Last week I took advantage of a very generous offer from Bill F of Myrtle Beach, SC. Bill, a retired blog reader, had signed up for the SPG Moments event of playing in the Liberty Mutual Legends of Golf Pro-Am tournament. Bill’s wife Kathy did not play, and Bill was gracious enough to invite me along as the second playing member of his foursome.
The package included two nights’ accommodations at the Westin in Savannah, a pairings party the night before the pro-am, breakfast/lunch with the pros, and an 18-hole tournament with two pros and two amateurs per team. We drew Gene (the machine) Littler and Don January as playing partners. We had a blast.
The night before the event at the pairings party we learned who are partners would be and I was somewhat taken aback to have drawn the oldest players in the field. What a surprise I was in for. Gene is a past US Open champion and Don a PGA Championship winner. At 82 years of age each, Gene hits it down the middle every single time 270 yards and Don, also at 82, stripes it 285 yards with great consistency. Gene never missed a putt inside 8 feet and their touch around the greens is still terrific. And to top it all off they are just as polite and friendly as the guy next door. We felt very welcomed in the foursome and enjoyed the tips, stories, and kidding around. BTW, we finished in a tie for 4th place and your Frugal Travel Guy won the closest to the pin on number 15 with a shot about 8 feet from the hole.
The morning before the event as I walked over to the driving range Bob Goalby picked me up and gave me a lift to the range. There were pros everywhere to be seen and all very approachable. As a lifelong golf nut I was in heaven. When we got to the range the spot adjacent to the “Merry Mex”, Lee Trevino was open and I jumped right in. I spent the next 45 minutes laughing, joking, and getting tips from the most talkative guy on tour. It was like I was old friends from day one with one of golf’s best ambassadors. At 73 years of age, he is in great shape and can still work the ball anyway he chooses.
All of this was available as a SPG Moment. Points and miles gave me a thrill. Thank you Bill F, SPG, and all the old pros for a day I will never forget.