Monday, February 15, 2010
I love my job!
I will be the first to admit it. When it comes to playing golf, I am extremely spoiled. Pebble Beach. One of the most famous golf courses in the world, was my job site for the week. Not bad. It was without a doubt, the most amazing backdrop that I have ever seen. I have never been to a place where the views literally took my breath away. I constantly found myself walking along The Edge of cliffs after each and every shot. Pebble Beach I saw from a vantage point that I used to dream about. The sights and sounds of this hallowed ground were incredible. Words can not describe it's beauty and it was a week that I will never forget.
Before I get into the details of my week along the Monterey Peninsula, I have to thank my wife and TaylorMade and their efforts in getting my club issues resolved. As many of you know, I have struggled with my equipment this entire year. After several weeks of frustration and failed attempts to find a solution, I had my irons from last year shipped to Pebble Beach. We checked the specs and did a lot of testing on the range. We found that even though the shafts were the same flex (X100), they were reacting different. We ended up taking the shafts from the old irons and putting them into the new ones. It made all the difference. I also tweaked my putter again and it feels a lot better. I played this week with 10 new clubs in my bag and for the first time all year, I felt comfortable with my equipment. Hopefully, the best has yet to come!
The AT & T Pro-Am at Pebble Beach is one of the most famous tournaments on the PGA Tour. It has a rich history and combines the world of golf with both celebrities and businessmen from around the world. I played nine holes on Wednesday with arguably the greatest surfer in the history of the sport, Kelly Slater. He was extremely nice and actually really good for a guy that spends so much time in the ocean. Speaking of oceans, we were joined for a hole or two with Don Cheadle from the movie Oceans 11. My amateur partner for the week was Mr. Don Schroedor, President and CEO of Tim Hortons. He told me on Thursday morning that his lifelong dream was to make the cut in this event and play Pebble Beach on Sunday in front of thousands of people. Well, we did it! We finished 5th in the tournament as a team and I am proud we accomplished his lifelong dream. It truly was special to be a part of his achievement and I enjoyed seeing his smile as he walked down the infamous 18th hole at Pebble Beach on Sunday. As an added bonus to his accomplishment, we were paired with a top 10 player in the world, Padraig Harrington, for the final round. He was very nice and I enjoyed picking his brain for information throughout the day. I ended up beating him by one shot and I definitely learned a lot from the experience.
All in all, it was a good week. I finished the week at 10 under par and in a tie for 10th place. I struggled to make a lot of putts during the week but certainly gave myself several opportunities. The highlight of the week, in regards to my golf, definitely came on Saturday while playing at Pebble Beach. I started the day on the back nine and was even par through the first three holes. Things quickly changed when I holed my wedge shot from the middle of the 13th fairway for eagle. The crowd went crazy and I had chill bumps as I walked toward the green. Shots like those are certainly ones you never forget, especially at a place like Pebble Beach. I continued around the back nine with several missed birdie opportunities on holes 14 through 18. As I walked off the first tee, my tenth hole, I was very frustrated because i was playing better than my score indicated. I joked with Mr. Don and said that if I did not start making some of these birdie putts then I would just have to make some more shots from the fairway. Well, my very next shot, an 8 iron from the middle of the fairway, rolled in the cup for my second eagle on a par 4. Mr. Don Was probably more excited than I was! He was jumping up and down and giving high fives to everyone. I am glad that I had several friends and family there to witness those two shots. It was a very special day giving the fact that it was my first competitive round at Pebble Beach. I ended up shooting 66 for the day Despite a double bogey on my last hole.
Pebble Beach is a place that is impossible to describe properly. Television can not do justice either. I highly recommend each of you visiting this area during some point in your life. I love the pine trees and dirt roads of south Georgia but this place is incredible. I was fortunate to have several visitors this week at Pebble. We rented a house only four miles from the golf course that included a guest house for Beth, Jake and myself. My brother Chris, brother in-law Jon Butler, and three of their friends, Dean Haeusser, Tommy Arthur, and John Brady, stayed in the main section of the house. They were joined by my uncle David Doss and his wife Janice, their son Collin, and two friends of theirs Mic and Connie Williams. Beth's parents, HG and Carol Yeomans, spent the week sightseeing along the California coast before returning to Pebble on Saturday afternoon. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful family and I enjoy having them on the road with me. I cannot wait to see Beth and Jake again in a few weeks.
This week I am in Cancun, Mexico. Of course, the scenery is great (this seems to be a repeatable theme out here on the PGA Tour!). The only bad thing about this week is my cell phone does not work. How did we ever survive without cell phones ???!!!