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The Ultimate 19th Hole: Pebble Beach

Resistance to change is hardly considered a virtue in presidential politics these days, but it can be enormously appealing in other realms, including golf. At Pebble Beach—voted the best resort in the West and Northwest—staying the course is a veritable mantra, not only from tee to green but also in the ritual postround debriefing.

Few watering holes are better than Pebble’s Tap Room for celebrating or chewing over the day’s results. Seven decades after it opened, the clubby wood-paneled bar has barely been altered. The name of this shrine did change back in 1949, when the Monkeyshines Room got rid of the mannequin chimps hanging from the ceiling in favor of a more traditional look. But the trophies and placards from the Roaring Twenties survived, and they stand alongside a collection of photos of Bing Crosby and assorted pros and celebrities who have teed it up in Crosby’s old Clambake, now the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

The Tap Room’s menu still includes timeless standards like the meatloaf, the burgers and the sautéed sand dabs. These days, though, they’re flanked by more sophisticated choices, including prime steaks and a locally sourced artichoke soup, and the wine list would impress even the most discerning oenophile.

A snapshot of the tavern’s atmosphere, courtesy of veteran bartender Tim Head: On the eve of the 1992 U.S. Open, a hard-partying foursome refused to believe Payne Stewart was in the house, and they each gamely wagered a bottle of champagne that the guy in question wasn’t the reigning Open champ. Told of the bet, Stewart fetched the trophy he’d won at Hazeltine the year before, which the honor-bound doubters dutifully filled with four bottles of Cristal.

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