Security a priority for US Open at Pebble Beach

PEBBLE BEACH — As approximately 250,000 people descend on the Monterey Peninsula for the U.S. Open this week, safety will be among the top concerns of tournament officials.

According to David Stivers, president of Pebble Beach Co. and general chairman of the U.S. Open, the security measures for the U.S. Open are greater than those for the PGA Tour’s annual AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am tournament.

“In order for you to gain access to the championship grounds, you will have to have a ticket and you will go through security screenings” similar to those at an airport, Stivers said.

Security checkpoint at the Pebble Beach Golf Links during a practice round for the U.S. Open Championship on Tuesday. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)

For a majority of fans, security screenings will take place miles away from Pebble Beach. Like the AT&T Pro-Am, the main parking will be at CSU Monterey Bay and fans will be screened before boarding shuttle buses.

“You’re dropped off in an already controlled area and from there you go and get your ticket scanned,” Stivers said.

The United States Golf Association, which conducts the tournament, has a list of prohibited items at the U.S. Open available at usopen.com/fan-info.html. While weapons and explosives are obvious, items including tablets and computers, cameras, selfie sticks, noise-producing devices, signs and posters, outside drinks and beverages, lawn chairs and step stools are also not allowed. Pets are prohibited from the championship grounds.

Purses that are 6-by-6-by-6 inches or smaller will be permitted as well as transparent plastic hand and shoulder bags that are 12 inches wide, 12 inches high and 6 inches in depth.

Capt. John Thornburg, a spokesman for the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office, recommended all fans check the list of prohibited items before heading to the tournament.

“I worked the last U.S. Open at Pebble Beach (2010) and one of the biggest things people got most upset about is they couldn’t bring their cellphones in,” he said.

The USGA will allow cellphone use at the U.S. Open this year, but phones must be set on silent.

Pebble Beach security officer Allison Burgos works the Carmel Hill gate in 2005. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)

There will be many ways to get into the U.S. Open and security screenings may vary if you take a shuttle in from Carmel, Monterey and Pacific Grove. Stivers said a few fans may come in via boat and anchor in Stillwater Cove.

“If you live in the Carmel area, you can also walk in through the Carmel gate,” Stivers said.

Cycling will not be an option to make it to the U.S. Open as Pebble Beach will be closed to all cyclists during the week of the tournament.

“That’s really for safety for bicyclists,” Stivers said. “There’s just way too many cars and way too many buses driving through the forest.”

In fact, 17-Mile Drive has been closed to all tourist vehicles since Sunday and will reopen Monday as a security precaution. Some fans who purchased premium ticket packages are being allowed to park at Pebble Beach, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News

      

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