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My personal golf story that involved Tom Petty

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#1 touch


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Posted 09 October 2017 - 04:50 AM

This story took place in October of 2006 in Las Vegas.

Being that I have worked in the Hospitality Industry most of my life I have had the luxury of heading out to play golf Monday mornings while pretty much the rest of the world goes back to work. My work week ends Saturday night, so for decades I had Sundays and Mondays off ( the hairdresser schedule I call it).
One particular Monday I did not have my usual game. I wanted to play so I thought I would just go out as a single and get paired up. I went to the Stallion Mountain Golf Club east of the strip off of Flamingo Blvd ( It was the old Sunrise CC opened by Tour player Jim Colbert and was the location of Chip Beck's 59 during the 1991 LVI Tour stop) . I walked into the pro shop and told the individual at the desk I was a single. The man said that the course was wide open and there were no other golfers but me wanting to play for a couple of hours. I said oh well looks like I am playing solo. I headed to the range for my warm up small bucket. I was at the range about 15 minutes when the starter walked over to me and said a single was just paying his greens fees and would I mind if he joined me. I said I would welcome that and continued to hit balls. Five minutes later I see a gentleman walking towards the range. This is the image that I saw. An impeccably dressed golfer with a nice Callaway Staff Bag over his shoulder. He was wearing high end golf clothes( think Booby Jones type apparel) , top of the line Foot Joy Classics and a TOUR Callaway cap. Now inside this fine set of clothes was a man who I immediately thought was one of the ZZ Top band members, see his beard came down to the middle of his stomach. We shook hands and introduced ourselves. We loaded up the cart and headed to the first tee. It has been my way to let any golfer/s  I am paired up with set the tone regarding how much interaction we have with one another while playing. For almost the entire front nine  Steve and I may have had  4 sentences each between one another and they were all golf related. Maybe a wind direction question or a what iron you were hitting on a par 3 tee box, but that was the extent of it. Steve was a good player. I would say a solid mid single digit  handicap. Remember now this was a very good golfer dressed in fine country club attire and hitting players clubs that were housed in a pristine Callaway Staff Bag (no name embroidered). Somewhere during the 11th hole he turned to me and asked if I liked music and if there was a type of music I liked best. I answered I was a kid who was raised in the Motor City during the Motown years and loved that music, but I was a rock and roller at heart for sure. He asked if I had a favorite band or two? I said I liked so many but my all time favorite was Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. He said he kind of liked Tom Petty as well. That was is it for any interaction between us for most of the back nine. We talked a bit when Steve asked me about a couple of  holes lay out ( as he told me on the first tee this was his first time on the track), but that was all in the way of interaction between us. We get to the 18th tee box, the two of us had  played well up to that point, and there was a very mellow enjoyable tone to the round. On the the tee box he asked me what I was dong that upcoming Saturday Night. I told him I worked on the strip and Saturday Night was the busiest night of the week. He asked if I could get the night off if I wanted to. I replied that if it was something important I could indeed get someone to cover for me yes. He replied good because............................. I'm Steve W********* and I am Mike Campbell's guitar tech and have been with the Heartbreakers for over 20 years. I asked so you are not Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top? He laughed and said no he was not Billy Gibbons. He said I would like to put you on the VIP list for backstage access Saturday Night as Tom Petty was headlining the 2006 Vegoose outdoor music festival. Gentlemen I went and saw how the show comes together and functions like a well oiled machine during the performance. It was quite a new perspective for me regarding a live Petty show. I danced away as I always do to many songs at a Petty concert. I was on the side of the stage with other people who had the same pass as I did.  This was the 8th time I saw Tom Petty live. Did I meet the band or my favorite musician of all time? No, but It was a very special night of Tom Petty music to me for sure. A special night that was provided to me because two strangers who were paired up together for a round of this great game enjoyed each others golfing ability and company quite a bit.
Thanks so much Steve W.

Gentlemen last week I sent Steve a message containing my condolences and thanking him again for that wonderful backstage experience. He replied that I was most welcome for the VIP pass he provided me over 10 years ago. He thanked me for my well wishes and added that it was tough (Toms passing) and was out of the blue.

With Tom's death last week I thought I might share this story involving my favorite game and my favorite musician and how they came together one week in Vegas.

Rest in peace Tom Petty.

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Edited by touch, 09 October 2017 - 12:21 PM.

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#2 Bob Cat

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Posted 09 October 2017 - 06:37 AM

Awesome, awesome story, Touch.  Thanks for sharing!
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#3 Qqq123xx


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Posted 09 October 2017 - 03:35 PM

Great story.
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#4 HoganApexBlades


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Posted 09 October 2017 - 07:08 PM

Thank you for sharing your story with us. What an amazing experience you had...TWICE!!!
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#5 Spumoni


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Posted 10 October 2017 - 03:43 PM

Thank you for sharing.  I have been a long time Tom Petty fan.  Unfortunately I never had the pleasure to see him in concert.  Very sad he is gone, but will continue to always enjoy his music.  RIP Tom Petty.


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 12:52 PM



#7 Deepfork


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Posted 12 October 2017 - 10:23 PM

Great story!  Thank you for sharing it with us!


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