by John Fischer

Since 1937, when entertainer Bing Crosby first invited his friends and professional golfers to the California coast for a winter golf gathering, amateurs have played starring roles in what was known as the Bing Crosby Pro-Am.

At this week’s AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, show-business celebrities and corporate chiefs primarily will compose the amateur field alongside their world-class playing partners from the PGA Tour. But the amateur hit-and-giggle crowd didn’t always dominate what came to be known fondly as “The Crosby Clambake.” In fact, Crosby, the late singer/actor of “White Christmas” fame, once assembled a field of outstanding amateur talent that rivaled his A-list roster of singers and movie stars for career achievement.



by Alex Miceli

Ernie Els is playing this week at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. That might not seem to be big news on its surface, but Els hasn’t enjoyed much success in his three previous PGA Tour starts on the Monterey Peninsula.

In 1996, play was canceled after two rounds because of weather, and he missed 54-hole cuts in 2015 and 2018. Add the fact that Els had just spent two weeks competing in European Tour events in the Middle East before flying from Saudi Arabia to Pebble Beach and his appearance here would seem even more dubious. Yet Els not only is excited to be here but he’s eager to be competing again.


It helps to know where others stand
While the latest drama on the pro tours regarding Rule 10.2b(4), known as the “alignment rule,” is certainly worthy of the USGA's immediate review, let's hope that officials also examine this same rule regarding another sea of drama certain to arise when amateur tournaments begin across the U.S. this spring.

The potential for arguments and accusations has only just begun.



Number of consecutive years that the men and women will have competed in the ISPS Handa Vic Open on the same golf course, 13th Beach Golf Links in Barwon Heads, Australia, when play begins Thursday. The two events will feature alternating men’s and women’s tee times on the Beach and Creek courses, with the final round to be held Sunday on the Beach Course. The prize money will be equal: AUD$1.5 million (about $1.085 million) for each event.




Hawk & Rude: The damage is done
In the Hawk & Rude podcast, co-hosts John Hawkins and Jeff Rude pick apart Sergio Garcia’s latest behavioral lapse in Saudi Arabia and theorize as to why the European Tour didn’t impose additional sanctions.

The Grill Room Golf Show

Co-hosts Bob Bubka and Jay Randolph Jr. discuss Rickie Fowler's victory in Phoenix and Dustin Johnson's triump in Saudi Arabia. Morning Read's Alex Miceli examines the inaugural Saudi International and the disqualification of Sergio Garcia. Instructor Eddie "Lil' Pro" Merrins, author of Swing the Handle, chats with the hosts about his 16 appearances in "The Crosby Clambake."


GolfPass, a digital membership with a wide range of offerings for golfers, was launched Tuesday, NBC Sports Group and founding partner Rory McIlroy announced. GolfPass features online tee times, video, online shopping and travel options. The cost will be $9.99 per month or $99 per year and includes one round of golf monthly at any of the 7,000 courses worldwide that are part of the GolfNow network.


Chris O’Connell, who instructs PGA Tour player Matt Kuchar, answers questions about his pupil before this week's West Michigan Golf Show, to be held Feb. 8-10 in Grand Rapids. Kuchar already has won twice this season. O’Connell co-founded the Plane Truth Institute with his mentor, Jim Hardy.


Toro will sponsor the “Share My Passion” Clinic series this year, the Annika Foundation announced. The clinics introduce girls ages 6-12 to golf, including a behind-the-scenes look at a professional tournament and an instructional session with Annika Sorenstam.


February 7-10
LPGA: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia Panama Championship

Panama GC, Panama City, Panama

PGA Tour: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am

Pebble Beach (Calif.) Golf Links

European: Vic Open

13th Beach Golf Links, Barwon Heads, Australia

February 8-10
Champions: Oasis Championship

Old Course at Broken Sound Club, Boca Raton, Fla.

12700 Sunrise Valley Dr, Suite 300, Reston, Virginia 20191
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