The Loop

Did Mary Queen of Scots ever play Pebble?

May 13, 2010

Bill Perocchi, the CEO of the Pebble Beach Company, got carried away in extolling the virtues of the Pebble Beach Golf Links at a U.S. Open news conference there earlier this week.

"Pebble Beach truly is the greatest meeting of land and sea," he said. "The tradition and history is unmatched by any golf course in the world."

"Never heard of the Old Course at St Andrews then?," he wrote.

"For the record: St Andrews will hold its 30th Open championship this year, having first held it in 1873. Pebble Beach held its first US Open in 1972 and has held it four times in all.

"Previous winners at St Andrews include: J H Taylor, James Braid, Bobby Jones, Sam Snead, Peter Thomson, Jack Nicklaus, Severiano Ballesteros, Sir Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods. Previous winners at Pebble Beach: Nicklaus (1972), Tom Watson (1982), Tom Kite (1992) and Woods (2000).

"Among those to have played St Andrews was Mary Queen of Scots, circa. 1560. I've checked, but I can find no reference to Pebble Beach around that time. Just 70 years after America had been 'discovered', I suspect the pioneers had other things on their minds."

-- John Strege