The third stop on the PGA Tour is the Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The tournament consisted of 156 professionals and 156 amateurs. It’s played on three of Monterey Peninsula’s premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore.
The tournament, primarily a charity tournament, has become one of the most internationally recognized stops on the PGA Tour and has generated over 100 million dollars for hundreds of nonprofit organizations.
Some of the amateurs who have participated in this event are well known celebrities, such as Bill Murray, Andy Garcia, Larry the Cable Guy, Ray Romano, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner, Payton Manning, Wayne Gretsky, Justin Timberlake, Clay Walker and Kenny G to name a few. There are many top PGA professionals that play as well. Each professional is teamed up with an amateur.
To put on this event, there are well over 2,000 volunteers who spread out over the three courses. Two of this year’s volunteers were Canyon Lakers Bob Scott and Fred Finger who served as marshals. Marshals are responsible for promoting a positive atmosphere for players and spectators, providing gallery control and locating and protecting bad shots. It requires attending a training meeting and a minimum of four full days of volunteering.
Being part of “Team 21” Bob and Fred’s assignments were holes 17 and 18. “The plum assignments for marshals,” says Fred. Bob, marshaling for the first time, was stationed at the 17th tee box for two days and the 18th tee box on Saturday. On Sunday he was just behind the 18th green where players exit.
Fred, marshaling for the eighth year, was stationed for three days by the 17th green and sky boxes and the 18th green on Sunday for the finish, two of the best positions for Marshaling. Fred says, “You are no more than 20 feet from players at either position,” says Fred.
On Wednesday evening, the entertainers (Ray Romano, Toby Wilt, Larry the Cable Guy and Kenny G. to name a few) who played in the tournament put on a show as their way of saying thank you to all the volunteers. The show was hosted by Clint Eastwood. The celebrities put on a second “special” show on Friday night in the volunteer tent.
Fred says the entire experience was a lot of work and a lot of fun. “If you never marshaled a PGA Tournament, you might want to consider doing it, especially the PRO-AM at Pebble Beach. It’s a memorable experience,” He says.