Here is the loot I scored at Golf Galaxy for a total of $53. 74. The key to the big score is that products ending in .97 on clearance are an additional 50% off the sale price. My lovely LoPro Footjoys were on sale at $49.97 – 50% brought it to $24.99. My top was on sale for 24.97 – 50% brought it down to $12.49. The golf balls were on sale for $12.98. And the small package of balls were free with a coupon! If one of your barriers to playing golf is price, clearly there are ways to get around it!
Honestly, I am still pinching myself. My friend Jen recently moved to the UK and invited me to visit. My friend Dan lives only 30 minutes from the Royal Lytham & St. Anne’s Golf Course . Really, was it going to be that easy? All I have to do is fly to London, jump on a 2 hour train ride north and I would get to attend one of the most prestigious events in golf. No way…but yet Way!
I landed in London the same day as the 2012 Olympiads. From the moment I entered customs the question was the same. “Are you here for the Olympics?” My response, “No, I’m here for the British Open!” My response was met with the same look, utter surprise.
I attended the Open on Friday with Dan and his friends (now mine too) Chris and Greg. I can’t even explain how much the golf gods were smiling on us. We didn’t encounter any traffic on the way to the course. The shuttle bus pulled out the moment we got on, and the first player we see when arriving, Jim Furyk !
We entered the venue at the fan experience area. The fan area was really cool. They had a bunker practice area, putting green, longest drive contest, and photo area where you take a pic for the cover of the program. One of my favorite areas was when one of the club members gave me a history lesson of the golf balls and equipment. That was sooo cool. The boys tried out all the areas. Greg, hit his ball out the bunker and hit the flag stick. However it didn’t go in the hole. Little did we know, his shot would be replicated later in the day but to a different end. Me, I was too excited to hold a club and just completely overwhelmed that I was at THE OPEN!
Generally if I only have one day to attend a PGA tournament I attend on Friday. This way I get to see all the players before they get cut and if they’re on the bubble, you can see great golf. For the Congressional Tournament I decided to fly into DC on Friday and go to the tournament on Saturday. A definite change in direction for me. I was excited to be in my home town and to walk Congressional Country Club for the first time.
Friday night a fierce thunderstorm came through the East Coast. My hotel lost power for 2 minutes so I didn’t think anything of it. Living in Florida you’re used to losing power due to Tropical storms and hurricanes. And a 2 minute power loss is no big deal. But what I didn’t know is that the thunderstorm was actually a windstorm, A Derecho.
I woke up the next morning to the news on my PGA app that the course would be closed to spectators due to downed trees. What???? I was heartbroken. I was only in town for the day, having booked the first flight out on Sunday. There would be no golf for me on this trip. But there was a lesson. Go back to Fridays! So that’s what I’m doing. I’m attending the British Open for the first time this year. Tournament tickets are secured. For FRIDAY.
Thanks to a Derecho, I’m back on course.
One of my golf resolutions is to attend new golf tournaments. This year I attended The Players Championship (TPC Sawgrass) at Ponte Vedra Beach, FL. It was an absolute beautiful day. TPC Sawgrass is an amazing course. Great if you want to get a work-out in! I attened on Friday, May 11th. If I only can attend one day of a tourney, I choose Friday. That way I can see everyone before the cut.
Entering TPC Sawgrass was not at all what I expected. You travel down a one lane street lined with houses. You pull into a large gravel parking lot, cars as far as the eye can see. The one thing I can’t see is the golf course. Naturally I think we’re going to have to get on a shuttle to get to the course. I finally get through security to find I’m actually parked at the Jack Nicklaus gate behind the 17th green. (The bag I usually take to all the tournaments is now too big so I had to hike back to my car.)
Instantly I grab a pairing sheet and look at the board to see where Graeme McDowell is. Hole 10. I’m on my way. I decide to stand at the tee box on 12, to make sure I get a good view. Well played. He is right in front me. Let me digress for a second, I had the pleasure of meeting Graeme at the 2011 Arnold Palmer Invitational Pro-Am. There were 5 people following his group. The other 4 belong to the Pro Am members. Graeme came over and introduced himself (really?), signed my program and we discussed how I follow him on twitter. I’m often in Graeme’s gallery and as a 6ft women, I kind of stand out. So he often gives me a nod when he sees me.
Graeme’s tee time was 4 hours ahead of Tiger’s which means I get to watch both! Score! I follow Graeme who isn’t have a good tourney but definitely a good time. Then something magical happened. As we walked down 16 Graeme ducked under the rope and walked a little with me. I nearly died!
By the time Tiger teed off I was floating on air. He played well and the magical moment there was being at the Clubhouse after he signed his score card and watching him sign autographs for the line of kids waiting.
I love this game!
If you’re just starting to play, a way to cut down the expense is to purchase used clubs and a bag. Used equipment can be found at thrift stores, yard sales and golf speciality shops. Not sure what to buy? Go to a golf speciality shop and get fitted. Once you’re armed with that information you’re set.
A way to get free equipment is to attend Demo Days at the golf speciality shop or your local golf course. At most Demo Days they have enter to win opportunities. I scored a free round this way. Be sure to sign up for the loyality program at your local golf store to get notices on Demo Days. Often at Demo Days you get a goodie bag that may contain balls, tees and markers. Also if you live near a golf course, check their websites weekly to see what events they will be hosting.
I attended a PGA Play Golf America event and everyone received a free Calaway 6 iron. Once you decide you want to keep playing and what better set a clubs, you can trade in your old clubs for some dollars off your new set.
One of the barriers for people seeking to play the game of golf is the cost. You can find deals on equipment and gear. Follow me as I search for deals along with birdies.
Several weeks from the start of our after -hours golf league we got an Email with the kick off date. Yvonne suggested our foursome get in a clinic for a refresher lesson. I told her I knew exactly who to contact. I reached out to Coach Ted with Create Golfers.
After explaining to Coach Ted our needs and skill level he put together a multi-week clinic featuring 2 full swing, wedge/ chip and putting classes.
Once I got the core group settled on dates I figured I would share the fun and sent the information out to some of my other golf friends. I’m proud to say the Harris Inaugural Golf Clinic had 9 participants.
We recently started the league and I’m excited to say we are playing better golf. Since we went through the clinic together we can correct each other in “Coach Ted” speak. We’re playing consistent golf and having a great time.
We’re so enthusiastic about playing better golf that we’ve decided that once the league season is over we’re going to reach out to Coach Ted and do a Fall clinic.
As we get ready to enter 2012 I’m reflective of my golf experiences in 2011 and looking for ways to enhance in 2012.
In 2012, I resolve to add a minimum of one PGA tour event to my spectator schedule. Last year I attended the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill, the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital Open for Children and the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World. Disney and Bay Hill have always been staples for me and I’m excited to add the JTShriners Open to my list. And next year it’s officially during my birthday. Perhaps, I can get Justin to do a special birthday waggle at the first tee 😉
This year, the Children’s Miracle Network Classic at Walt Disney World because my Fairy Golf Father (Alonzo Mourning) played in the Pro-Am. The second day he was paired with Miracle Child Ashtyn Brown. Ashtyn, who is on the golf team at Ball State University, fought acute lymphoblastic leukemia twice. She wasn’t supposed to live, let alone flourish and play golf. In her struggle to get better, Ashtyn received a kidney transplant, just like Alonzo. So on that day, on that course, there were two warriors! I felt so incredibly blessed to be able to witness proof that God hears prayers.
I resolve to play more Golf. Ok, twist my arm on that one. Actually, I resolve to play in at least one tournament that isn’t a scramble. It’s time to tap into my competitive spirit and play in more trash talking based tourneys!
I resolve to take more lessons to improve my game. I recently bought a package that includes 10 golf clinics at the Nick Faldo Golf Institute. I resolve to actually utilize all 10!
And lastly I resolve to do better in updating my blog and sharing my love for this game!
My wish for each of you in 2012 is that you too find a way to enjoy the things you love and kick it up a notch!
This year I attended the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospital for Children Open in Las Vegas, NV (TPC Summerlin). I know, I know …right? Let’s break this down. Justin Timberlake. Golf. Charity. Las Vegas! Talk about a full house. Attending this tournament is definitely like hitting the jackpot!
The host course TPC Summerlin is beautiful. You have the green grass of the course contrasting the desert with a backdrop of mountain ranges. And the really cool thing is my brother showed me how to get there from the Vegas strip by bus. It was very easy. And the total time was 37 minutes from strip to course at a cost of $7. As far as admittance to the tourney, you could buy a daily or weekly passes. One of the benefits of the weekly pass (besides 5 days of great golf) is being able to sit on “The Hill” and watch golf. The Hill”; is a luxury 22,000 square foot entertainment pavilion overlooking the 16th, 17th and 18th holes and granting stunning views of the course and Red Rock Mountains.
The week opens with the Championship Pro Am. Now the interesting thing about this Pro-Am is it featured 3 foursomes that consisted of 3 celebrities each. Celebrity Foursome number 1: *NSYNC founding member (and my friend) Chris Kirkpatrick, Football player Seth Joyner and Basketball legend Truck Robinson (who by the way could make a career in golf) and their PGA professional Kevin Streelman. Celebrity Foursome #2 showcased actor Anthony Anderson, former football player Marshall Faulk and former football and baseball player Bo Jackson and their PGA professional Charlie Wi. Celebrity Foursome #3: *NSYNC Founding member Justin Timberlake, actor and comedians Cedric the Entertainer and George Lopez with their PGA professional Trevor Immelman.
While neither of these foursomes won the Pro Am great golf was played and the spectators had a great time. If you’re looking for a tournament to add to your spectator list I suggest you put in your vacation request for October 1 – 7, 2012. Melinda, Kari, Roger, and I will meet you on “The Hill.”