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No bucket list, but Babs still thrilled by Pebble Beach

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

Mike Babcock played Pebble Beach last week, where this stunning house, which is for sale for $79 million, is next to the 10th green. (Photo by Carmel Reality Company)
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Seems odd for a guy who has hunted buffalo in Tanzania and coached championship hockey teams at every level, but Red Wings coach Mike Babcock doesn’t have a list of things that he wants to do before he dies.

However, if Babcock did have a bucket list, playing golf at world-famous Pebble Beach on California’s Monterey Peninsula, probably would be on it – but not anymore.

Last Thursday morning, Babcock and assistant coaches Bill Peters and Jeff Blashill played the challenging 7,040-yard golf course.

“I was outstanding as always. I live for golf like you have no idea; no I really don’t like golf really,” Babcock joked. “I liked going to Pebble Beach, it was a fantastic day and it was a good thing to do on an off-day just to get away from what’s going on. In saying that when I went to the San Jose-Nashville game at night I was right back to where I was before I golfed.”

The coaching trio traveled to northern California ahead of the team following Wednesday’s 4-0 loss at Anaheim in order to play the course, which Golf Digest calls the sixth-best course in the America.

While Babcock’s respectable 21 under par round doesn’t pale in comparison to rounds shot by Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Tom Kite, Tiger Woods or Graeme McDowell, who all won U.S. Open championships at Pebble Beach, it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that the Wings’ coach won't soon forget.

“It was a one and only, unless you’re going to lend me the cash,” said Babcock, of the $530 greens fees.

But besides playing one of the most majestic courses in the world, Babcock was spellbound by the stone chateau – once owned by actor Gene Hackman – for sale near the 10th green.

“I enjoyed it very much, it was an impressive place,” Babcock said. “I was very impressed with the house that was for sale for $79 million. I thought that was great.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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