|One of the photographs of Crosby in the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum|
With the AT&T National Pro-Am beginning this week, we will focus on the Crosby memorabilia of the Brandenburg Historical Golf Museum. Lee Brandenburg played in six Pro-Am events himself; four of which he was paired together with his friend Chip Beck. He eventually built a home on the 2nd fairway of Pebble Beach and hosted many parties during the numerous Bing Crosby tournaments over the years. Needless to say, Lee's connection to Pebble Beach and the Pro-Am event is very personal.
The first Crosby National Pro-Am was held in 1937 at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in Ranch Santa Fe, California. Sam Snead won the event after shooting 68, and took home a check for $500. (This year's winner will receive a check for $1,170,000, just to compare some numbers.) The tournament was held in Southern California until 1942 when to World War II caused a four-year break. Once the tournament resumed, it was held at three courses in Monterey: Pebble Beach Golf Links, Cypress Point Club, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Spyglass Hill replaced MPCC in 1967 as the third course, and in 1991, Cypress was dropped and replaced by Poppy Hills. After players complained mainly about the poor drainage at Poppy Hills, MPCC returned to the course rotation in 2010.
More about the unique Pro-Am playing format tomorrow.