Gary Woodland wasn’t the only one celebrating at Pebble Beach on Sunday night of the U.S. Open. So were the fortunate few that had access to the five main hospitality suites that lined the 18th fairway, some 100 yards from the green.
Not only did these privileged folks enjoy an elevated, unobstructed view of the action at one of the world’s most iconic golf holes, they also experienced a level of comfort usually reserved for the swankiest living rooms. Hooray! For one day, I was one of the lucky ones.
Rolex, Cisco, Deloitte and American Express occupied four of the five 18th hole hospitality suites at Partner Village. Each has a special relationship with the USGA. Cisco, for instance, supplied a “Connected Course” experience that provided unprecedented wi-fi , plus an interactive on-site map available through the U.S. Open Mobile App. Deloitte created an augmented reality (AR) App that let users view shot trails in real time, select players to compare their performances and relive the shots of past champions at Pebble Beach on holes 6, 7 and 18.
The fifth hospitality suite belonged to Lexus, the automotive company that practically claims blood relative status to the event. Not only was Lexus the original automotive partner of the USGA, it’s also a longstanding partner with Pebble Beach Resorts. It didn’t take a lot of arm-twisting for me to take a ride this past week with Lexus.