one risks losing their ticket and if someone can’t attend they can simply transfer their ticket to a friend.

Rain or shine (and there’s no rain in the forecast), hospitality or general admission tickets, spectators return to an event that promises to be up to par according to course organizers.

“It really changed the event to lose both amateur golfers and fans last year,” said Steve John, tournament director and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation. “Our tournament is more of an Am-Pro as many of our fans are more interested in celebrities and athletes than professional golfers. Although it was a big loss last year, we have this year a formidable professional field, paired with a wonderful group of new and returning amateur golfers.

Although the pro squad will miss some mainstays such as former champions Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson, who opted to play in Saudi Arabia this week, defending champion Daniel Berger is back, as are many of the most popular celebrities.

Among the amateur squad is Mia Hamm, the two-time Olympic gold medalist in soccer; rock musician Lucas Nelson, son of Willie Nelson; LA Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts; wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and quarterback Steve Young; actors Andy Garcia, Don Cheadle, Josh Duhamel, Chris O’Donnell, Alfonso Ribeiro and Ray Romano; musicians Darius Rucker, Jake Owen and Huey Lewis; Chef Thomas Keller and golf journalist and former Miss America Kira K. Dixon. And, of course, Bill Murray.

John, who played the tournament nine times before becoming CEO of the Foundation, remembers watching the golf tournament first with his father, who played at Crosby in 1983, 1984 and 1985. He heard a lot stories over the years. Yet while the event has changed over time and the charitable contribution to the community has increased, the essence of the ‘Crosby Clambake’ persists, he says, which is a true testament to the quality of the players and of everyone who contributes to an event.

“People have been dealing with COVID for so long,” John said. “We grew tired of the protocols around gatherings in public. But as long as the threat of infection persists, we should adhere to precautions designed to keep us healthy, even if it’s outdoors. Anyway, it’s exciting to organize the event. We are delighted to be back with fans and amateurs and hope to have a typical and successful tournament this year. It will be worth the wait.”

Success comes in many forms. In addition to those who enter the circle of winners and all those who love the game, there are the charitable donations that mark the event. In 2012, John says, the Monterey Peninsula Foundation eclipsed $100 million in charitable donations. Ten years later, that number has doubled. “All thanks to the generosity of our title sponsor, our secondary sponsors, our players,” said John, “and our fans.”

As pros and ams prepare to compete, fans should also prepare for their return to the golf gallery by familiarizing themselves with the rules and regulations set out to keep everyone healthy and safe amid COVID. Here are some tips for those taking part in this year’s tournament.

  • COVID Precautions: Masks are required for all indoor public gatherings and in shuttles. Proof of vaccination is not required for entry into the tournament; although the CDC recommends vaccination for anyone age 5 and older.
  • Be aware of the weather: there is no rain in the forecast, but dress in layers, it will be chilly, especially in the morning, with some breezes depending on where you are.
  • Tickets: Tournament tickets are available via https://www.attpbgolf.com/tickets/
  • Autographs: To enhance the autograph search experience, fans are advised that on-course autograph searching is prohibited and will be limited to designated autograph areas organized and managed by the tournament.
  • Photography: Cameras are not permitted on the course during tournament rounds, Thursday through Sunday. Mobile phones may be used to take photos during the tournament; although they must remain silent at all times. Calls can be made or received outside of the game. No live streaming is allowed at any time. No large bags or backpacks are permitted and all items may be searched. Unauthorized items, such as cameras, will be confiscated.
  • Prohibited Items: New this year, no memorabilia may be brought into the tournament, including pin flags, photos, trading cards, balls and other sports paraphernalia. Additionally, noise-producing or other distracting devices, including electronic/compressed air, bells and horns or any other such device are prohibited. For a complete list of items that cannot be brought into the tournament, visit https://www.attpbgolf.com/spectators/policies-etiquette/.
  • General Parking: Free spectator parking is located at CSU Monterey Bay (CSUMB) in Marina (exit 406). Free tournament parking shuttles will transport spectators from the parking lot to the main entrance of Pebble Beach. For more information on parking and shuttle service, visit https://www.attpbgolf.com/spectators/parking-directions/.
  • Other Shuttles: Carmel Chamber (https://bit.ly/3ufQvCI), Pacific Grove Chamber (www.pacificgrove.org) shuttles are a good way to get to and from the golf course for fans who don’t are not in the CSUMB car park.
  • On the Course: Along the way, viewers should stop at Triangle Plaza to see the AT&T Loft, visit the Meiomi Wine Lounge, or Hacienda Patrón. Fans can charge their phone, shop for souvenirs, grab a drink and grab a bite to eat.

If you are going to

  • What: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Where: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course
  • Tournament: Thursday-Saturday, 8:00 a.m., the three courses. Sunday’s final at Pebble Beach GL, 7:30 a.m.
  • Practice Rounds: Tuesday-Wednesday, all courses, 7:00 a.m. (tournament courses are closed to spectators on Tuesdays, Pebble Beach GL is open to ticket holders on Wednesdays, although tickets are sold out)
  • Wednesday Special Events: 3M Celebrity Challenge, The Hay, 10:30 a.m.; Chevron Challenge Champions vs. Champions, The Hay putting green, 12:30 p.m.; Million Dollar Hole-in-One for Charity presented by Cisco, Pebble Beach Golf Links, Hole 17, 2:30 p.m.
  • Tickets/more information: www.attpbgolf.com
  • Coming Wednesday: Swingtime, your tournament guide with maps, stories and photos
Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.