Our 1st Round at Spyglass Hill GC

Today was the first round of the PURE Insurance Championship! I was set to tee off of the 10th hole of Spyglass Hill Golf Club bright at early at 7:21am!

We got to the course around 6:00am and I began warming up. I was the first one to arrive at the course… in the dark!

One of my favorite parts of Spyglass Hill GC is how many deer you see during your day, there had to have been 10 on the range, and so many more on the course!

After warming up, I was able to meet my PGA TOUR Champions Pro- Mark Calcavecchia. He came up and gave me a hug and was excited for the day, as was I.

In the weeks leading up to the tournament, I thought I would be more nervous than I was! But I had a good group of individuals playing with me and I was ready to go!

Along with Mr. Calcavecchia, I played with 2 amateurs, Paul Browning and Paul Hinnenkamp. They were super nice and very chatty. I think their personalities helped helped keep my nerves at bay.

It was a foggy and chilly morning but I had a great time! And above all, the views at Spyglass are immaculate!

My favorite stretch of holes on this course are Holes 3, 4 and 5. They are surrounded by the ocean and are by far the prettiest hole layouts!

After our early round, I had a free afternoon and was able to see the entire 17 mile drive and tour Carmel. Then, it was time for a nap and school work!

I am so excited to play again tomorrow at Pebble Beach at 12:06!

Practice Day at Pebble Beach!

Today, was the day! My practice round at Pebble Beach Golf Links! Whew!

We began our day at the range where I was able to warm up and practice alongside senior tour pros, amateurs, and fellow First Tee participants. The practice facility is amazing. Can’t believe we get to use it.

After getting warmed up, my dad and I headed to the Junior player hospitality tent right next to the range and got some lunch! The food was so good and very protein filled to get us through the round and walk that was ahead of us!

Next, we headed to Pebble Beach Golf Links! I got the opportunity to play with 3 fellow First Tee participants:

Sophie Thai, First Tee – Silicon Valley

Haley Wong, First Tee – Sacramento

Brenna Preap, First Tee – San Joaquin

Playing alongside us was amateur Michael Rubio from El Doroado, CA.

I feel the course was a good fit for my swing!! Two of my favorite holes from today were 7, the iconic par 3 which played 95 yards and 16, a par 4 which I was able to save par on with an 18 ft putt!

Finishing the round, walking up 18, was a surreal moment. Being able to take in each wave, and surrounding view is one of the reasons Pebble Beach is truly a dream experience. 

How do I feel after my first round at Pebble Beach Golf Links? Excited, relieved, and ready to do it again on Saturday!!

But, for now, I’m pumped to get the event started with Mark Calcavecchia on Spyglass Hill Golf Course tomorrow at 7:21am! Can’t wait to tell you all about it after. Thanks again for following!

Spyglass Hill, Legends & Leaders, oh my!

After a really busy and exciting Tuesday, I was able to sleep in a wee bit Wednesday morning before doing a little bit of sight seeing to the Lone Cypress.

Then, it was off to Spyglass Hill for my first opportunity on the golf course. This is the first time they have included Spyglass Hill as a course in the tournament rotation! For today’s practice round, I was paired with a First Tee participant from Fort Worth, TX and Morocco!

Our round started out a bit hazy but the air cleared as the afternoon went on. The golf course was spectacular and the views were incredible.

I am made a Hole in One on the Par 3, 3rd Hole. A definite highlight of my dad to be able to ‘tap in’ from about 16 inches!

We didn’t get to finish our round because Wednesday night’s event started at 7:30pm sharp and as past participants have told me, is a crowd favorite – Legends & Leaders!

Due to Covid protocols, this year’s key note speakers were virtual and all nine were built into a ‘movie’ style performance of their experiences with the First Tee’s Core Values. Marsha Oliver, who is a VP at the PGA TOUR, spoke on jugment. Her message resonated with me the most!

To make our ‘movie’ experience even more special it was a ‘movie under the stars’ and held on the 18th green of Pebble Beach. We got to enjoy movie snacks like popcorn, cotton candy, root bear floats, and candy bars! And, with it being a bit chilly, we were all given a big blanket with the PURE Insurance Championship logo.

Tomorrow is another big day! My practice round on Pebble Beach Golf Links! I can’t wait to share this experience with you. Thanks for your encouragement.

– Allison Robinson

Registration, The Hay & Pairings Party… oh my!

Hi all! Allison Robinson, here. I’m looking forward to sharing my week long experience in California with you. I’m so thankful to have the opportunity to represent our chapter and know that each of you reading this week have had a part in giving us these experiences. Thank you!!! 

My family and I began our Pebble Beach adventure Friday night by flying into the San Francisco International Airport. We spent the weekend exploring San Francisco and then made our way down to Monterey. We drove down the coastline and saw the amazing ocean views. WOW. Incredible!

Tuesday was the check in day, and…. my birthday! I never dreamed a better place to spend it!

My birthday kicked off with tournament check in where we were showered with some amazing keepsakes from sponsors of the PURE Insurance Championship and got to have breakfast overlooking the ocean! 

After breakfast, all pros, ams and juniors were invited to play The Hay, the newly redesigned short course on property at Pebble Beach. So, I spent a little time getting warmed up and then headed out to the course.

The Hay, was redesigned by Tiger Woods and opened this year. Each hole was designed around different golfers and is similar to the Cradle in

 Pinehurst. I really enjoyed this course and made 3 birdies! One of the holes is even a mini version of Hole 7 on Pebble Beach!

Later in the day, the driving range opened for us and I worked on my shots alongside pros Vijay Singh, Tommy Armour III, Mark Calcavecchia and Lee Jensen. 

After a short break to check into the hotel, I returned to the 18th hole of Pebble Beach with my dad, Todd, for our First Tee teen orientation, the Pairings Party dinner and Macklemore Concert.

At the party, we were asked to line up alphabetically and walk across the stage to get our envelope, which enclosed the name of our pro golfer. As I walked across, the announcer, Peter Jacobson, and everybody sang “Happy Birthday” to me. I was so surprised!

After getting our envelopes we were asked to find our First Tee Chapter banner with our names printed on them. Then, after a brief countdown, we were given the green light to open our envelopes. I learned that my pro would be Mark Calcavecchia!!! 

I am so excited to play with Mr. Calcavecchia!

Following our pairings announcement, Macklemore performed! Earlier in the day, I had the honor to meet him and take a photo as he was finishing his round on Hole 18 of Pebble Beach. 

Then, during the concert, Macklemore sang me “Happy Birthday!”

Pinch me! It was such an exciting night! 

I am super excited for the rest of the week, and can’t wait to play Spyglass Hills and Pebble Beach for practice rounds the next two days!

Thanks for tuning in and I’ll talk to you tomorrow!

We’ve arrived!

It’s Tuesday, September 21 and we are officially on property at Pebble Beach Resorts! Allison has officially check in for this year’s event and her day will continue with an event on the new par 3 course, The Hay; Participant Orientation and the Grand Finale of the evening… the Pairings Party!!! Later this evening we will find which PGA Tour Champions player she will get to spend her week with!

In the meantime, enjoy this clip assembled by a few of Allison’s friends sending her well wishes and a very Happy Birthday!

Robinson, First Tee Alum is headed to PURE Insurance Championship!

If we are anything alike, our summer days would be filled with a ‘no alarm’ clause and a slow to rise philosophy.

But, for Allison Robinson, this wasn’t the case on July 6. Her alarm sounded around 4:00am to awake and head out the door to compete in the Carolinas Junior Girls PGA Championship in Winston Salem. Though, it wasn’t any day, it was selection day for this fall’s Pure Insurance Championship Impacting the First Tee at Pebble Beach!

After teeing off at 7:00am for her first round, Allison would head into the clubhouse where she’d set up shop in front of a big screen television with her mom and best friend, Jaclyn Kenzel, a First Tee alum and previous participant in the Pure Insurance Championship. Then, she’d connect her iPhone to a shared Zoom call with family, First Tee staff and supporters so we could all await the moment together.

It was a moment a really long time coming.

Allison’s brother, Jared, had been selected to participate in the event in 2015 and since then she’d watched multiple friends go through the demanding process of completing interviews, essays and applications each winter to then sit by their side mid-summer as they’d await the nationally televised selection show on the Golf Channel.

But, for Allison, she had to wait even longer.

Her original application process occurred pre-Covid in late winter of 2020. A month before announcement day, we instead received word the Pure Insurance Championship would have to go on without juniors. A positive twist though, typically ineligible graduating seniors would be grandfathered in to re-applying for the 2021 event!

So, here we sat, virtually, across NC, awaiting the announcement.

The moment came and it was extra special!

Allison’s name appeared across the screen as we heard squeals through the speakers and echoing throughout the First Tee – Sandhills office.

Her immediate reaction was that of pure joy, excitement and gratitude. A long time coming for the now freshman at University of North Carolina at Wilmington.

Today, Allison has arrived in California and is making her way to Pebble Beach where this experience of a lifetime will officially kick off on Tuesday, September 21. Is there a better way to spend your birthday?!?!

Throughout the week all 81 teens will apply the life and leadership skills learned locally during the one-of-a-kind event. They’ll be paired to play golf with a PGA TOUR Champions player and amateurs from the business world as they compete for the Pro-Junior team title.

In addition to playing in the Pure Insurance Championship contested at Pebble Beach Golf Links and Poppy Hills Golf Course, participants will have a number of off course experiences. From attending functions allowing them to network and be mentored by top leaders across the globe from various industries and life experiences to attending a concert held on the 18th green of Pebble Beach Golf Links!

It’s sure to be a week to remember. And, we want you to join us for the ride! We’ll be following along in Allison’s experience all week long with daily recaps and photography at firstteesandhills.org/purechamp.

So, jump on your device, track her progress and leave notes of encouragement! The first big update will come after Tuesday night’s pairings party where Allison will find out which Champions Tour golf she’ll spend her week with.

We’ll see you virtually!

A Sunday I’ll Never Forget with BJ Boyce

As Saturday evening approached, it had settled in that Paul Broadhurst and I had made the Pro-Junior cut. I would be playing in Sunday’s Final Round of the Pure Insurance Championship! We had an 8:37am tee time off Hole 1 with Kirk Triplett and his junior participant, Sam Soomerhauser. I was SUPER EXCITED but also very NERVOUS! After the first few hole, I was able to settle in, relax a little bit and had a chip in from the hazard on Hole 4. After watching the ball roll into the hole like a perfect putt, I had a sudden surge of relief… the lid had been pulled off the hole! I settled into my round and made a handful of pars, chapped off by a Birdie on Hole 15 – saving our Pro-Junior Team two strokes as my pro had bogeyed the hole. On Hole 17, a par three, I had pushed my tee shot almost onto 18 tee box, executed a great shot from a terrible place, still rolling over the green, and then, chipped in to save par. It was an awesome feeling to hear the crowd cheer for me after the ball went in. At that very moment, I felt like I was a tour pro and gave them a little wave like I’ve seen the pros do. Coming up the 18th fairway was surreal. Seeing all of the people int he bleachers cheering while I’m standing in the fairway on the greatest course I’ve ever played. Then, hearing my fellow participant, Drew Spurlock screaming after they announced my name… It was AWESOME! As a team, Paul and I carded a final round 64. Placing us tied for 3rd overall in the Pro-Junior Division. A finish, and experience, I’m not sure I could have dreamed up! Post round, I wrote some thank you cards to people who had a key role in making this event and experience possible. Then, joined the other juniors on 18 green to cheer on the final groups. After the trophy ceremony, they lined us up so we could get our banner with our name and our pros caddie bib! It was very bitter sweet for the week to be coming to a close.I have been dreaming, waiting and working towards this experience for so long, I had so much fun meeting and hanging out with fellow junior participants, and as it comes to a close, I’m a bit devastated. But, I quickly reminded myself I have an amazing once-in-a-lifetime experience to look back on and I will never forget a second of it! Monday morning I woke up and it all felt like some big dream that I’ll never ever forget. Thank you for following along in our experience, and your support of First Tee!

My Weekend at Pebble Beach by Drew Spurlock

Saturday was my official tournament round on Pebble Beach Golf Links! Michael Bradley and I had an afternoon tee time of the 1st Hole so I was able to sleep in a bit. Whew! After enjoying another great breakfast in player hospitality, I headed to the practice facility. While working int he short game area, I had the chance to meet Kirk Triplett and Scott McCarron. Once I wrapped up warmups, I met up with Mr. Bradley and worked on marking the pin locations in my yardage book. Saturday’s conditions on Pebble Beach Golf Links were going to be very different from our practice round on Wednesday with sustained winds between 25 – 30mph and gust up to 45mph! What did I learn about playing in high winds on a golf course that sits on the ocean? Putting is extremely difficult! We had to take the wind into account as to how it would impact the speed and direction the putts would roll. My golf highlight of the day? I made a birdie on Hole 6! Throughout the round, I learned a lot from Mr. Bradley – how to deal with nerves, the difference between being in contention and not in contention for a final round. Overall it was a great experience playing with him, I felt like we gelled well together and had a really good time. After my round,  I was exhausted! But, was able to enjoy a nice dinner with my whole family as it was my grandparents last night in California. (Thanks for coming out, gma and gpa!) Sunday made for another super cool experience of a lifetime! While missing a cut is never something you want to have happen – the activities First Tee had planned for us on Sunday, made for an amazing experience that we won’t have again. All participants not playing on Sunday met First Tee staff at the Pebble Beach Visitors Center. We paired up in small groups, joining friends I’d made over the course of the week, and did a Scavenger Hunt which took us all around the Pebble Beach property. From our favorite spots throughout the week, to places we made memories and iconic locations on the golf course – we went everywhere. Once the hunt was completed, we all headed over to the 18th green to cheer on our fellow participants who made the cut and were finishing their round. There ended up being a playoff for the Champions Tour title, between Kirk Triplett and Billy Andrade. Mr. Triplett made a birdie on the first playoff hole, 18, to win the title! The playoff was really fun to watch! After the trophy presentation we were able to get our tournament banners and caddie bibs to bring home – such a cool memento! Then, it was time to say, ‘see you soon’ to our new friends and take one last look across the landscape of Pebble Beach Golf Links. Truly, an experience of a lifetime!

Day 1 & 2 with Paul Broadhurst

Friday morning I woke up feeling confident. I really liked the layout of Pebble Beach Golf Links and felt very comfortable on the golf course. As my 1:19pm tee time slowly crept up, the dream started to become a reality. As I stood over the ball on the 10th Tee, our first hole of the day, I was so nervous I could feel myself shaking and I thought I was never going to be able to hit the ball. Luckily, my tee shot ended up in the fairway and I made a par on my first hole! WHEW. Holes 11 – 13 were a struggle but I bounced back with birdies on Hole 14 and 15 and then later on Holes 3 and 4. Mr. Broadhurst and I’s combined score for the day was a 7 under par, 65. Post round, my mom and I went straight to our evening event – the Jake Owen concert. My mom loves country music so I wanted to have her come as my chaperone tonight. As the concert began, we all gathered around the stage cheering and enjoying all the songs. Everyone was having such a great time that Jake Owen ended up playing an extra hour than planned! At the end of the night, Drew and I were able to grab a really cool souvenir – a guitar pick from Jake Owen! So far, Friday has definitely been my favorite day of the week! It was a quick turnaround to our second round on Saturday morning at Poppy Hills Golf Club. While the golf course is wonderful, it just didn’t set up to my eye as well as Pebble Beach Golf Links. I fought myself but hit some good shots. Sadly, my putter let me down and I didn’t contribute to our team score much today. Our running joke was that we weren’t sure if Mr. Broadhurst would be able to play on Sunday because his back had to hurt from carrying me all day! Thanks to his stellar play, at the end of the day we finished 11 under par and in contention to make the Pro/Junior cut to play Pebble Beach Golf Links again on Sunday! Our Saturday evening was capped off by getting to have dinner with my cousin, Haley, and watching the sunset on Seventeen Mile Drive! What a great ending to our first two days of golf!

Round One with Michael Bradley

The day had arrived! We were up early to get ready for Round One of the Pure Insurance Championship. I have waited for this moment a very long time. While my dad has been my official chaperone all week, today he handed duties to my mom and she was able to enjoy player dining breakfast with me. Post breakfast, we took a shuttle over to Poppy Hills to warm up for our early tee time off the 10th Tee. I was extremely nervous. I feeling you truly can’t prepare for. Once I settled into the day, I was able to make a few pars and birdies. A good feeling of achievement after the emotional start to the day! Michael Bradley was extremely kind to me the whole round, he kept the conversation going and he really helped me feel more comfortable playing in this atmosphere. In addition, our amateurs were a lot of fun to play with and really lightened the whole mood of our group. Post round, I had the chance to ride back to Pebble Beach with Mr. Bradley. We had lunch together and headed to the practice area. He helped me for a bit at the practice facility, truly a kind gesture and special experience! Later, my dad came over to the practice facility as we prepared for what was going to be a very windy second day over at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Friday night our special event was a Jake Owen concert behind the 18th Green of Pebble Beach GL. That was a TON of fun! The food was awesome and it was really fun to hang out with all the friends I had made this week. Towards the end of the night, I ended up getting a guitar pick that Jake had used in the concert. What a cool souvenir!

A Practice Round at Poppy Hills

Thursday was our second, and final, practice round before official competition kicked off! While the golf has truly been secondary to the experiences I have gained this week, it’s been quite fun preparing. I did my best to approach today with the same mindset as the day before – to truly enjoy every moment of our walk. Poppy Hills GC is an incredibly nice course. It reminded me a lot of Pinehurst No. 2 and 8. The layout, green shapes and various shots you must hit. A really cool course to have the opportunity to play. After our practice round, I saw Bernard Langer in player dining and introduced myself. What a legend! I was asked to sit down for a pre-recorded interview that may be used during the Golf Channel coverage. I had practiced for this possible moment and it was really cool to have it happen. During the interview they touched on many of the questions we were asked as part of our application process, so that helped me feel comfortable and confident in the conversation. I can’t wait to see if it ends up on TV this week! Our Thursday evening ended with a special dinner at Spanish Bag and watching the Bag Piper’s perform as the sun set over they bay! It was a great day to unwind before things restart tomorrow. Paul Broadhurst and I tee off Hole 10 in the afternoon on Pebble Beach Golf Links. I can’t wait! Thanks for following along!

A look at Drew’s Practice Days

Wednesday was here! It was our first day of practice rounds at the Pure Insurance Championship. Jet lag had hit hard and I was up even earlier for the day to get started. Today’s round would be on Pebble Beach Golf Links and we were lucky enough to get a practice round with 2016 Champion, Paul Broadhurst. A really unique tie to the tournament is that all players – Professionals, Amateurs and Juniors – all eat meals together. So, we have the chance to meet and mingle with folks of all backgrounds from around the country. Today at breakfast, we had the chance to sit down and eat with Paul before heading out for pre-practice round warm ups. The minute I stepped on the practice facility and rolled my first few putts, I was blown away at the condition of the course. When we arrived at the first tee, I was admittedly nervous. I pushed my tee ball into the rough but managed to make a par. The front 9 was a total blur. I was still in shock I was playing at Pebble Beach Golf Links and had a million thoughts running through my head. As we made the turn, I was able to clear my head and settle in to playing golf. A funny moment, on the 18th Hole, my tee shot hit the trunk of the famous tree in the middle of the fairway! After dinner, we prepped for tonight’s main event – the Legends and Leaders Core Value Banquet. The dinner was amazing. I had the opportunity to meet more participants from the First Tee and build new relationships. A huge surprise for me – we received a $1,000 college scholarship! What a great event to participate in and hear from speakers across the country with impactful stories to tell. Thursday brought a new day and our last day of practice before the official tournament kicks off! We headed over to play Poppy Hills GC – today with two fellow First Tee participants. Poppy Hills is another amazing course with completely different shots from Pebble Beach the day before. If was fun to make a few birdies early in our practice round. As the day went on, the winds began to pick up, creating a new set of challenges as we navigated the course. After our round, we headed back over to Pebble Beach Golf Links to cheer on the First Tee participants playing in the Chevron Shoot Out. The wind was really ripping at Pebble Beach so it was a lot of fun to watch them play Hole 17! Post shoot out we went and spent some time with our host family before going to dinner at a really great local Italian restaurant called Cafe Fina. Between all the golf, walking, wind and events I was tired and made it an early bed time as Michael Bradley and I would be teeing off early on Poppy Hills tomorrow morning. Can’t wait to play with Mr. Bradley and see how our rounds unfold!