Dean Martin signs autographs at the Crosby Clambake.
January 21, 1966
Put your stargazing glasses on…can you name the golfers?
Bill Morem shares memories of covering the Crosby in the 1980′s when he was editor of the Cambrian and publisher of Monterey Life Magazine.
The weather on the Monterey Peninsula in January can be either blindingly blue and warm or the nastiest bit of wet and windy crud to come down the pike.
Either condition, though, didn’t deter the likes of Jack Lemmon or James Garner from playing through, rain or shine at the Crosby.
Both men were extremely gracious, taking time to talk with whomever approached them as they walked from green to tee. And funny. Lemmon dropped trou more than once to gain a competitive edge, although even that didn’t get him into the final cut for the weekend.
The everyday casualness of the stars who played in the pro-am was akin to being at a celebrity family reunion.
Although many of Crosby’s cronies were hard partiers, many carrying flasks on the courses, they all had to have enough stamina to walk Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Cypress Point.
On one occasion I was standing at the back of a crowd when a giant of a man walked up next to me. As he tugged on a smoke, he said something in a recognizable growl about the play at hand. Looking up, I found myself next to Baloo of The Jungle Book, Phil Harris.
On another occasion, I scored an interview with former President Gerald Ford. After about five minutes of taping him, he started twirling an index finger in the air. I thought it an odd affectation but kept asking questions, which he answered graciously, but kept twirling. Finally, a Secret Service agent stepped forward and explained that the twirling meant to wrap it up.
I sometimes wonder how long the president would have kept twirling and talking had his agent not explained protocol.
Golfers from the top: Comic, Phil Harris, left and singer Andy Williams; Jim Backus (Thurston Howell III or Mr. Magoo) putting. Jack Nicklaus smiles after hitting the green after overshooting the green and landing on the beach at the 16th at Cypress Point in 1966. Arnold Palmer putts.