No need for watering holes at AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am – Monterey Herald
PEBBLE BEACH >> Surrounded by fans strolling along the fairway, and just above players contemplating their next shot, is an oasis. Or at least that’s what AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am sponsor Tequila Patrón envisioned when designing its lounge for this year’s event.
Located on what is known as the “Triangle Plaza” – a stop to sit and sip with several dealers allowing spectators to relax between holes six, eight and 14 at the Pebble Beach Golf Links – the Patrón tent offers spirits specialized in an upscale atmosphere designed to relax.
“We’re offering a different experience here for customers,” said Jen Lemus, Show Manager. “You come here to decompress. You don’t have to think about anything but having fun… It’s quiet and it’s inviting.
Chairs lined with pearl-colored cushions, pillars surrounding the shaded space, and even a running fountain greet guests. The setup is inspired by the Hacienda de Patrón distillery in Atotonilco El Alto in the Mexican state of Jalisco.
“It’s the place to be,” Lemus said. “This is the place to see and be seen.”
Lemus has been a bartender and manager of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am for 12 years. She previously worked at The View, an exclusive Gray Goose lounge that is no longer included in the tournament. Although changing from her usual Pro-Am routine, Lemus hopes to provide a similar experience as part of Hacienda Patrón, especially for repeat customers she plans to return for another year.
“(Fans) always come back and know us by name,” Lemus said. “It’s camaraderie. I made so many connections and friends from this event. … It brings people back knowing that we’re here like we always have been. I think people know the Pro-Am very well, but they also know Triangle Plaza. They know that’s where the fun is.
The High Noon Clubhouse is new to the Triangle Plaza this year, but still maintains a leisure-infused atmosphere.
“Our customer base tends to be a bit younger, mid-20s to early 40s, so we’ve tried to create a bit more carefree environment,” said Brandon Lieb, vice president of marketing for the maker of High Noon and Northern. The Californian brand E&J Gallo. “It’s also the first time that High Noon has done anything in the world of golf. It’s sort of a maiden voyage, so we’re thrilled.
It didn’t take long for Pro-Am goers like Carla New to enjoy the area. She tried her hand at a High Noon specialty putting green located just outside the tent. Similar to miniature golf, the deceptively difficult hole tested New’s abilities, but she was happy with the practice.
“I play, but I’m not great,” New said when asked about her golf prowess. “This little space is perfect, though. We participated in all the little things they have here.
Elsewhere in the square, for those less interested in interaction and more inclined to relax, the Flavor Forward Meiomi Wine Lounge has transformed its part of Triangle Plaza into a faux winery, with bottles of wine lining the interior tent and greenery bordering its entrance.
“It’s very casual,” cashier Mary-Beth Murray said as she checked on Meiomi’s customers. “If you went to a winery and had a wine tasting, this is what you would feel… Very light, clean and fluffy.”
Along with comfort, Murray added that Meiomi’s place at the Pro-Am doubles as a celebration of California, especially for out-of-state visitors.
“I can imagine people (who aren’t) from California coming here and thinking about wine country,” she said. “You grab a glass of wine and feel like you’re at one of (Meiomi’s) places in the state.”
Whether it’s a short stint at a local winery or a quick trip to Mexico to sample Patrón, each of these spots aims to expand the reach of Pro-Am throughout the week.
“Going to these sites lets you say you didn’t just go to the tournament,” said Lesley Varney, vice president of marketing and corporate relations for the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which hosts the Pro-Am. “You can say, ‘I was there. “”
Fans echoed the appeal of an immersive element.
Carla and Tighe Carvey, for example, made the most of their third visit to the Pro-Am, spending their weekend at an even more organized watering hole: Clint’s Saloon. Accessible to patrons at $300-350 a day, the western-themed venue centered around Clint Eastwood has been a Pro-Am tenant since 2019. In a new 15th hole this year, the Saloon has drawn large crowds throughout throughout the tournament, selling out Friday and Saturday.
“The environment of being in a saloon is unlike any other,” said Lily Silva, manager of Clint’s Saloon. “You can’t get that by just walking to a concession stand or having a beer on a holeshot.”
The Carveys, who are golf enthusiasts themselves, said the unique viewing made the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am unlike any other golf tournament they had attended before.
“There’s a horse at the entrance,” said Tighe Carvey. “We had to send pictures (of the Saloon) to our kids back home… It’s phenomenal.”