Osgood pro had the golf practice of a lifetime at Pebble Beach – InForum

FARGO — A chance meeting with Laird Small, then director of the Pebble Beach Golf Academy, turned into the internship of a lifetime for Chris Larson. The head pro at Osgood Golf Course in south Fargo worked at Pebble Beach Golf Links, a job that also allowed him to play the famous course.

Larson was at the British Open when he ran into Small, who told him if he ever wanted an internship at Pebble Beach to call him. Calling anyone in the golf business was the easiest decision Larson will likely ever make in his life.

“Called him up, did a phone interview and before I knew it I was on my way out there,” Larson said.

Fargo’s Amy Olson is already there, preparing for the US Women’s Open, which starts Thursday at Pebble Beach. She has never played it and will definitely spend the right amount of time this week preparing.

Larson said it’s not an overly long course in terms of yardage, but the women’s tees provide a different setup on many holes than the men’s tees. Pebble Beach has hosted the men’s US Open six times, most recently in 2019, but this will be the first for the US Women’s Open.

“We’re going to see Pebble Beach on how it’s meant to be played,” he said.

It’s going to put a premium on players being accurate with their long irons, much along the lines of what Fargo’s Tom Hoge did in 2022 when he won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

“When Tom plays well there, he talks about how it’s good for him because he’s accurate with his mid-to-long irons,” Larson said. “For Amy, I think the big part is that the greens aren’t big, so accuracy is going to be key. Not getting into the rough is big because it plays tight in areas, so hitting the fairways off the tee is a premium the box. It’s not rocket science, it’s being able to hit your lines.”

It’s July, but that doesn’t mean the weather isn’t a factor either. Larson said in his experience the temperatures were never really hot. The expected high for Thursday is 59 degrees, and it will drop to a high of 57 on Saturday. Lows are expected to be in the low 50s.

A live cam from the 18th hole on Sunday had a misty, foggy appearance.

Former Moorhead Country Club assistant pro Chris Howell, front and head pro Chris Larson pose for a photo while riding a Finn Cycle. A Finn Cycle is a two-wheeled motorized golf cart that is attached to help golfers play faster.

Forum file photo

“Pebble plays a lot cooler, and that can definitely be a factor right by the ocean,” Larson said. “You’re going to see people playing in long sleeves and even some rain gear.”

Just being on the coast and seeing the sights and smells of golf courses next to the Pacific Ocean was unique in itself for Larson. He was 22 years old at the time of his internship.

“The world was really, really big back then,” he said. “As far as an experience on the course goes, it’s once in a lifetime.”

Golfers also pay for the experience with green fees on the public course $625 per round. player. In addition, players are required to stay on site at one of the three hotels. It costs $1,225 per night at Casa Palermo, $1,045 per night at the Lodge and $920 at Spanish Bay.

“The fact that it’s a public facility and everybody potentially has the opportunity to do it once should be experienced by golfers who want to do it once in their life,” Larson said.
Pebble Beach is one of three principle courses in the area, along with Spyglass Hill and Spanish Bay, with Larson working at all three facilities during his internship. He worked in the golf shop at both Pebble Beach and Spanish Bay and helped teach at Spyglass Golf Academy.

That was in 2004 with Larson, a 2000 Fargo North graduate fresh out of Kansas State. His best score was 76 from the back tees.

“It was super fun because all of us interns lived together and they moved us around to all the different properties,” Larson said. “We got to play a lot of golf and we got to experience the whole facility at Pebble.”

The only downside was that none of the interns were paid. Their room and board were provided.

“But you had access to Pebble Beach, and you can put that on your resume, too,” Larson said, “so none of us really complained about it. I mean, you didn’t get paid, but you got paid.”

Jeff Kolpack

Jeff wants to dispel the notion that he was around when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press, but he’s in his third decade of reporting with Forum Communications. The son of a reporter and an English teacher and brother of a reporter, Jeff has worked at the Jamestown Sun, Bismarck Tribune and since 1990 The Forum, where he has covered North Dakota State athletics since 1995.
Jeff has covered all nine of NDSU’s Division I FCS national football titles and has written three books: “Horns Up,” “North Dakota Tough” and “Covid Kids.” He is a radio host on “The Golf Show with Jeff Kolpack” April through August.

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