• Pebble perfection

    Chris Bentley at Pebble Beach
    Soaking it all up

    It’s hard to think of a better way to describe a first trip to the US Open at Pebble Beach other than just plain perfect.

    What a day that was. We left San Francisco for a two-and-a-half-hour drive that took us three hours or so. I won’t lie, I was surprised at how tough it was driving in busy conditions on the ‘wrong’ side of the road. Maybe some of it was being anxious about trying to get to the golf as fast as possible but the traffic and the heavy congestion heading into Pebble Beach was stressful.

    The biggest thing about attending one of these huge sporting events, is that you arrive with a picture in your head about the size and scope of it all and then you arrive and it supersedes that and then some.

    The magnitude of it of all is indescribable. Everything works like clockwork, it’s a massive operation but it doesn’t feel anything less than perfect. It’s so well run and you feel comfortable despite the masses of people.

    The scenery of this course is breathtaking. It truly is. It’s a thousand times better than what you see on TV. And that’s no exaggeration, it really is stunning.

    I would place this event between The Masters and The Ryder Cup – which is something to behold. It’s a fan’s dream to be honest. If I had to point out a negative, it would be the cost of food – two steak sandwiches and two waters will set you back nearly R600. Yes, the conversion from dollar to rand will always hurt but the Masters is famous for being really cost-effective unlike this one, I would have to say.

    The merchandise selection is actually daunting in its variety. From TV, you see the putting green but all around it is shops offering something – Pebble Beach or US Open branded – to cater for everyone’s taste and, again, prices are exorbitant. Far more expensive than Masters merchandise …

    It was an incredible day taking it all in. Out on the course, we followed Erik van Rooyen and Dean Burmester around but more on my takeaways from the course in a later column.

    After the round, we headed down to Carmel, a beautiful town in the wine country. Off to take a walk into town for something to eat, maybe we’ll bump into Clint Eastwood – he’s the mayor after all.

    Then tomorrow, we’re back on the course to follow Tiger, Louis and giving the few Saffas some support out there.

    Article written by

    Christopher Bentley