Course of the Week: Pebble Beach Golf Links

By |  June 9, 2019 0 Comments

It’s been nine years since Pebble Beach Golf Links hosted the U.S. Open, but somehow it doesn’t seem so long ago. Time flies in Pebble Beach, Calif., something to which longtime assistant superintendent Jack Holt can attest.

Photo: Seth Jones

Photo: Seth Jones

“It’s been 38 years I’ve worked here, going on 39,” Holt says. “And I couldn’t tell you how that happened — it goes by so quickly. It’s unbelievable. This will be my fifth U.S. Open.”

Rick Pieper will celebrate his 39th year working for Pebble Beach Resorts this month. He started out as a “cart man” at Spyglass Hill before making the switch to the maintenance team when he learned he could go from $4 an hour to $6 an hour. After a few years on the crew, he fell in love with the gardener at Spyglass Hill, but she told him she wouldn’t date a coworker (or a married man), so Pieper asked the superintendent if he could get a transfer.

“The opportunity to take care of a historic property and to have great ownership that puts the resources into place … you take pride in that,” says Chris Dahlmer. (Photo: Joann Dost)

He got the transfer. Within two weeks, he was divorced, working at Pebble Beach and had a new girlfriend.

Photo: Seth Jones

Photo: Seth Jones

“It was at the beginning of getting ready for the ’92 U.S. Open … but I also worked the ’82 U.S. Open,” Pieper recalls. “We came over from Spyglass to help them out, because back then, the (U.S.) Open had the crew and maybe about four other extra guys. There were only about 15, 16 guys that would go out and get the course ready for the ’82 U.S. Open!”

It will be a crew of 140 maintaining the course the week of the 2019 U.S. Open — 40 members of the Pebble Beach crew plus 100 volunteers. Quite an upgrade from what Pieper remembers in 1982. But some things never change — he’s still working U.S. Opens at one of the finest golf courses in the world, and yes, he’s still married to that gardener.

Read our full cover story feature on Pebble Beach here.

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