Whether or not you are a golf enthusiast, its quite likely that you’ve heard of Pebble Beach Golf Links on the west coast of the United States.
Pebble Beach is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful courses in the world. It hugs the rugged coastline and has wide open views of the ocean. In 2001 it became the first public course (i.e. open to the general public for play) to be selected as the No.1 Golf Course in America by Golf Digest. Greens fees are among the highest in the world, at $495 (plus $35 cart fee for non-resort guests) per round in 2008.
According to Paul Spengler, executive vice president of the Pebble Beach Company, the resort’s owner, this once pristine green looked like Beirut:
Spengler originally went to work for Marvin Davis, the Denver oilman who owned the course but eventually sold it in 1990 to Japanese tycoon Minoru Isutani, who thought he could turn the course into a private club and sell memberships to folks back home. Blocked on all fronts, Isutani eventually sold it in 1999 to a U.S. group led by Arnold Palmer, Peter Uebberoth and Dick Ferris. When Isutani took over – paying nearly 10 times what Davis did – the course was in the midst of a seven-year drought.
“It looked like Beirut,” said Spengler.
There you have it – the golf course looked like Beirut. But think about it, if the area was suffering from a 7-year drought, then there probably wasn’t any green grass, which is true of Beirut today. Though, that doesn’t mean that Spengler will not be receiving a “Looks Like Beirut” certificate.