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The road to golf

The Bob Hope Classic is celebrating its 52nd anniversary this year. Bing Crosby's is now known as the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

January 10, 2011|By Susan King, Los Angeles Times

Bob Hope and Bing Crosby were best buds, frequent costars and golf fanatics who created their own Pro-Am golf tournaments. The Bob Hope Classic, played in Palm Desert and La Quinta, celebrates its 52nd anniversary Jan. 17 through 23. Hope, who died in 2003 at age 100, played in his tournament along with such stars as Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas, Phil Harris, Ray Bolger and even Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was the first U.S. president to play a Pro-Am. Crosby, who died in 1977, began his first tournament in 1937 at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Course. In 1947, it moved north to Pebble Beach. The tournament, now titled the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, has always attracted celebrities, including Carmel resident Clint Eastwood and the late Jack Lemmon, who always joked that he would give up one of his Oscars if he could make the cut. He never did.

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