gmhTODAY 23 gmhTODAY Dec Jan 2018 - Page 106

Don DeLorenzo it's your SWING Don has been the PGA General Manager of Gilroy Golf Course since 1985. He is a former winner of the Bill Stausbaugh award given by the PGA of America for excellence in education. He was named the 2014 Gilroy Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year and was born and raised in Gilroy. Take A Day…Enjoy the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am W e all know that where we live is one of the most expensive areas in the country, Housing, gas, groceries, you name it and it costs a lot. But we also have to agree that we live in one of the most beautiful areas in the country. Perhaps no area is more beautiful than the famous Monterey Peninsula. When one thinks of this area the fi rst thing that comes to mind is GOLF. There is possibly no place on earth that boasts so many beautiful golf courses within walking distance of each other than this area. And we are so lucky to live only 45 minutes away. Not only are these golf courses beautiful to look at and play on, but we have the opportunity every February to spend a day or two on them watching the games’ greatest golfers and celebrities compete in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. The AT&T Pro-Am started as the Bing Crosby Pro Am that has roots all the way back to the 1930’s. Crosby had the idea to give some of his member friends of Lakeside Country Club in Southern California a chance to play with 50 or so professionals who were on the west coast during the winter months. The first tournament was held in 1937 at Rancho Sante Fe Golf Club and was only 18 holes after rain washed out the first round. It was won by Sam Snead and he collected the winners check in the amount of a whopping $500. The tournament moved north to the Monterey Peninsula in 1947 and has been drawing huge crowds ever since. Spanning over a half century, the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am has undergone changes that have made it one of Northern California’s most popular sporting events. The recipe of three parts professional golfer to one part celebrity or famous ath- lete has gone down as smooth as some of the libations at the “Tap Room’ at Pebble Beach’s Del Monte Lodge…… A must stop when you go. When you go today you will see stars such as Bill Murray, Toby Keith, Wayne Gretzky, Aaron Rodgers, Josh Duhmel and Chris O’Donnell just to name a few. Add this to the line up of the top PGA Professionals and you have the makings of a great day. Even if you don’t play golf, the chance to stroll the lush green fairways of Pebble Beach, Spyglass Hill or Monterey Peninsula Country Club is a can’t miss. Starting with Spyglass Hill, this is the most inland course of the three that are played. Only four holes, 2-3-4-5 have views of the Monterey Bay. The majority of the course rolls and meanders through the Del Monte forest in the heart of the 17 Mile Drive. Huge pine trees and white sand will take your breath away, as if the beautiful golf shots of the pro’s you watch won’t. Walking Spyglass is probably the most difficult of the trifecta of courses. I give it a 7 out of 10 on difficulty to walk. However the greatest thing about any course or any tournament is your ability to stay in one place and let the golfers come to you. Monterey Peninsula Country Club is the only private course of the three. With breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean it is probably the easiest course to walk. If you are in average shape and used to walking, making it over the entire course shouldn’t be a problem. You may find yourself just wanting to spend the entire day watching the crashing ocean waves instead of Wayne Grezky’s booming tee shots. Last and certainly not least is Pebble Beach. Site of the 2019 US Open, it has been called “the greatest meeting of land and sea.” This spectacular piece of real estate has only a handful of holes where you can’t see the ocean. You owe it to yourself as a Californian, golfer or not, to walk holes 6-7-8- 9-10-17-18 along the gorgeous coastline. This years' tournament dates are February 4-10, 2019. Getting to the tournament is easy. Travel to the Monterey Peninsula and follow the signs. There is generally park- ing at Cal State Monterey Bay with free shuttle service to the golf courses. Cost of a ticket varies from weekday to weekend with practice round tickets running $40 and tournament rounds $60-$70. Discounts are available for weekly tickets. So if you’ve never been—go. If it’s been awhile—go again. Make a day, weekend or even a week out of it! WESTERN GETAWAYS 106 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN december 2018-january 2019 GOLF