Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith enjoyed a fun weekend on the picturesque Monterey Peninsula as he competed in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Less than a month removed from the Chiefs’ divisional-round playoff loss at New England, Smith’s mind was on to the offseason and an event filled with stars of sports, entertainment, and golf.
Introduced to the game by his grandfather, Smith still couldn’t believe he was playing in this showcase started by Bing Crosby in 1937.
“No, I never would have dreamt of it,” Smith said. “Obviously this is an historic event, the Clambake (now AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am) and the history of all this. It’s just a lot of fun all the way around. Events like this make golf even better.”
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Within Smith’s foursome was 1994 Super Bowl MVP Steve Young, who had an enjoyable time walking the fairways of Spyglass Hill Golf Course, Monterey Peninsula Country Club, and Pebble Beach. The event started Thursday and concluded on Sunday.
“Alex and I are great friends and that was another good part of the week was extending our friendship a lot these last three days,” Young said. “These are the kinds of things that build relationships so it was really fun for me to be with Alex.”
The competitive former Pro Bowlers played extra aggressively at times. Young’s professional partner was former world No. 1 Luke Donald, while Smith was paired with Clemson grad Ben Martin.
Just how aggressively did they play? Let’s just say that when in doubt they pulled out the driver.
“Alex and I pulled the driver out almost everywhere, even on the par 3s,” Young said. “Sometimes we would be like, ‘Maybe let’s just back off on driver with this shot,’ but it was a lot of fun with him.’”
Even Martin was surprised to see Smith pull a driver on a couple of semi-driveable par 4s.
“I liked his aggressive plays, trying to drive the second and fourth holes ... that’s pretty impressive,” Martin said of Smith’s first round at Spyglass Hill.
Never mind that neither decision led to the desired result.
But beyond the driving for show, Smith enjoyed the up-close perspective on golf’s best and his fellow celebrity participants.
“I enjoy the characters you meet from all over, and then we get to play with professional golfers, which is humbling,” Smith said. “It’s so much fun and it’s a fantastic deal, truly unique, and I don’t think there’s anything else like this where you’re playing with professional sports guys with their work on the line.”
Could Smith take a celebrity, put a helmet on him, and bring him onto the field for a few plays with the Chiefs during a finishing drive in midseason? Uh, no. The NFL just doesn’t offer the kind of opportunity afforded by the game of golf at Pebble Beach.
“There’s no way to even correlate it to football. How could you?” Smith said. “It would be impossible to do that. So it’s very, very unique to be in this situation.”
One common factor over the past week: nerves.
“Alex was saying that he was more nervous on the first tee than on any first snap of a football game,” Martin said. “But that (football) is what he does, so I guess that’s to be expected. A little more out of his comfort zone but he’s been great.”
Although the Martin/Smith team did not make the cut to play on Sunday, Martin enjoyed spending time with the Chiefs quarterback for the first time.
“He’s a really first-rate kind of guy, fun to play with, easy-going,” Martin said.