Pebble Beach is one of the most beautiful and iconic destinations in the world. It’s as close to a perfect place for golf as we have ever been, and it may have just gotten a little better.MORE: The Ultimate Golfer's Gear Guide
Earlier this week, IBM and the Pebble Beach Company announced the launch of an app that was built using the computing giant’s Watson’s cognitive capabilities. The app, which was developed for the resort's visitors, acts as a virtual tour guide around the property and 17 Mile Drive. Visitors can use a virtual concierge to locate dining and shopping options, explore the resort, and experience guided tours of 17 Mile Drive. User’s can even create their own 60-second video using their own images and share it to social media through the app.
Laird Hamilton and Gabrielle Reece recently toured the resort for the first time and put the app through its paces. “You know why Pebble Beach is Pebble Beach when you go there," says Hamilton. "Because, first of all, they started out with an incredibly beautiful area — the coast line, the mountains, the ocean. It lacks nothing. Then you put a beautiful lawn and a game called golf. It’s quite a spectacle.”MORE: First Look: The Nike Air Jordan 13 Golf
While exploring the resort, the couple found the app helped them get more out of the trip. “As a tool, it’s incredible, because it's such a time saver. You can be more efficient,” Hamilton says. “The irony is that these electronic devices consume time like never before, but in this application you can be more productive.”Reece and Hamilton on the 18th at Pebble Beach.
As they made their way down 17 Mile Drive, touring different lookouts and taking in the breathtaking scenery, Reece found the app somewhat liberating. “The technology gives you a weird confidence to get out of your comfort zone.”
The app also will notify users about dinner and shopping specials. Hamilton and Reece found a smoked-meat special they had to try, and also discovered how Ghost Trees got its name. “The informativeness added to the experience, and we wouldn’t have had that without the app,” Hamilton says.
The couple also discovered a benefit IBM and Pebble Beach probably hadn’t intended. “We didn’t even fight because we didn’t have to ask for directions,” Reece says.
“She said the app was better at navigating than I was,” Hamilton says. “That pissed me off!”
“Only for certain things,” Reece says.