While Day 1 is all about acclamation and orientation, Day 2 and 3 is time for activation! Practice rounds, interviews, meeting amateurs playing in the event and speaking with donors. This day provided another level of excitement, new experiences and memories for a lifetime.
Mara’s Viewpoint: I was anxiously excited to get the day started! Before we left our host family’s house, I cleaned out my golf bag and moved everything over to the really awesome tournament bags they gave us to use all week. Added bonus, it had my name on it!
The tournament doesn’t allow us to schedule our Pebble Beach Golf Links Practice Round until we arrive on property for registration. So, by the time we arrived yesterday, the earliest tee time was 1:00pm PST. Beginning that late we would never get finished before our mandatory junior event at 5:00pm.
So, we decided to leave the house early and visit the Starter on Hole 1 by 9:00am to see if he had any singles cancel. To our disappointment, he didn’t envision any cancellations but kindly took my name and phone number in case something popped up!
While waiting at the tee, we saw a group of Pro-Am participants tee off. One of which was a left handed, one armed man from Quebec, Canada. Come to find out, this is his fifth year in a row playing the event. We watched him strip it down the fairway. Our quick interaction provided an extra boost of inspiration for the day!
As we headed back towards housing to grab a few items for our long day, the phone rings. It’s the Starter! “Mara, can you be back at the tee in 10 mins? We’ve got an opening!” YES, I thought, but we were 6 minutes from the course and in the opposite direction.
To our delight, even though the group with the opening had tee’d off, Champions Tour Player Jerry Kelly let me play the first hole with him and then I jumped ahead to my group. He so was welcoming and inviting.
When we got to 2 tee, to my surprise, we were paired with the tournament Defending Champion, Paul Broadhurst. How cool to play with last year’s winner!
What a golf course! Tee shots from various angles, bends in the fairways and tiny greens. Every hole had its own unique beauty; from gigantic trees, to water views and cliffs that you had to hit over and around.
To get ready before we headed to California, my dad and I enjoyed playing Pebble Beach Golf Links on the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Game. So, as we approached the 6 Hole, a par 5 with a HUGE ocean side cliff you must hit your second shot over, I was nervous and calm all at once. To see my ball land in the green grass over that cliff was so thrilling!
Those next few holes were some of the best. Hole 7 plays 90 yards on the score card, but depending on the wind you could hit anything from a sand wedge to a 6 iron. The video game definitely didn’t do that experience justice!
Getting to play with Mr. Broadhurst and his caddie was a really great experience. They gave us a lot of advice, encouragement and many laughs throughout the round. I definitely feel ready to play the course on Saturday!
Post round we took a quick nap before heading back to the 18th Green at Pebble Beach Golf Links for tonight’s Champions Dinner and concert featuring Chris Young. Before the dinner we got to take a group photo with, and meet, Chris Young. Then, they lined all of us up on these really tall stairs off the clubhouse where we were announced individually to the crowd and given a participant medal, with our initials engraved on the back, from Mr. Joe Louis Barrow.
During dinner we were tasked to sit with people we didn’t know, make introductions and new friends. The crowd included Champions Tour Players, Amateur Pro-Am participants, our host families and all of us juniors.
To cap off an awesome day, Chris Young came to the stage and did a private one-hour concert for us. It was so cool to have a stage set up on the edge of the ocean, off the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links.
WOW. I’m still amazed and grateful to be here. What a Day 2!