• PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Tiger Woods prepares to putt at Pebble Beach's 15th hole Feb. 11. Woods returned to play in the AT&T golf tournament for the first time in 10 years.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Tiger Woods prepares to putt at Pebble Beach's 15th hole Feb. 11. Woods returned to play in the AT&T golf tournament for the first time in 10 years.

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Donavan Clancy, Marine Corps Detachment Monterey, resets the U.S. flag adorned pin at Pebble Beach's 15th hole Feb. 11.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Lance Cpl. Donavan Clancy, Marine Corps Detachment Monterey, resets the U.S. flag adorned pin at Pebble Beach's 15th hole Feb. 11.

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Camera crews search for a better angle as professional golfer Phil Mickelson prepares to putt at Pebble Beach's 15th hole. Mickelson would go on to shoot an eight-under par during his final round to win the tournament in dramatic fashion.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Camera crews search for a better angle as professional golfer Phil Mickelson prepares to putt at Pebble Beach's 15th hole. Mickelson would go on to shoot an eight-under par during his final round to win the tournament in dramatic...

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - A cameraman gets a close-up shot of U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Jordan Vaughn as she waits to take possession of the 15th hole pin during play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - A cameraman gets a close-up shot of U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Jordan Vaughn as she waits to take possession of the 15th hole pin during play at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Actor Bill Murray, a crowd favorite and last year's winner of the Pro-Am portion of the tournament, talks with U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Jordan Vaughn at the 15th hole green.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Actor Bill Murray, a crowd favorite and last year's winner of the Pro-Am portion of the tournament, talks with U.S. Coast Guard Seaman Jordan Vaughn at the 15th hole green.

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Actor Chris O'Donnell shakes hands with Airman 1st Class Shawn Shoults at Pebble Beach's "Military Hole" Feb. 11. Shoults was one of 12 service members who tended to the U.S. flag that adorned the 15th hole pin during the Feb. 11 round of the golf tournament.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Actor Chris O'Donnell shakes hands with Airman 1st Class Shawn Shoults at Pebble Beach's "Military Hole" Feb. 11. Shoults was one of 12 service members who tended to the U.S. flag that adorned the 15th hole pin during the Feb. 11...

  • PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center's Airman 1st Class Shawn Shoults salutes the U.S. flag adorned 15th hole pin at Pebble Beach on Feb. 11.

    Pin Detail at AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. - Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center's Airman 1st Class Shawn Shoults salutes the U.S. flag adorned 15th hole pin at Pebble Beach on Feb. 11.

PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. - For the second consecutive year service members from the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center and Coast Guard Station Monterey tended the pin at the 15th hole during the final three rounds of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament Feb. 10-12. The 15th green's pin was adorned with the U.S. flag for the occasion and was a prominent feature during the tournament's live television broadcast.

The pin detail, consisting of service members from the DLIFLC Joint Service Color Guard and Monterey Coast Guardsmen, publicly represented a much larger group of military volunteers involved in the tournament. In all, more than 250 military members provided volunteer assistance over a 20-day span to the golf tournament, whose focus is to raise money for charities and depends on volunteers to run effectively.

"It's nice just being out there with all the services together and meeting some golfers and celebrities," explained Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Ryan Fogarty. "It's great getting to show ourselves to the public and reach out to the community and let them know we are here and doing our part."

Fogarty was one of nearly a dozen service members on the detail standing by at Pebble Beach's 15th hole, waiting to take possession of the pin and render honors to the American flag attached to it during tournament play on Feb. 11.

Because of the military presence along the hole and the nearby military-appreciation hospitality tent, the hole earned the nickname "the military hole" from television broadcasters.

Bob Sparks, who has coordinated the military-appreciation tent for the last five years, explained the origins of the military-pin detail.

"We saw the golf tournament at Torrey Pines with service members working the pin," said Sparks. "So we approached tournament director Steve Worthy and Monterey Peninsula Foundation CEO Ollie Nutt and said we need to do this. They said 'fine'."

The final round of the tournament, held Feb. 12, featured two of golf's most well-known players, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, being paired together and contesting for the lead. This resulted in a 96 percent increase in television viewership from last year, for a viewing audience CBS estimated at just under 6 million people.

So how did this pressure affect the service members who were front and center when the cameras rolled through?

"I was a little nervous, but nothing I couldn't handle," said Lance Cpl. Donovan Clancy, who was on the pin when Woods arrived at hole-15 on Saturday. "I love being able to serve my country and represent the Marine Corps, it's a great experience."

He noted that he appreciated seeing Tony Romo "hit an amazing shot" and Woods make a 20-foot putt.

"I'm just glad I got the opportunity to come out here," Clancy added. "I think it helps remind everyone that we are people just like everyone else, we just [have] a different job to do. Hopefully it makes them feel good about themselves and their country. This experience was definitely something the Marine Corps gave me and I am grateful."

Page last updated Thu February 16th, 2012 at 00:00