PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (KTVU) - Some of the best professional golfers in the world are descending on the California Central Coast this week. For the sixth time, The U.S. Open Golf Championship is taking place at Pebble Beach Golf Club.
“Oh, this is a great place. This is really nice. The ocean makes this unique,” said Steve Rifkin, a Jacksonville, Fla., resident who is in town for the 119th U.S. Open.
Carved by nature’s hand, and redesigned several times over its hundred year history, on this day Pebble Beach offered unparalleled weather to watch the best take aim and swing for success..
“This is amazing. This is probably the most ideal it gets around here,” said Vivian Chan, a Santa Cruz resident. Added Debbie English from San Luis Obispo, “Just watching everybody hit some really good shots.”
The seaside course offers beautiful vistas luring novice players and professionals.
“You actually learn more about the course. You get to see how players try different shots from different angels. And they’ll be practicing the shots they’ll be doing during the week,” said Jim English, a golf pro from San Luis Obispo.
Rafa Cabrera Bello played his first major here in 2010. Nine years later he’s back, at what he calls his favorite course..
“One of the things I value a lot in courses is every hole is different from the previous hole. And I think you get that here,” he said.
Golf isn’t the only game in town. Visitors are drawn for the game, but love other amenities the locals offer..
“Carmel, the galleries are stunning. Absolutely wonderful for an artist to wonder through those galleries and take it all in. see how the locals interpret the beautiful landscapes around here,” said Vancouver, Canada, resident Amanda Jones, in town with her husband to watch the tournament.
For others, this year’s Open is a chance to come back home after moving away for retirement, so they can witness history.
“Rented the house two doors down from my old house. So this is really pretty neat to be in the old neighborhood,” said John Ward, a U.S. Open Marshal on the 18th Hole. He’s originally from Pebble Beach, but retired and moved to Alabama last year. “It’s the price of being inside the gates and having a good time.”
Practice rounds continue until Thursday. But unusually mild weather will cool off later in the week, as Pebble Beach heats up with the drive to be the next Open champion.