Pebble Beach, a Good Drive … Unspoiled

Pebble Beach, a Good Drive … Unspoiled

This weekend, Santander Consumer USA Inc. will be an on-site sponsor of the prestigious AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament. Held in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula area of central California, it’s the time of year when the elite in the golf world link up with celebrities to enjoy a little friendly competition while raising money for charity.
This year’s field is impressive and includes Tiger Woods, playing for the first time since 2002, Phil Mickelson, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Vijay Singh, Davis Love III, and last year’s winner, D.A. Points.
Celebrities scheduled to appear at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am include Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (paired with Tiger Woods); actors Ray Romano, Josh Duhamel, Andy Garcia, and the always entertaining Bill Murray; and musicians Darius Rucker, Huey Lewis, and Kenny G.
With the Monterey Peninsula golf tournament in full swing, and thoughts of that pristine location in particular, I got to thinking. When was the last time I had a really good drive? And I’m not talking about the 200-plus-yard-straight-down-the-fairway kind. Because in addition to fabulous golf courses to drive a golf ball, Pebble Beach is home to one of the best places in the world to drive an automobile — 17-Mile Drive.
A few years back, I drove the landmark route that snakes around the Pebble Beach golf course. A touristy thing to do? Perhaps. Did I love every minute of it? Absolutely. To say that it was scenic, serene, and memorable is an understatement. With the windows of the rental car down, I started at Pacific Grove and eased along the winding path. Stopping the car along the way several times, I observed deer grazing among thick woods and got out on a beach area to let the ocean spray mist me in the face. It was glorious. At top left, you can see a snapshot I took of the famous “Lone Cypress” perched on a cliff overlooking the Pacific. My picture adding credence to the claim that it’s the “most photographed tree in the world.”

Thinking about Santander Consumer at this week’s golf tournament and that drive I took along the California coast has sparked an idea. Maybe this weekend, in between watching rounds of AT&T Pebble Beach play on CBS, I’ll go for a leisurely drive. Just for the fun of it.

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