Breathtaking Pebble Beach Golf Links is the host course for this week's AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on the PGA Tour. With a number of celebrities and other amateurs, the tournament will also be played at Spyglass Hill Golf Course and Monterey Peninsula Country Club Shore Course.
Phil Mickelson, who won on Tour for the 41st time a week ago in Phoenix, is the defending champ at Pebble.
Before the tournament teed off on Thursday, we had a chance to catch up with Chuck Dunbar, the PGA Head Professional at Pebble Beach.
Dunbar obviously has one of the coolest, most high profile jobs in golf. He told us what it's like to drive to work every morning and also provided some incredible non-golfing spots you want to be sure to check out if ever you're in the area.
PGA.com: Chuck, thanks for joining us. You've got hands down one of the best jobs in golf. Certainly you had to earn it and surely you work hard at it. Can you just tell our readers what it's like to have one of the most enviable jobs in the game?
Dunbar: I pinch myself every day. To make sure I value the beauty and historical impact that is Pebble Beach, I schedule myself once or twice each week just to be on the course. That way, I come in contact and interact with so many guests that are truly excited to be here. It makes me appreciate where I am and how I got here. It keeps me grounded.
PGA.com: If someone is visiting the area for the first time -- and there's so much to offer there -- what are three things they can't miss and why?
Dunbar: 1. The spectacular golf courses; 2. A drive around 17-mile drive; 3. A day trip down Highway 1 to Big Sur. All because of the natural beauty that one cannot find anywhere else.
PGA.com: Where's the one restaurant on the Monterey Peninsula that someone passing through has to eat at? And, what are they ordering?
Dunbar: I'm inclined to say the Tap Room at the Lodge because of the history, the menu and the photos (steak, spinach and coconut cake for dessert). But my new favorite place is The Bench. It's our newest restaurant, which used to be the fine dining place called Club XIX. It's much more casual and lit up, it features outdoor fire pits overlooking the 18th green. You dine at sunset, a glass of wine to start, some Italian flatbread as an appetizer and hanger steak for the entrée. Don't miss the wood-fired strawberry dessert with cheesecake ice cream and a drizzle of balsamic. Outta sight!
PGA.com: What's been your biggest thrill in a round of golf of your own at Pebble Beach?
Dunbar: That's easy... I made a hole-in-one on the famous par-3 seventh hole at Pebble on Feb. 5, 2005. It was with some great friends on a beautiful day just days prior to the AT&T. I knew it had chance as soon as I made contact.
PGA.com: Final question for you, Chuck. What's your favorite spot on the golf course and why?
Dunbar: It's the ninth tee box looking back towards the cliff on No. 8 in the morning. In my opinion, the best backdrop for a photo on the golf course. It’s gorgeous.