In this edition of Fourball I’m joined by Steve Carroll, Alex Perry and Joe Hughes to discuss the burning matters of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am week…
It’s the annual nightmare of Pebble Beach and the dreaded amateur love-in where the rest of the world scratch their heads as to who these people actually are. Which pro would you want to be paired with? (And you can’t say Tiger…)
Alex: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood. All obvious answers. Someone who would tell stories. Max Homa is a really funny guy. That would be an enjoyable five hours.
Joe: Pat Perez seems seems like the type of no-nonsense whack-it-and-walk-kind of guy that I’d like to spend a few hours with. Knowing that he would rather head to a fast-food restaurant than the gym makes me think we’d get on well.
Steve: No question – Jordan Spieth. I love everything about him. His poise, his never-say-die attitude, his style, his smile. He’s such a gent and, gosh, he’s handsome isn’t he? I’m actually blushing.
My verdict: On a similar tip I’d go with The Duf where the possibilities are pretty much endless. We could talk about our taste in headwear, pink polos, bulging waistlines, mumbling, Chuck Cook and THAT waggle. Before getting stuck on 7th tee and recreating the Dufnering thing where it would all go viral again.
I’ve thought about this quite a lot and I genuinely think we’d get on well to the tune of him bank-rolling my spot in the AT&T and maybe even the Dunhill for the rest of our days.
How well would your game stack up under the gaze of playing in a PGA Tour event?
Steve: Ba ha ha ha ha. I’d be stretchered hyperventilating off the course after the 1st hole. I couldn’t even hold it together in a pro-am – topping a ball 40 yards off the first tee in Portugal on my way to shooting about 100. I’m such a wreck of nerves under pressure I can get an attack of the shanks during a club fitting. Listen to me: IT WOULD NOT END WELL.
Joe: Well, last time there was even a tiny bit of pressure on my first tee shot I produced a lovely topped drive which failed to make it to the forward tee. So, I think it’s fair to say my golf wouldn’t be getting me into a featured TV group.
Alex: Well if I’m playing in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am then chances are I’m already a famous actor, singer or star of another sport so confidence isn’t a problem. The opening tee shot is a dogleg right so it suits my eye, and shot shape, rather nicely. I’m getting away comfortably, before going on to sign for a solid 109.
My verdict: I think the golf would be sort of OK but I’d be more concerned with how I’d act. There would no doubt be a caddie there which would both help things focus-wise but also make be more affected than I would like.
These aren’t my people, I’m not for them and they’re not for me but, in a pathetic bid to fit in, I wouldn’t put it past me lighting up an oversized cigar on the 18th tee just so they think I’m alright.
How much would you pay to play Pebble Beach?
Alex: I was lucky enough to play the Old Course for free as part of a media day in 2013, and I walked off that day thinking it could have cost me a grand and it would have been worth it. Once-in-a-lifetime experiences like this don’t come around too often. If I’m in the Pebble Beach area and I’m offered a tee time for £500, I’m pretty sure I’d take it.
Steve: Snobby types will tell you Pebble’s very ordinary in places and is a bit over-rated for the dough outside of the obvious holes. My god, though, they are spectacular aren’t they? I’d pay the $600 I think it costs just to spend five minutes looking out at the ocean from the back of the 7th green. The drive at 18 is simply a money-can’t-buy experience. Just take my wallet.
Joe: It’s worth a few quid just to walk around a course of such beauty and having the chance to play it would be incredible. Let’s break it down:
- Being able to say I’ve played Pebble Beach and tick it off the bucket list = £300
- Top quality service throughout my visit (Snack cart is ESSENTIAL) = £80
- Views = £50
- Reduction for the amount I’d have to spend on balls only to put them into the water = -£30
So, yeah, I think £400 is about right if you factor in the value I’m adding to the waters surrounding the course.
My verdict: I think I’d stop at £300 though I agree with the snobby sentiment. If it’s Jack Nicklaus’ favourite course and you can recite every hole with ease then it will probably do for me.
I’m now second-guessing myself and wondering if I could dig a bit deeper in my wallet and go to £400? The problem with all of these amazing experiences is that you’ll just want to do it all over again so if I were able to have 36 holes and a nice spot of lunch and a couple of sundowners then I’d happily spend £700 on my day’s fun.
And then get back home and say I got mugged but I’d rather not talk about it.