LostGolfBalls.com BLOG

Information and tips on everything golf ball related from the largest recycler of used golf balls in the world

All Posts

Sometimes weather can turn golf into the craziest of games

Sometimes weather can turn golf into the craziest of games

A few years ago my wife, Jane, visited a friend in Carmel-by-the-Sea and walked near the Pebble Beach Golf Course.

Even though it happened in the winter, it still provided her with a wonderful view of the surroundings.

She and her friend stayed at a house that lined the course and overlooked the ocean. Jane said it was a breathtaking site and laughed thinking of how many balls had landed in the water.

I thought of this watching this year’s AT&T Pebble Beach Open. The conditions couldn’t have been more unfavorable with cold temperatures, fierce winds and rain. I was awestruck seeing the flags bend like the were being pulled and balls moving when players lined up to putt.

Man, golf can be such a crazy game, but this was whacky.

It reminded me of a 70s song by Albert Hammond, It Never Rains In California. It’s about a guy who goes to California in hopes of finding work in the entertainment industry. He has some offers but in the end winds up broke. He meets a friend and tells her not to tell the folks back home how she found him. “Gimme a break, give me a break. It never rains in California, but girl don’t they warn ya, it pours, man, it pours.”

That’s the first reference I’m made to Albert Hammond in my entire 40-year journalism career.

Okay, let’s get back on track.

Going into the Pebble Beach Open, I thought Matt Fitzpatrick (Titleist Pro V1x) was a lock cinch and told that to my friend, Dave Hilson, based on the overall field. Most of the best players in the world had taken the week off. I wondered if they did that having played some of the earlier 2023 events, not wanting to play in the AT&T because it’s a Pro-Am that can be a mental grind or simply wanting to prepare for the Waste Management Phoenix Open. I’m sure it’s a combination of all three.

I thought Fitzpatrick outclassed the field based on his world ranking – okay, I know that’s a contentious issue – but in the end I was grossly wrong. So were many other pundits and betting sites that listed him as either the favorite or co-favorite with Jordan Spieth (Titleist Pro V1x). Fitzpatrick didn’t make the cut and Spieth barely survived it and was not even a factor.

So many players withdrew – more than I’d ever counted in one tournament – before even reaching the cut because I guess they figured they were so far back and wouldn’t have any chance because of the conditions and didn’t want to risk injury.

So am I really surprised in hindsight that Justin Rose won (TaylorMade TP5)? I told Dave that with Fitzpatrick needing a miracle similar to Moses parting the Red Sea just to make the cut and that miracles only happen in movies, the winner would either be someone with a previous win on the PGA Tour, even more so in a major. It’s like a once great horse that has fallen into the ordinary ranks but suddenly pulls off a performance indicative of its previous talent. It’s called back class.

This was Rose. No one in the field had anything close to his pedigree.

So, hopefully, the conditions are good at the Phoenix Open, which is easily the PGA Tour’s most fun event, especially because of the par-three, 16th hole and the clubhouse surrounding it. Will any player get a hole-in-one and will fans respond by throwing beer cans, which happened twice last year?

One other thing: I called Dave and apologized for giving him such a bad tout job on Fitzpatrick. I paraphrased a line from the movie Cast Away, “Hilson, I’m sorry. I’m sorry, Hilson.”

He thought it was hilarious.




Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko
Perry Lefko is an award-winning writer who has published nine books, three of them bestsellers. He has been involved in sports writing for more than 35 years and has interviewed many superstar athletes. He lives in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada and enjoys watching golf and playing it.

Related Posts