The First Tee alumnus Logan Bertalan knows what it takes to play Pebble Beach. He’s played in the Nature Valley First Tee Open (twice!) but, his journey isn’t over yet. Logan will be back on the course this year, not as a player, but as a caddie for his friend, junior golfer Mikey Gallinatti, from The First Tee of Valparaiso. Here is Logan’s story and his advice to this year’s junior field:
It is hard to believe I am coming back to Pebble Beach! When I got the phone call from my friend Mikey Gallinatti, from The First Tee of Valparaiso, telling me he was selected to participate in the Nature Valley First Tee Open this year, I was ecstatic for him. When he asked me to caddie for him, I nearly jumped out of my seat. I know what a treat Mikey is in for because I played as a junior golfer in this event and I can say that by far it was the most amazing experience of my life.\
Essential Gear Every Player Should Bring to Pebble
- Bring your A-game and some luck. Pebble is a course that can humble you quickly.
- Have some warm clothes on hand. The California coast is not always sunny and warm.
- Some Nature Valley snacks. This company has been very generous to The First Tee.
- Above all, put respect in your bag. This is a real Champions Tour tournament and you have been selected to play with the big guys.
My Advice to Juniors
The best advice I can give to all of the juniors who will be participants this year is to enjoy and embrace every single moment you are there. Every one of you will experience something different and will take something home that will impact your life. Don’t let unforgettable moments slip away by wasting time being upset about a bad shot.
Look around you; you have seen Pebble many times on TV and now you are playing it. Think of who you are walking with: he is a professional golfer, listen and learn from him. Remember to be grateful; very few juniors golfers walk in your shoes.
Play well, have fun and show off The First Tee Nine Core Values on this great stage of golf.
In 2010, I was paired with Fuzzy Zoeller. He made me relax on the course; he joked around, told funny stories, and made me laugh. How could I not enjoy every minute? In 2011, I was invited back and paired with D.A. Weibring. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. He was generous with his time – giving me a lesson off the course and sharing stories about his life as a professional golfer. On the course, he offered advice and brought my game to a new level. Both experiences were unforgettable.
Being a caddie is an incredible honor. I can’t wait to learn more this year as I will get to walk inside the ropes with Mikey and the professional he is paired with. I am so grateful to come back. I am drawn to Pebble and the Nature Valley First Tee Open; it is part of my life story.