Thursday, February 19, 2015

@ATTProAm and Pebble Beach Cultivate Camaraderie, Generosity and Robot Technology #ATTBlogger #ATTProAm

This past week at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, there were several stories in place other than professionals and teams playing for the win: one story was about a foursome's journey to uncover what really goes on behind-the-scenes at one of the most exciting golf events on the PGA Tour.

Probably the most memorable part of the journey was interacting with celebrities and professional golfers up-close-and-personal, something that most people dream of including this blogger (one day I will meet Phil Mickelson!)

Blushing teenager Katie Horsford received her wish to meet her hero Jordan Spieth. "The AT&T National Pro-Am is special because it brings together pros and amateurs and celebrities and people like us who are fans."

Dan McLaughlin hopes to play here one day as a professional and "Getting a glimpse of what the players are doing to prepare for this tournament is huge for me."

Celebrities are customary at the AT&T National Pro-Am but charitable giving is an avenue in which this tournament shines its brightest, having raised over $120 million dollars during its thirty-year tenure. The Foursome visited one of these charities, the Veterans Transition Center of Monterey County, which supports homeless veterans and their families.

"Before I came here, I had no idea a golf tournament could have this type of impact on a community," said Tiffany Fitzgerald of Black Girls Golf. "It's pretty inspiring."

Foursome member Tim Lang, a Marine who lost his leg during an explosion, felt a personal connection, "It's just a great example of veterans helping veterans, leaving no one behind."

From being led on a personal tour of Pebble Beach by the course historian to tackling the latest technology at the Golf Academy, the Foursome, and those interacting via social media, received a perspective that very few get to watch. Each member of the group received four lessons with different instructors...and a robot!

"What surprised me most today is where technology has taken golf," mentioned Katie who, as part of the Foursome, was given a very special lesson with a robot "instructor" at the Pebble Beach Golf Academy and Practice Facility. "There's a robot that can make you swing like a specific golfer."

"I was kind of afraid of the robot, said Tiffany Fitzgerald, "because you have to let everything go - you have to let it control you." Although it may sound frightening, when Tiffany was asked to hit a golf ball afterwards with her eyes closed in a simulator, the results were outstanding (check out her swing in the video below!)

Foursome member, Tim, made the most of the tech within the practice facility, "The robot's pretty strong - you can't fight it," continuing with "golfers really love technology because it gives them the edge over their competitors."   ... hashtag awesome, Tim!

The experience shared by the foursome is now in the history books but, thanks to the internet, can be remembered with the click of a mouse. A parting confession from Tiffany recounts, "I came to Pebble Beach to share my experience with others and help get other people excited about golf and I think I did that." You sure did, Tiff and we thank you for giving fans an insider's look at this awesome tournament!

Walk inside-the-ropes with this video of the Foursome at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am:

This post is in partnership with AT&T. All opinions are my own. Voice your opinion on this blog or on @Golf4Beginners.

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