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									     The Roll of a Lifetime
     Art Imitates Life at Pebble Beach

     PEBBLE BEACH GOLF LINKS HASN'T ONLY BEEN THE                            real life and into a movie. The small crowd around the first tee were
     SITE of golfing history. The course has served as a set for films       the silent extras, and I was the star. A star terrified he'd forget his
     such as National Velvet, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir and Rebecca. And,      lines and blow the opportunity   of a lifetime. I needn't have worried.
     upon stepping to the first tee for the first time at Pebble Beach, I    In the end, as it surely always does, Pebble Beach stole the show.
     was indeed thinking about a movie rather than, say, Tiger Woods'        It is the show.
     historic I5-shot triumph here at the 2000 U.S. Open. I was thinking        Another    metaphor   (or perhaps the channeled neurosis of Mr.
     about The Purple Rose of Cairo.                                         Allen) arrived as I stood over my bogey putt on the opening green.
        In Woody Allen's comedy, an actor walks off the screen and into      (Pebble Beach often leaves one reaching for comparisons beyond
     real life. As I put my tee in the ground, I felt I was walking out of   golf) Not for the first time in my life, I felt as though I were on a

56   HILuXURY        AUGUST/SEPTEMBER     2011
                                                                           To follow the dating metaphor, as you walk up the fourth hole,
                                                                        with the Pacific Ocean shimmering               to your right, well, you just
                                                                        can't help it: You're falling in love. It's one-sided, yes, and fated to
                                                                        end, but you feel so alive. The salt air is like perfume. It's making
                                                                        you light-headed.    You're hitting dopey shots, and smiling about
                                                                        it, googoo-eyed.
                                                                           For people not well versed in the course-there              may even be a
                                                                        golfer or two among this group, though that's doubtful-Pebble
                                                                        Beach has several iconic holes that rank among the world's greatest.
                                                                        For sheer punch-above-its-weightiness,               it's no contest:    At just
                                                                        106 yards, the teeny, terrifying             7th, playing straight      downhill
                                                                        to a wee green fronting         crashing Pacific Ocean surf, boasts the
                                                                        highest fame-to-Iength         ratio in golf. I stood on that tee box, gap
                                                                        wedge in hand, bursting with anticipation, only mixed with an odd
                                                                        sensation: utter peace. On a perfect Monterey afternoon, at one of
                                                                        the most exquisite places on earth, I was playing a game I love in
                                                                        the company of a great friend. No metaphors cluttered my mind.
                                                                        This was just plain awesome.
                                                                           My swing, if not precisely awesome, was smooth enough. The golf
            The majesty that awaits clubbers at Pebble Beach.
                                                                        gods smiled benevolently, and my ball caught the left front corner
                                                                        of that wee green, burned the edge of the cup with my birdie putt
                                                                        and happily settled for a par anything but routine.
                                                                           Which was good, because then I butchered                  the epic, chasm-
                                                                        spanning 8th.
                                                                           In fact, I stunk up Pebble Beach. And the highest compliment
                                                                        I can pay it is that I couldn't have cared less. Sure, my few good
date in which I was out of my league. She's so beautiful! So smart!
                                                                        holes came on the most renowned ones. Really, though, I had briefly
Why is she here with me?
                                                                        lived the dream. If it proved the only time, well, that's enough. I'll
   Because you're paying for everything, I muttered to myself, right
                                                                        always have Pebble.
before I missed that putt. Now just enjoy her company, since odds
                                                                           Darkness descended on my friend and I as we made our way up
are you won't see her again.
                                                                        the final fairway. To the left, the Pacific was more easily heard than
   The first three holes at Pebble Beach seem designed to ease you
                                                                        seen. Ditto the happy golfers murmuring              and clinking glasses on
through the panicky period of hyperventilation      brought on by the
                                                                        the patio near the green. As the curtain of night fell, I knew I faced
fact that I am playing Pebble Beach! Pebble! Me! They're graceful,
                                                                        a return to reality-right        after a beer in the famous Tap Room. I
elegant and, it must be said, inland.
                                                                        left on an up note beyond compare .•

                                                                                                         HI   L UX    URY   AUGUST/SEPTEMBER         2011   57

          INDULGE   I GOLF

                                                 The Tap Room
                                                     If there is a more iconic 19th hole in golf than The Tap Room
                                                 at The Lodge at Pebble Beach, it doesn't leap to mind. Certainly
                                                 it has location, location, location going for it, but that's not the
                                                 top draw. First and foremost is the history of the place, which
                                                 can be absorbed by a deep breath in: The nostalgia and the salt
                                                 air seeping in from outside make for a potent cocktail. Close your
                                                 eyes and you can hear the conversations of old-the          amaze-
                                                 ment at Tom Watson's 17th hole chip-in at the 1982 U.s. Open
                                                 and Jack Nicklaus' flagstick-rattling    1-iron on the same hole a
                                                 decade earlier, the less-heroic feats of everyday players reliving
                                                 their own highs and lows of the day. Open your eyes and you're
                                                 surrounded       by amazing photographic    evidence of the same
                                                 filling the walls.
                                                    Plus,the food and drink are pretty damn good. California is
                                                 artichoke country, and the artichoke soup here is justly famed,
                                                 though it battles with the prime rib chili for starter supremacy.
                                                 Foodies (or company credit card holders) might well opt for the
                                                 American Kobe Filet Mignon, but after a round somehow The Tap
                                                 Room Burger-Yl-pound          of black Angus, pepper bacon, sharp
                                                 Cheddar on a brioche bun, grilled in a high-intensity Montague
                                                 Broiler-paired       with a nice local microbrew seemed the epicu-
                                                 rean equivalent of a tap-in birdie.

58   HI   Lux u RY     AUGUST/SEPTEMBER   2011

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