One of my favorite places in California, close to where I live, is the Carmel/Pebble Beach area. It's not some place a commoner lives but if you go there it feels like North Shore Long Island. It feels like Old Westbury, or Brookville, Or Manhasset, Or Oyster Bay. It feels and smells like old, old money. It even looks like the north shore-full of big old trees, houses, and rocky shores and crashing waves. Yes and the people have old money. I went to college there on Long Island-I knew these people, but I didn't have the real money or any money at all.
My friend lives in Pebble Beach and she's pretty awesome. Every once in awhile I get a perk. I've eaten at the Lodge, I've been to the Spa. So when she offered me a chance to volunteer at the Pebble Beach Pro Am which included free entry for me and Rob, free food and free parking or shuttle I said sure! All for a couple of hours as a volunteer? I've never been to a golf tournament so why not?
When I was growing up the only people I knew who played golf were Doctors -on Wednesdays. Only rich people played-I think I had an uncle who played but I always thought he was rich.
Here's what I know about golf -or thought I knew. You had to wear certain clothes just to watch. If you wore a jacket or a hat they would ask you to leave-or if you didn't wear a polo shirt. You couldn't talk EVER, you couldn't eat anything or drink anything. You couldn't move but had to stay at a designated hole or whatever and watch the golfers go through. You can't breath you can't cough. I'm not sure what I thought. Oh and you didn't play in the rain.
Here's what it really was like. We shuttled in from a local town because parking at Pebble Beach would be stressful. The shuttle was stressful. You have to go through security and they take your purse. Which was scary because I know what they do with those purses they put in a cardboard box in a back room. These volunteers from the Watsonville something organization who looked a little shady.
Then we walked and walked and walked. You could wear anything you want (including a fat woman with her stomach sticking out and a bra top) You could bring kids who might cry (and did). Trucks and things were driving around. You weren't supposed to talk on phones but you could. You could talk to your friend just as some golfer dude was going to swing. You could buy a hot dot to eat and some cheesy wine. You could go ANYWHERE you wanted as long as you stopped when they put up a rope and asked you to stop. You could walk on the greens. You could annoy the players if you wanted. And it poured.
I don't know golf very well even though I'm on my school's team (my job is to drive the cart and pour the drinks and cheat). I'm sure I saw many good golfers but I only knew 2 and I didn't see them (Tiger or the Irish guy). I did see Bill Murry up close and he was really funny-I saw Jim Harbough -who looks just like he does when he coaches the 49ers and Matt Kane. I didn't see Bill Bellichick (however you spell the hoodie loser's name) or Aaron Rodgers. And honestly if I hadn't shown up at the tent to volunteer (we were half an hour late) no one would have know.
Golf is a game about honor. I couldn't really see the ball and I didn't know who any of them were. But it's a beautiful place to walk around amidst hundreds of people. It's like being home on Long Island but with cliffs and many more famous people and-commoners.