RENSLOW: PGA Tour makes way through West Coast
The 2017 PGA Tour season is now in full swing (pardon the pun) and is now making its way through the West Coast.
A couple of weeks ago we watched the former Bob Hope Desert Classic (now sponsored by CareerBuilder), then last week the boys played Torrey Pines in San Diego.
Today is the third round at the Phoenix Open which boasts the largest fan attendance in golf. If you haven’t seen it, tune in and watch the action on the 16th hole. A relatively short 3-par, by tour standards, is completely surrounded by grandstands that would make NASCAR jealous.
They’ve got Sky Boxes,‘Green Keeper’ boxes that host corporate events and individuals by the thousands. More recently, the 17th hole has added stadium seating with more Sky Boxes and a ‘Bay Club.’
On any one day, again, one day…as many as 200,000 people will attend the Phoenix Open. For the week, the turnstile will click nearly 600,000 times.
Next week, Pebble Beach is the venue. The legendary Bing Crosby Clambake has become much more commercialized as the AT&T National Pro-Am. But, there is still something in the air, a mystique. When you hit 17-mile drive and walk the golf course something nostalgic comes over you. Byron Nelson, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus, the greats throughout the generations played and won here.
If you’re up for a drive to the Monterey Bay, that is a fun time (although access to local hotels may be limited). You can go for a day or two or more and watch some of the top tour players joined by their amateur partners. Ray Romano, Bill Murray, Justin Timberlake and Huey Lewis are among this year’s celebrities.
Poppy Hills will remain out of the three course rotation this time, begin replaced by the redesigned Shores Course of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club. MPCC had previously been used from 1947 until 1966 when it was substituted by Spyglass Hill.
This stretch of tour events lets us know that golf season is right around the corner. Now if we can just get the weatherman to cooperate.
On another topic, there is a rumor afoot that Tiger Woods will continue his return to competitive golf when the PGA Tour heads east to the Honda Classic in Florida and perhaps participate the following week in Mexico City.
This event is one of a handful of “World Golf Championships” in 2017 and takes place the week after the Honda Classic. Mr. Woods has won this event three times.
Remember, this is just a bit of golf gossip. However, a few tune ups before the Masters is likely.
John Renslow is a PGA Class A Professional and Instructor at Alta Sierra Country Club. Please contact John with your questions or comments at email@example.com.
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