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Pebble Beach: A Presidential Place

U.S. Presidents vacationed at the luxurious Hotel Del Monte in Monterey beginning in the late 19th Century. While still President, Roosevelt wrote to his family about the marvels of riding 17-Mile Drive by horseback in 1903:

“This is a beautiful hotel in which we are spending Sunday, with gardens and a long seventeen-mile drive beside the beach and the rocks and among the pines and cypress…The surf was beating on the rocks in one place, and right between two of the rocks where I really did not see how anything could swim, a seal appeared and stood up on his tail half out of the foaming water and flapped his flippers, and he was as much at home as anything could be. Beautiful gulls flew close to us all around, and cormorants swam among the breakers or walked along the beach.”

Teddy Roosevelt about to ride 17-Mile Drive

Some 50 years later, President and golf enthusiast Dwight D. Eisenhower visited The Lodge in 1956 while sitting in office:

Eisenhower

More than a dozen Presidents have visited Pebble Beach, including the last six. Three Presidents have even played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Donald Trump.

Stan Badz/PGA TOUR Archive

On Jan. 20, 1977, Ford woke up as President, attended the inauguration of new President Jimmy Carter, flew to Pebble Beach, and ended the evening hitting balls at the driving range to warm up for his week paired with Arnold Palmer.

Mike Ehrmann/PGA TOUR Images

Years before running for office, President Trump actually recorded a hole-in-one on the 12th hole at Spyglass Hill during the 1993 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. As legendary Pebble Beach caddie Robert “Rocket” Lytle tells it:

“We’re paired with Paul Goydos at the time,” Lytle said. “So Donald wants to hit a 6-iron and Goydos wants him to hit 6-iron and I want him to hit 5-iron. So we’re going back and forth and finally I said to him: ‘O.K., Donald, I’ll tell you what, you hit the 5-iron and if I’m wrong you don’t have to pay me. If I’m right, you pay me double.’

“He looked at me and said, ‘You sure?’ ” Lytle continued. “And I said, ‘Yeah, I’m sure.’ I was sure, but I was thinking maybe he’d hit it too hard and try to prove me wrong. But he hit it perfect. Two bounces and it went in the hole.”

Presidents who have visited Pebble Beach since Hotel Del Monte opened in 1880 include:

  • Rutherford B. Hayes
  • William McKinley
  • Benjamin Harrison
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Herbert Hoover
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower
  • John F. Kennedy
  • Richard Nixon
  • Gerald Ford
  • Ronald Reagan
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Bill Clinton
  • George W. Bush
  • Barack Obama
  • Donald Trump

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