Shotgun Start: Previewing the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

Jonathan Wall

It's tournament time! We continue the season at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, considered by many to be one of the top stops on the PGA Tour schedule. Here's a tournament primer to get you prepared for the week.

 The course: Ah, Pebble Beach, there really isn't a whole lot you can say about the famed course that hasn't been said before, except that it's one of golf's most prized jewels. Designed by Jack Neville and Douglas Grant, the par-72 course plays 6,816 yards and houses some of the greatest holes in golf. The par-3 seventh hole -- measuring only 106 yards -- starts a three-hole stretch that could be one of the best in golf and offers some incredible views of Carmel Bay. The back nine also has a couple of decent finishing holes, starting with the par-3 17th, a hole best known for Tom Watson's chip-in during the 1982 U.S. Open. The course finishes with one of the best par-5's in golf, as players will be tempted to take it over Stillwater Cove on the 543-yard hole, which should set up a chance to go for the green in two.

Monterey Peninsula (par-70 / 6,838 yards) and Spyglass Hill GC (par-72 / 6,858 yards) round out the Pro-Am's three-course rotation. Monterey was added to the tournament in 2010, when tournament officials decided to drop Poppy Hills from the event -- some pros wouldn't play the tournament with Poppy in the rotation, including Tiger Woods.

The schedule: The tournament runs Thursday-Sunday. It'll be broadcast on the Golf Channel from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Thursday and Friday,  and 1 to 2:30 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday; and on CBS from 3 to 6 p.m. ET on Saturday and 3 to 6:30 p.m. ET on Sunday.

The field: Pebble Beach not only draws some of the top celebrities in the world each year to play in the event, it also does a decent job drawing in some of golf's top names. Two of the top 15 in the Official World Golf Rankings are playing at Pebble this week, but the big name headlining the event has to be Tiger Woods. Making his return to the Pro-Am for the first time since 2002, Woods will start his PGA Tour season off at Pebble looking for his first official win in more than two years. Dustin Johnson, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan round out a solid field.

The video: Check out this PGA Tour preview of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Your turn. Who are your picks for this week? Swing away!