Aside from playing MPCC, walking down the fairway of the 18th hole and up to the green was the highlight of my day. After the fantastic golf outing, I headed to the media center and decided to take a stroll of the golf course. It was already late so I didn’t have much time, but I got to see holes 1-4, 6 fairway and 7 tee from afar and then I strolled down 17 and 18 with Kent Eger.
18 encapsulates Pebble Beach. It’s not the best hole on the course, but it’s a solid one to finish on (obviously). It’s like you’re running to home plate in Game 7 of the World Series (kinda) or singing the last verse of the main song in the opera. Okay, bad analogies (I’m tired, but you get the point). I can only imagine the feeling of strolling down the fairway of the 18th at Pebble on Sunday and you’re just bout to win the US Open.
/chills running down my spine
Had I known Eger would have pulled me in the ropes in his practice round, I would have stuck through the grueling four-hour nine. It makes such a difference when you’re actually able to walk the course and see it from a player’s perspective. Even if you have inside the ropes access as media, you usually have to stay next to the ropes unless you’re with a player. You’re able to see the nuances and get to hear the player and caddie talk strategy. The times I’ve had that opportunity have been when I’ve learned the most about the course and really gotten a feel for the lay of the land.
Picture time! Here’s 17 green.
I took this pic of the 7th tee from 17.
This is hole 4.
Here’s 6 fairway as seen from 17 (with a lot of zoom).
Eger teeing off on 18.
Some players putting on 17.
Rikard Karlberg practicing a bunker shot by the green on 18.
And, of course, the leaderboard by the 18th green.
Oh, the faux pas of the day! The straps on my left flip-flop broke as I crossed the walkway on the first hole — which was just dandy. I mean, it’s not a big deal to walk barefoot on the grass, but it still kinda grosses me out (sorry, I’m a germaphobe). When I ran out of grass, the pavement or the woodchuck areas were not so pleasant. I have a feeling I’ll wake up to bruised soles. What can I say, I’m accident prone. I tried to get all MacGyver and fix the flip-flop with tape and a stapler a few times once I got back to the media center, just to hold me over til I got to the car. It was very stylish.
I wandered over to the Player Lounge/Locker Room, which is a temporary building set up for the US Open because Pebble doesn’t have a grandiose clubhouse. It was the perfect time to chat with players. The only problem was it was late, like 6, and most people had gone home. The ones left I either had never heard of them or I recognized them, but couldn’t remember their names — which absolutely drove me crazy. But it probably wouldn’t have been a good idea to ask a player to chat if I didn’t know his name. “I’m so sorry, I can’t remember who you are, but do you have some time to answer questions?” Yeah. A-hole alert!
And here’s the inside of the player lounge/dining area. I didn’t venture to the upstairs, where I presume the lockers are.
Finally, here’s one of two bars. And yes, I noticed they serve alcohol. Open bar, baby! Kidding.
Alright. I feel like I’m forgetting something, but too tired. Oh, by the way, when the swarm of Japanese reporters are no longer in the media room, that’s when you know it’s getting late and you have no life. A nice man from the USGA came over and asked how much longer I was going to be. In other words, last call!
More WUP live from Pebble Beach to come soon. Hooray.