The Rules of Golf in the Spring
Steinbreder, John, Chief Executive (U.S.)
Cell phones are out; compliments for good shots are in.
Christine Jacobs says it is Northern California's cool and breezy climate that makes Pebble Beach her favorite place to play in the spring. The CEO of the Theragenics Corp., a $50 million company that manufac and distributes a device used to treat cancer, golfs mostly in the Atlanta area, which is where her company is based. "But the South can be really hot and sticky, even in the spring," says the 21-handicapper, who took up the game when she graduated from college in 1971 and only recently began teeing it up again on a regular basis. "So I like to go to Pebble Beach because you often have some wind there and need to wear a sweater. I adore playing golf when I don't feel like I am in an oven."
The CEO also believes course conditions in the spring are better than in any other season. "Things are just coming into their full beauty," points out Jacobs, who actually gave up the game for a while when a country club in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, would not let her join as a senior member when she was 30 because she was a single woman. Jacobs, now 50, picked up the sport again five years later when her boss learned that she had played and thought it would be a good tool for her as a salesperson. That advice paid off, and Jacobs still manages to mesh golf and business a few times a month.
Pebble Beach is the site of her best birdie, and one sunk over business. "It was the fifth hole, a little over 150 yards for me, with my five-wood," she recalls. It landed about three inches from the cup. My two partners had very bipolar reactions. One was the CEO of a health care company, and he thought it was fabulous. But the other guy, who was a managing director for an investment banking firm, just went, 'Oh.' It was like he was worried he was going to lose money on the round if I kept playing that way. I mean, it was a perfect shot, and he did not say anything else."
The Monterey Peninsula in the spring also beckons
Paul Caruso, a 10-handicapper, who is president of the First Security Bank of Helena, Mont. He is drawn to the region's sheer preponderance of great golf courses-especially its best-kept secrets.
A Caruso favorite is Spyglass Hill, a Robert Trent Jones course that was built in the mid-1960s, offers great holes on the water and is known as one of Northern California's toughest tracks. It's not nearly as recognized as it should be because of its proximity to two of the region's most famous courses--Pebble Beach and Cypress Point, says Caruso, 50, who also likes the nearby Pacific Grove Municipal Golf Links in Pacific Grove and the Bayonet Golf Course in Seaside. "The routings are so nice. Many of them start in the trees, then go to the ocean and then come back home," says the United States Golf Association's executive committee member, who usually makes it to Monterey twice a year. …