You've watched it on television for years, this cocktail partycumsporting event, a Monterey tradition renewed every February in the spirit of Bing Crosby, its original host. The Pro-Am spots are already filled—try asking Vijay or Phil a little sooner next year—but tickets are still available for the entire week. So why not make a long weekend of it?You just might rub shoulders on the course or bend elbows at the bar with the likes of Bill Murray, Samuel L. Jackson or Clint Eastwood (the former mayor in these parts).
Tickets and Viewing Tips
Tickets Season badge (good for all practice and tournament rounds): $120
before February 5; $150 after. 800-541-9091, attpbgolf.com.
Getting to the course There are shuttles to Pebble Beach from California State University at Monterey Bay, but a more appealing option is to park at Carmel Beach and walk along the sand for a little over a mile to a ticket gate near the eighteenth green.
Hot Spots A great vantage point is on a little hill to the right of the third green, from where you can also see tee shots off four and seventeen and approaches into sixteen. The best bleachers are left of the eighth green, overlooking the ninth tee and Carmel Bay.
When February 612, 2006
Where Pebble Beach, California
Playing After a few days of watching the pros, you'll be itching to swing a club yourself. Head to Bayonet Golf Course (831-899-7271, bayonetblackhorse.com), a former military course in nearby Seaside that's such a fine test, tournament officials considered adding it to the rotation (which also includes Spyglass Hill and Poppy Hills). A word of advice: At Bayonet and its sister course, Black Horse, the holes play longer than they read on the card due to the heavy sea air.
Staying With Pebble Beach Resorts' three hotels and most of the area's other fine accommodations fully booked for tournament week, your best bet is to contact Resort 2 Me (800-757-5646, resort2me.com), a free hotel reservation service based in Monterey.
Dining For a festive dinner, try Casanova Restaurant (831-625-0501, $$$$) in Carmel, a preferred spot among players and celebs. The menu carries echoes of Italy and Southern France, the wine cellar holds 30,000 bottles and has won numerous awards, and the dress code is California casual. For a nightcap, pop into Jack London's Bar & Grill (831-624-2336, $) in Carmel, a favorite of players and caddies (who put on an ALS fund-raiser here each year during tournament week in memory of Bruce Edwards).