The Rich History of the Pebble-Beach Pro-Am

For more than half a century, top PGA Tour professionals, amateurs, and celebrities have returned to Pebble Beach each year for the ultimate Pro-Am tournament.? The Crosby, now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, is known as much for its exceptional play as it is for its fun and antics. ?What began in 1937, when singer Bing Crosby invited some friends for golf and a clambake for charity, has now turned into one of the hottest tickets on the Monterey Peninsula.

In early February, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am will return for the 2017 edition to three of the region?s premier golf courses: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Spyglass Hill Golf Course, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore. Tickets are available online at

Below is a little background about this fabulous event!

Crosby’s Clambake

Crosby’s Clambake, as the event was known, started in 1937 with a $3,000 purse coming straight out of singer Bing Crosby’s pocket.? The idea was to pair pro golfers with some of the better amateurs on the West Coast as the golf tour made its rounds through the region.? The winner of that first tournament was Sam Snead, who took home a prize of $700 and asked for his winnings in cash.

While the tournament went on hiatus during World War II, it returned in 1947 where Monterey Civic leaders chose to host it at the Pebble Beach Links, Monterey Peninsula Golf Club, and the Cypress Point Club (now changed to Spyglass Hill).? The choice in venues was a strategic one to boost tourism, and it seems to have had a long-term effect.

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The Pebble Beach Experience

Over the years, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am began attracting the Hollywood crowd, and it has become a place to see and be seen on and around the course each February.? It’s strongly believed that Bing Crosby’s Clambake is one of the drivers of early golf popularization.? Crosby was highly admired in the 1940’s and 1950’s, where one year almost half of all music on the airwaves was a Crosby tune. Crosby even died on a golf course in Spain in 1977.

By the time this famous tournament was renamed the Bing Crosby Pro-Am in 1959, it had already been won by Sam Snead three times. ?Not only were celebrities making their way to Pebble Beach in February, but the tournament began to have a reputation for attracting poor weather as well. From a snowstorm one year to 50 mph gales another, “Crosby Weather” describes days when the skies grow dark over Pebble Beach.? In fact, in 1996 the tournament was canceled entirely and in 1998 play was delayed until August!

Famous Faces at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am

So, who can you expect to see at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am?? If you love pro golfers, keep an eye out for Phil Mickelson. He has clearly mastered these difficult courses and has won the tournament four times, setting a tournament record in 2015.? Additionally, Bill Murray has been a staple at the tournament for decades.? When he’s not playing golf, he’s dancing with spectators, kicking field goals into the rough, or tossing bananas into the gallery.

Other celebrity sightings at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am include Justin Timberlake, who once serenaded fans when delayed on the course. Mark Wahlberg and country singer Toby Keith are also regulars. Patriots fans regularly follow Tom Brady and Bill Belichick taking their skills to the links. Hockey fans can follow Wayne Gretzky as he tries to make par. Top business executives that work to make the cut at this pro-am include Charles Schwab and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts.

Today, the tournament is called the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and it is just one of three Pro-Ams on the Tour.? Therefore, this one is unique because it’s the only tournament where amateurs play in the final round. Also, Pebble Beach is a rare event where you might see your favorite golfer next to a Super Bowl winner.