Donald Cameron League Team Result27th May 2022
Old Del Monte Centenary Visit April (28th April – 2nd May1997) 25 Years on24th October 2022
The following article was published in The Douglas Park Centurion in June 1997 and will be of interest to a number of members:
I don’t know if you can be killed by kindness, but certainly by the end of our week at Del Monte Golf Course, Monterey, California, we were severely wounded.
The invitation by Mark Brennemanm – Head Professional/Manager of the Pebble Beach Company to all Golf Clubs in the U.K. and Canada sharing a centenary year, was a stroke of genius, and resulted in representatives from several English Clubs, several Canadian Clubs and the eight of us – Mike Hill, Jim McMillan, John Telfer, George Simmons, John and Jean Gourlay and Frank & I, the sole representatives from Scotland.
The welcome we received was overwhelming, we were wined and dined and showered with gifts, and to make us feel really at home part of the entertainment that evening was a pipe band and highland dancing.
It was a good idea to break us into groups of twenty or so, as these groups rotated daily playing either Spanish Bay, Spyglass Hill, Del Monte or Pebble Beach. The first day we were told was to be a ‘Scotch Foursome’ – this was a new one to us, until we realised at the briefing they were talking about a Greensome – so of course, coming from the ‘home of golf’ we put them right (I know, nobody likes a smart ass)!
The next day was a Texas Scramble, then a four ball better ball, and on Pebble Beach you played for yourself. The sun shone, the ocean sparkled, the company was great and I enjoyed every minute of the six hours we were on that course. The ‘company’ were two local lads who were able to name the film stars who stayed in the huge mansions dotted around the course.
The hotel we stayed in was very conveniently situated on the Del Monte Golf Course. Courtesy buses were laid on for the trips to the other courses. After bringing our clubs to the clubhouse on the first day, we were not allowed to carry them again. Each evening the clubs were taken off the buggies and stored, and replaced each morning. The ‘carts’ as the Americans call them are very sophisticated. The one we had at Spanish Bay told us to hurry up as we were lagging behind. When we did catch up – the cart acknowledged this also. Spooky!
Breakfast was laid out at the clubhouse each morning and a variety of food and entertainment laid on each evening. One evening in particular I remember – I wish I could say ‘remember very well’, but a bit hazily would be more honest, was when we were forced to drink various malt whiskies all evening, so a LOT later that evening we all came to the conclusion that the eighteen year old Glenmorangie was the best. Well, somebody had to do it!
In a memorable week, one of the highlights was a two hour clinic by Johnny Miller, who was then interviewed on the spot by American television, but so also was Mike, Jim and George, and they came over very well indeed, and yes, they are signing autographs. The same three, plus John, were chosen for and featured strongly in the “Rest of the World” team against “America” – a tournament within a tournament based on the Ryder Cup formula, and they all won prizes for this.
My moment of glory came on the final evening, after a slap up meal, where Frank was heard to groan “I can’t be bothered eating another lobster”, and after the prizegiving, I made a little speech and handed over our gift to Mark. The Captains and the Presidents of the other visiting clubs did the same, and I couldn’t help noticing that pictures of their clubhouses were popular, so we were delighted that the Captain and Committee of Douglas Park had authorised the buying of a quaich and to have it suitably inscribed to Del Monte. I know they liked it, for I have their reaction all caught on video.
It was late now and some people had to leave early next morning to catch planes home. Hands were shaken, backs slapped, hugs given, addresses exchanged and wild invitations to come back next year and stay – there were even a few tears – but it was time to go.
Del Monte was genuinely pleased to have us there – we were genuinely pleased to have gone, not only as representatives of Douglas Park, but also as I said earlier, representatives of Scotland.