On August 29, 2015, the region’s golf community lost a great friend with the too-early passing of Jamie Fay, the assistant general manager of Chambers Bay. To honor him, we are re-posting a story of Jamie and his brothers about a Father’s Day trip they did in 2009 when they took their father to play Pebble Beach. The article is written by Jamie’s brother, Kris.
A Trip to Pebble Beach on Father’s Day
One day that lasts a lifetime, in the best sense
by Kris Fay
We can all think of great trips we’ve taken and smile. At the top of my list are the honeymoon my wife and I took ten years ago and the trek we made with our kids to New Zealand three years ago for my 30th birthday. Both those trips revolved around a milestone in our lives and really gave us something to remember later in life.
That’s the kind of trip I wanted to give my Dad for his 60th birthday. I wanted the man who introduced me to golf to have a trip he’d never forget. And that’s how dad ended up with his three sons on the Monterey Peninsula in late August.
Driving to Pebble Beach, we made a quick stop in Carmel for a bite to eat at the Hog’s Breath tavern. This quaint little tourist trap was made famous by the fact that it was once owned by Clint Eastwood, so plenty of folks still stop in, hoping to spot the actor and former mayor of Carmel. Despite the absence of Dirty Harry, the tavern did have pretty good food and several tasty beverages on tap.
The real treat for our first day came upon check-in at Pebble Beach’s Inn at Spanish Bay. From the bagboys to the doormen to the ladies at the front desk, everything was perfect. It didn’t end there, either, because the staff had left a chilled bottle of champagne in one of our rooms, their way of wishing Dad a happy birthday. Obviously, we couldn’t let the bubbly go to waste.
Before we left on our trip, friends had told me that Spyglass Hill would be the most difficult course we would play on the trip. I’m not too proud to say that they were right. It was another cloudy day, but the course was in excellent condition. The first thing I learned about Spyglass is that you should definitely hire someone else to carry your clubs because it’s a hilly golf course and a little local knowledge wouldn’t kill you. The second thing is that it never hurts to pack half your breakfast in your golf bag and bring it out at the turn. In retrospect, I’d say it was a better decision than my serving of Coors Light and a fine cigar.
To each his own, though. Spyglass was tough and all our scores reflected that fact.
Then, finally, Dad’s big day arrived. We had an 8:30am date with a magical lady named Pebble Beach. The weather turned out to be absolutely perfect, precisely the kind of day I’d hoped for.
After twenty minutes on the range, we roamed down to the pro shop to meet our caddies for the day. The thing that struck me about the pro shop is that, at least from the outside, it’s changed very little in the past 50 or so years. You can see all the photos from years past and great golfers who had walked past that little shop. The place radiates with tradition and history.
There’s not a lot I can say about the round of golf we played – you’ve seen the course on television and it’s every bit as intimidating as you’d think it would be. It’s the people at the facility that are impressive. Everyone at Pebble, from the guys in the pro shop to the girls on the beverage carts was incredible, with constant birthday wishes for Dad. Even though we were just one group on a crowded tee sheet that day, they made us – and more importantly, him – feel like a king that day.
Kris Fay has been writing travel features for PNGA publications for 10 years. He is the owner of the travel company, Northwest Golf Adventures (www.nwgolfadventures.com) .
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up online to help support Jamie’s wife and children. Visit http://www.gofundme.com/z232nqdf if you would like to donate.