The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was borne out of the Bing Crosby clambake, an annual get-together where some of the best professional golfers and a mix of A-list actors, musicians, comedians, and generally wealthy and famous individuals played golf and got drunk for a few days on the Monterey Peninsula. There are plenty of good stories of revelry from those old Crosby clambakes, but the modern day official PGA Tour event is much more tame with a lot less "celebrity."
The Pebble Beach Pro-Am can sometimes be cool in that it is different, adding some otherwise famous hackers to the weekly groups of pros we always get. But with a full field of those pros, tournament organizers have to reach fill out the amateur ranks.
There are the athletes and coaches who have gone pro in something other than golf. There is the mix of musicians, typically over-the-hill rockers and relatively obscure and bad country artists. There are media folks, mostly old ones from places like FOX News, CNBC, and ESPN. There are actors, usually B-listers or individuals from Pro-Am TV partner CBS and their lineup of dramas and comedies that mostly old people watch in staggering numbers. There are plenty of unknown men of privilege -- CEOs, VPs, and other executives associated with companies that sponsor the PGA Tour, a pro, or golf in some other capacity.
And then there's Bill Murray! … Except even he won't be able to make it this year.
Here are some of the celebrities, broken up by category, who will be teeing it up alongside the pros this week at what Robert Louis Stevenson called "the most felicitous meeting of land and sea in creation." (This list of celebrity commitments is compiled from here, here, and here.)
Harris Barton -- A former offensive tackle who played with the nearby 49ers for a decade but has spent his recent post-football career as a fund and asset manager (and not without struggle or controversy).
Bill Belichick -- He committed to play right after the Patriots were bounced by the Broncos, and he's becoming a bit of a regular at this event. You would think he might smile and act out a little more in this atmosphere, but he's usually deadpan…and even occasionally wears a replica sideline hoodie with the cut sleeves, which is commendable.
Matt Cain -- The Giants ace pounds the ball off the tee, putting it out there with the pros with 300-yard-plus bombs.
Wayne Gretzky -- He will play again with his soon-to-be son-in-law Dustin Johnson, who's engaged to Paulina. Both Wayne and Dustin are really good golfers but did they not play well last year in their first time out together.
Dustin Johnson with fiancee Paulina Gretzky, daughter of the Great One (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty)
Peyton Manning -- Manning took one day to recover from that ugly Super Bowl loss in New Jersey and then decided on Tuesday that he'd join Brady on the Monterey Peninsula for a golf weekend.
Kelly Slater -- The surfer is good friends with Masters champ Adam Scott and also plays enough golf to keep a low single-digit handicap. He might be the best golfer among the non-golf sportspeople in attendance.
This group is not producing a particularly diverse range of music.
Joe Don Rooney -- He started out in a band called "Uncle Thumbtack" with, per Wikipedia, lifelong friend Boone Pickens, (who doesn't appear to be that Boone Pickens) before working his way up to be the high harmony singer and lead guitarist for Rascal Flatts.
Joe Don Rooney with the boys from Rascal Flatts (Photo by Geoff Burke/Getty Images)
Kenny G -- He may be the best non-pro in the field and is a reputed scratch golfer.
Jake Owen -- Last seen as a celebrity guest picker on College Gameday at FSU, when he tried, with some great irony, to make fun of Kliff Kingsbury for looking in the mirror too much.
Darius Rucker -- He has become the established go-to musical artist for any golf outing, event, show, of function or any kind. It's uncanny. The man now has decades of experience playing at this kind of event.
TobyMac -- I had not heard of Toby McKeehan, who cut out some letters and spaces to become TobyMac, who is apparently categorized under the music genre of Christian Hip-Hop.
Kid Rock -- He's played golf with Tiger Woods in the past year so he must be good.
Clay Walker -- Yet another country artist rounds out the group of musicians. One has to wonder why there's no Kenny Chesney mixed up in all this.
Bret Baier -- Lead anchor for FOX News, target of Hillary Clinton Super Bowl humor.
Chris Berman -- Boomer is a regular now at this event, donning the usual garish shirts and performing the usual sword dueling routine with his putter after he makes one. Also, he nearly tumbled over into a bunker last year. You're with me, sand trap.
Herm Edwards -- Berman's ESPN NFL colleague is a native of Monterey, and has played in this event for the past few years.
Joe Kernen -- An anchor for CNBC's Squawk Box.
Tom Dreesen -- 71-year-old funnyman who last appeared as an actor playing "Rock" in Trouble With The Curve.
Gary Mule Deer -- The 73-year old could also fall under the country music category.
Ray Romano -- Everybody Loves Raymond went off the air almost nine years ago, but in addition to syndication, Romano has made a bit of a second career doing celebrity golf things, most notably this tournament and as the pupil for Tiger Woods' former coach Hank Haney's reality show.
Don Cheadle -- Of turtlecalls fame.
Actors -- CBS Division
Eric Close -- Without a Trace -- I never saw this show, but he's apparently still on the small screen in Nashville.
Oliver Hudson (brother of Kate, son of Goldie) -- Rules of Engagement -- This is a CBS comedy series with which I am unfamiliar, but apparently he too has a role in Nashville.
Chris O'Donnell -- NCIS: Los Angeles -- Because I've never seen this show, I've just discovered he plays someone called G. Callen in the hit CBS drama.
Jeb Bush -- He'll be right at home among the high finance executives, country musicians, and Bret Baier.
These are just some of the more well-known and famous amateurs teeing it up over the next four days, but there are plenty of wealthy unknowns who always land tee times with players they might sponsor. If you're uninterested in following those well-heeled and proper pairings, I might suggest the power duo of John Daly and Kid Rock, who may command the largest crowds of the week.
Dardanelle and Detroit: Just what Crosby had in mind.