The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am kicked off this morning. The tournament is always a big week for The Herald and we traditionally cover it to death. It's not like we are maniac golf fans, though some of us do hit the courses occasionally. And we are certainly aware that many of our readers are reflexively opposed to all things golf.
But the annual event is difficult to overlook. The many millions of dollars it generates for the local hospitality industry, scheduled as it is in the middle of what otherwise would be the doldrums of winter, is certainly welcome. More important, the millions of dollars the tournament generates for dozens of local charities is astounding. Last year, the tournament raised nearly $7 million for those organizations.
The issues surrounding this year's tournament are of particular interest because of the impact they have on the local economy and the charities. The economy will obviously have its impact. People don't have the disposable income they have had in the past to spend on a weekend at a golf tournament. Also, this year the PGA scheduled the AT&T through the Valentine's Day weekend, which means that the hospitality industry will benefit from the tourist boom only once this month. And the weather promises to wreak havoc, with a big storm due in Saturday night.
So The Herald is geared up (we haven't forgotten our slickers!) and ready to go.
If only we could get the pairings listed correctly on the sports page . . .