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I played with Tom Watson, Zach Johnson, and Kyle Stanley


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#1 TheMackDaddy

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:21 PM

Two months ago my friends and I entered a trickshot contest ran by Transamerica. A month ago, my buddy found out he won. Today, we woke up at 6:30 AM to play a round of golf with Transamerica staffers: Tom Watson, Zach Johnson, and Kyle Stanley.

We got into our hotel two days ago, in Back Bay, Boston. After a 5 hour flight, which was delayed twice, we were all pretty tired. We went to bed early and woke up late. We ventured around the city (spectacular) and saw the famous sights- the Harbor, the square where the Boston Massacre occurred, and much more. We grabbed lunch at Faneuil Hall. When we returned a few hours later, we walked into our rooms to find Transamerica goodie bags placed on our hotel beds. Included in the bag was some awesome logo'd gear: Prov1x's, a towel, and a hat. We also received our agenda for the next day.

That night, we walked to Fenway park. It is every man's dream to watch the Red Sox play the Yankees, and that is exactly what we did. We watched Big Papi hit his 495th home run, we watched the crowd jeer each other, and we saw a Sox/Yankees game come down to the last inning. It was spectacular, and definitely more enjoyable than the Mariners games I am used to watching. Afterwards, we headed back to the room with a huge day ahead of us.

If there is anything that can get an 18 year old out of bed in the morning, it's the opportunity to play with three professional golfers who have successful careers. Although we were supposed to be in the lobby by 7:00 AM, I ran a bit late and hopped into the elevator around 7:02. Our elevator stopped halfway down to the lobby, and another golfer stepped on. Except it wasn't just another golfer, it was Tom Watson. He stepped on carrying his Adams staff bag, wearing a blue blazer. It was straight out of a MasterCard commercial. We rode down in relative silence, my friends and I in shock over our proximity to one of golf's greatest. We split up from Tom once we got into the lobby, and boarded the bus with around 20 other participants in the contest to head to Boston Golf Club.

Boston Golf Club is isolated and unmarked. After driving through a wooded area, we arrived. Boston Golf Club is ranked #74 on the list of golf courses by Golf Digest, and it was not hard to tell. We were treated to breakfast by Transamerica and the wonderful staff at Boston Golf Club. Breakfast was in the dining room, which was 100% constructed from wood taken from the original construction of the course in 2005. The atmosphere was comforting, and the food was spectacular. The pros showed up and introduced themselves and ate in an adjacent room. After lots of bacon, sausage, potatoes, and eggs, we went to take professional pictures with the staffers. We rotated groups, and the actual winners got one big picture with the pros. After this concluded, we headed to the range for a teaching clinic.

The clinic was more geared to the average amateur, which was fine since most of the participants were average amateurs as far as I could discern. My buddies and I, who are all around scratch, just enjoyed watching the three guys hit shots on the range. I recall one instance where Zach told Kyle to hit a shot at a bush in between two trees at the end of the range, probably around 270 out. Kyle pulled driver, and hit a drive through the trees. The gap was probably 3-5 yards wide, and he threaded it on his first try. I was sitting about 10 feet behind the three golfers, and I was mesmerized by their ball striking the entire time. Kyle hit it a mile, Zach hit a 3 yard draw every single time, and Tom hit the ball straight and consistent.

After the clinic, our group headed to the first tee. I got to start the day off with my three buddies, plus Tom Watson for three holes. I don't know what ingredients make for the most nerve-wracking tee shot, but having Tom Watson watch you tee off without warming up might be at the top of the list. I hit my drive well, pushed my 3 wood right of the green into a hazard, hit a good flop to about 30 feet (I promise it was a difficult shot that I executed well), but then had a 3 putt to make bogey. Tom had a casual birdie after going driver, 3 wood, chip, and putt from 6 feet. I hit a great drive on hole 2 and a great wedge to 20 feet. Tom hit driver and wedge to about 30 feet. But, he 2 putted, and I didn't. Another 3 putt. In front of Tom Watson. We headed to hole 3, and Tom hit a great tee shot. I hit a 3 wood to about 220 (Should have hit driver). After that I hit hybrid to 20 feet. Tom caught his shot a little heavy, and ended up making 6 after drawing a poor lie in the fescue. I would like to say I finally 2 putted, but I three putted. Again. In front of Tom Watson. After that, Tom had to join a different group of winners to play with, so we were on our own for a bit.

We spent the time bonding with our caddies and admiring the course. I three putted the fourth hole also, but I figured out how my putter worked on hole 5 and made a nice putt for par. By hole 9, I was 8 over, yet I was hitting the ball great. I simply could not putt.

Our group had to slow down, as we were playing too fast. We did not get the company of another pro until hole 12, so that explains why we were flying around the course. On hole 12, we met Kyle Stanley.

Kyle went to the same high school as the three other guys in my foursome, so it was easy to make conversation. On TV, I feel like he gets the reputation of being shy. Until today, I might have agreed with that. After playing with him, my opinion has changed. Kyle asked me questions about my golf career, my college choice, my home golf course, etc. He told jokes and laughed at mine. He is pretty deep off the tee as well. I mashed a drive around 300 on a par 4, and he was easily 10-15 yards in front of me.  If needed, I think he could muscle one out there farther. Unfortunately, Kyle had to join up with another group after 2 holes with us, but I thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent together.

We played hole 14 with our foursome, and met Zach Johnson on the 15th tee. The Transamerica employees apparently heard that our group was full of good golfers, and they were eager to have us make a bet with ZJ. As a betting man, I eagerly obliged. Zach made the bet: Our low score in our foursome vs. his score, straight up. The prize on the line (suggested by yours truly) was a tour issue hat for each of the guys in our foursome. If we lost, we had to post a video expressing our complete love for Zach Johnson (suggested by him in complete humor). He had the hats in his car, so he agreed to the terms (If Zach isn't wearing a hat next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, you know why). To be honest, when we made the bet I was confident we could win. One PGA Player vs. 4 near scratch or scratch golfers, one of whom is on a D1 golf team? We could handle him. Michael, the D1 player, really carried us. He went par, birdie, birdie on holes 15-17. By that point, we had beat Zach 2&1. Free hats! I was thrilled because I love tour issue gear, but Zach wasn't about to end his day with a loss against a bunch of punks. He challenged us to a different bet for hole 18: beat his score on hole 18 and earn a drink out of the Claret Jug, which he brought. Nothing could have topped that offer. Nothing. He hit it just short of the green. Next up was our foursome. The first three in our group hit the green, but I put it in the pot bunker right of the green. I made bogey, and one of my friends missed his birdie putt. Zach lipped out his chip, and tapped in for par. Brett and Michael, two of my great friends, were sitting pretty 20 feet away. Michael stepped up first, and nailed his downhill slider. Brett, with the pressure on, hit his putt, and nailed it! They both made birdie and got the opportunity to drink out of the Claret Jug! The Transamerica crew seemed pretty thrilled with the outcome of the bet, and interviewed our whole group afterwards about our experience, which was absolutely perfect.

Ten minutes later, we enjoyed a great lunch, with the Claret Jug as our centerpiece (put on our four-seat table by Zach himself). After finishing hotdogs and cookies, Zach brought Brett and Michael outside for the chance of a lifetime. He poured for both Brett and Michael, and I cursed myself for not birdieing 18 myself. Then, Zach opened up the chance to anyone else interested. Of course, I could not pass up the opportunity, and I was the 2nd person in line. If I had to list some of the single greatest moments of my life, I would put my drink from the Claret Jug near the top of the list. When you see the video on Sportscaster or Bleacher report, just know that Brett and Michael earned it, and us others only got the chance because Zach is simply a very generous guy!

We departed from the club shortly after, and by now I am back at the hotel, reflecting about such an amazing day. I told my high school golf coach about the experience, and he hit the nail on the head when he asserted that I will remember this day for the rest of my life.

Thank you to Transamerica, everyone at Boston Golf Club, Tom Watson, Kyle Stanley, and Zach Johnson for a spectacular opportunity and the most enjoyable golf of my life.

You can see all the pictures from the trip HERE!

Edited by TheMackDaddy, 04 September 2017 - 12:50 PM.


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#2 dirt nasty

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:31 PM

Very cool!  Congrats!

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#3 leerob3

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:46 PM

Man what a great couple of days.  Thanks for sharing.
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#4 Bonhomme Richard

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:46 PM

That is an awesome story. Wow. What an experience!

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#5 modeclan

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:49 PM

Awesome experience!


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#6 Sean2

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:50 PM

I've walked that course a number of times, watching a friend of mine play tournaments there. It is a spectacular course. I only live five minutes from there but have never played it.

Glad you had such a good time!
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#7 Jamboy72

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:57 PM

That's awesome! I've had the chance to have a couple conversations withe Zach and really appreciated the way he treated people. Class act in my book!

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#8 J13

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:58 PM

wow that is amazing.  Well done!
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#9 mukster

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 08:58 PM

Great story!
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#10 timbo08

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:01 PM

That's awesome! One of the better stories I've read on here in a while, definitely a once in a lifetime opportunity.


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#11 Medic

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:03 PM

Once in a lifetime (if you are VERY lucky) experience. Thanks for sharing and congrats - you made some incredible memories.
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#12 hardboiled

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:03 PM

Wow..  Stuff dreams are made of.
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#13 Reds

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:04 PM

Thanks for sharing. I couldnt imagine drinking from the claret jug. Thats pretty cool.

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#14 Fade to Black

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:08 PM

Man, that's fantastic!! Congrats on an experience of a lifetime!
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#15 tbowles411

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:12 PM

What an experience.  Congratulations!

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#16 josephs_79

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:24 PM

What an experience!!! Congrats and enjoy the day\memory for the rest of your life!!!

Such an awesome experience, prize and oppurtunity!

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#17 PZero

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:32 PM

I don't think this post will ever be topped on WRX. So much awesomeness. Thanks for sharing!

You didn't get anything signed by Zach, Tom, or Kyle?
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#18 1fastmach1

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:34 PM

That's is truly unbelievable.  Looks like you all had a blast!

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#19 blink3665

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:39 PM

Dang man. That is an awesome story.

I feel your pain about the Mariners... :(
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#20 bscinstnct

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:43 PM

Thanks for sharing. Amazing, just amazing.

Hot dogs AND cookies?!

; )


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#21 BVIChester

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:44 PM

Great write up and pics. Thanks for sharing

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#22 w6racing

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 09:46 PM

This might be the best post I have ever read here!

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#23 tedbronson

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:02 PM

Fantastic story, and well written. In fact, that is one of the best written stories I've read on this site- really enjoyed all of the detail. Congrats on the great experience and thanks for posting!

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#24 Hstead

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:08 PM

Wow, just wow.  Really cool
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#25 urkslaven

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:10 PM

Holy Sh!t! Congrats!!!


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#26 gdegde

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:31 PM

Nothing to say but Congrats!!! Great story and great storytelling.
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#27 GC70

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:32 PM

That's awesome congrats!
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#28 TN22

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:37 PM

Awesome!! Thanks for sharing. A day you'll never forget.

Also, a big LOL and FU at the members here who give ZJ a hard time. Glad to read about a true real life experience about him than what keyboard warriors here "think" he's like.
Too much ho'ing..

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#29 birdman72

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:40 PM

Amazing story, thanks for sharing!

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#30 toophewbirdies

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Posted 01 September 2015 - 10:42 PM

Kudos to you young man, for sharing this fantastic story in such detail and in a very interesting way!!

You can look back on this great day for a lifetime, treasure it!


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