John Renslow
Sports Columnist

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October 4, 2012
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Pro-Am benefits Gold Country

Golf courses and clubs often form symbiotic relationships with their community.

The community is served by recreation, both through the game and social hub that a restaurant/banquet facility it provides. And of course, a golf property is very beneficial to home values. Over the last 50 years, many new home developers have built a golf course in and around the homes knowing that the increase in property values in substantial.

Through special events, a golf club can also become an identity for the city or region. There are dozens of beautiful golf courses along the West Coast but name two of them. Pebble Beach and …

It is due to the Bing Crosby Clambake that the Pebble Beach Golf Links became one of the most recognizable places on the planet. If you drive along Highway 1, there are countless, picturesque locations. Yet few people could tell you how to directly get to one of them.

Bing Crosby started an event that has now become known simply as a “Pro-Am.” Golf professionals are paired with amateur golf partners to create a team that plays a match (or game) with other professional/amateur teams.

Today, this event has corporate sponsors and is one of the most popular televised events on the PGA Tour each year. It is officially known as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Within the industry, we refer to it as “the AT&T” or more simply ‘Pebble’.

The tournament brings thousands of people and millions of dollars to the Monterey Peninsula each year. In turn, the notoriety pulls thousands of tourists to the region almost every day. It started small and became a big thing for the community.

Here in the Gold Country, we are in the infancy stage of creating a similar event that we hope will add to our community. It is called the Gold Country Pro-Am and is sponsored by Towers Casino and Card Room. Also, in keeping with the spirit of golf and professional events, a portion of the proceeds will go to a local charity.

Dozens of local club professionals and journeyman PGA Tour players are invited to come to the Alta Sierra Country Club and play with their amateur partners.

If you’re interested in playing and supporting your course and community, encourage your local golf professional to play and take you as part of the amateur team. Or if you don’t have a home club or course, give the Alta Sierra Country Club a call, and it will try to match you with a team.

This is great for the amateur players because they get to see some great golf, meet some new people and, most likely, learn a lot along the way. The professionals get to spend time with players from their club. The community gets some visitors in town, exposing new people to Grass Valley and the Gold Country. Get involved in the game. It all works together for everyone’s benefit.

John Renslow is general manager and director of golf at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at

Through special events, a golf club can also become an identity for the city or region.

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The Union Updated Oct 12, 2012 01:48PM Published Oct 8, 2012 03:41PM Copyright 2012 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.