Photo by Sherman Chu
Those are Jack Holt’s sidekicks, Lefty and Charlie, pictured by his side. It appears that by this time next year, all three will have ridden off into the sunset.
Holt, 69, has been a reliable fixture as assistant superintendent in the golf course maintenance department at Pebble Beach Golf Links for longer than many of the staff there have been alive. His first day on the job was Oct. 6, 1980. His last day? Holt hints that day is coming soon.
It definitely won’t happen this month, though. Holt will help bring home the fifth U.S. Open held on his watch when the championship plays out at Pebble Beach June 13-16.
Holt did two tours of duty in Vietnam, much of it on the destroyer USS Hollister. The ship often journeyed during darkness, in range of North Vietnam. “I definitely grew up. There’s not much else to say about it,” Holt says. “We were there and couldn’t wait to get done with it.”
Upon leaving the Navy, Holt crafted driftwood furniture in Northern California. A friend he played golf with worked at Pebble Beach’s Spyglass Hill. “I ended up getting a job there. It completely changed my life,” Holt says.
After spending two years at Spyglass Hill, Holt transferred to Pebble Beach Golf Links, which put him even closer to his roots: Holt’s father, Jack Holt Sr., used to be a caddie at Pebble Beach. “My family on my mother’s side has been on Monterey Peninsula for 170 years,” he says. “My dad was greenkeeper at Del Monte (one of the courses at Pebble Beach) when I was born.”
Chris Dalhamer, CGCS, director of golf course maintenance at Pebble Beach, cherishes everything that Holt represents. “He’s seen every single thing that you can fathom out there,” Dalhamer says. “He’s just a great asset with everything he brings to the table for us.”
Soon, Holt will excuse himself from the table. He and his wife of 30 years, Shelly, plan to move to a home they bought in Cassel, Calif., where the fly-fishing is fruitful, and where Lefty and Charlie will find a new landscape to roam.
Howard Richman is GCM’s associate editor.