ESPNS Chris Berman, who really does look and sound like Fred Flintstone, described Pebble Beach this way: even God waits for a starting time here.
Seeing Kevin Costner reminded me of a few lines from Bull Durham which apply to golf better than anything he said in Tin Cup. Tim Robbins character Nuke, the talented but nave pitcher, says to Costners Crash Davis in a meeting on the mound, Could you just let me enjoy the moment? Davis, part catcher and part teacher, responds, The moments over.
Phil Mickelsons a good golfer.
Wednesday before the tournament Cypress Point might be the busiest of all the courses because so many pros and amateurs want to play the fabled gem.
In another passage from Bull Durham which sounds a lot like life on the PGA Tour, the lifelong minor leaguer, Crash Davis, informs his wide-eyed teammates that yes, he was in the show once for 21 days. You never handle your luggage, they have white balls in batting practice, the ballparks are like cathedrals, the hotels have room service, the women all have long legs and brains, and the pitchers all have ungodly breaking stuff and exploding sliders.
If Mickelson were a pitcher, hed be Randy Johnson throwing a 19 strikeout, one-hit shutout.
Bill Murray, whos funny on his feet the way Mickelsons skilled from 105 yards out, really did make 2 at the 17th. In fact, the fairway wood he hit looked like Nicklaus 1-iron in 72. It never really left the flag. But its not the first deuce hes made there. His partner, Scott Simpson, remembers a classic episode. Bills on the fringe about 30 feet from the cup and some fan yells out, Hey Bill, Costner made birdie. So Bill walks right over to the gallery and says, Kevin Costner made Water World. The place goes nuts! Of course Bill walks back to his putt and knocks it in for a birdie.
Chris Bermans best golf nickname might well be David Ground Control to Major Toms.
Huey Lewis tells a good caddie story. Im off the first fairway at Spyglass and I ask my caddie if I should hit the 5-wood or 3-iron and he says f5-wood. I tell him I dont hit the 5-wood all that good. And he says, You dont hit your 3-iron that good either.
David Feherty lost a lot of weight over the winter. The brain cells, hed tell you, were lost years ago.
Crash Davis tells Nuke after Nukes been called up to the majors, You have to play with fear and arrogance.
After checking celebrity handicaps against the swings I saw my impression is as follows: Bill Murrays a great value at 15, Emmitt Smiths a soft 14, Chris Berman needs every one of his 18 pops, Costners a risky 14 because he admits he rarely plays, and while Samuel L. Jackson makes a decent move on the ball, Id be more comfortable with Sam at a 9 instead of his current 7.
A sneaky good restaurant is the quaint Monterey Fish House on Del Monte Avenue.
Reason 127 why golf is great: Im playing Pebble on Monday, which is like saying, Im taking batting practice at Fenway in a few days.
One last line from Bull Durham: Getting lost and disappearing from the face of the earth is a good thing. Easy to do at Pebble. Its just a few short steps from the seventh green.