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Your First PGA golf tournament that you walked the ropes!


93 replies to this topic

#31 bscinstnct

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:43 AM

View Postraley001, on 25 March 2018 - 08:16 PM, said:

Thinking about this the other day and my dad took me to see the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic back in 1974. The winner was Leonard Thompson and the first place check was 52,000 dollars. We went into the main dining room for breakfast and saw Flip Wilson and George Kirby who signed my golf program. We also saw Jackie and Bob Hope play together. Great time for a 14 year old kid. Also saw Ben Crenshaw hit a great drive that seemed to go a long way! Those were the days!  We play the East course every other weekend in our course rotation and it’s in great shape! Share some stories!

Great post and great thread to read.

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#32 Frankensteins Monster

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:46 AM

2001 Buick Classic

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#33 vaca22

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:08 AM

View PostSOONERMAGIC, on 27 March 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

1988 PGA Championship which was roughly 300 yards from my house at Oak Tree National.   Jeff Sluman won and Payne Steward signed a hat for me, I was a happy 5yr old.

I had NO idea that Jeff Sluman had won a major.

Edited by vaca22, 27 March 2018 - 10:08 AM.


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#34 KBong

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:26 AM

1972 Canadian Open at Cherry Hills Golf Club in Fort Erie, Ont.
I remember sitting in the small grandstand at the range late in the evening with my dad watching Trevino hitting a 5 wood.
His caddy, I can't remember if it was Herman or not...he seemed pretty skinny......was 200 yards out and never took more than 3 steps to pick up a ball.

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#35 SOONERMAGIC

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 10:49 AM

View Postvaca22, on 27 March 2018 - 10:08 AM, said:

View PostSOONERMAGIC, on 27 March 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

1988 PGA Championship which was roughly 300 yards from my house at Oak Tree National.   Jeff Sluman won and Payne Steward signed a hat for me, I was a happy 5yr old.

I had NO idea that Jeff Sluman had won a major.

View Postvaca22, on 27 March 2018 - 10:08 AM, said:

View PostSOONERMAGIC, on 27 March 2018 - 09:34 AM, said:

1988 PGA Championship which was roughly 300 yards from my house at Oak Tree National.   Jeff Sluman won and Payne Steward signed a hat for me, I was a happy 5yr old.

I had NO idea that Jeff Sluman had won a major.


He shot 65 to win in the final round on one of the hardest courses in the US (155 Slope, 79.3 rating, 7410yds).  He was three strokes back of the leader (Azinger) going into the final round.

Also, fun fact, Jack Nicklaus missed the cut after losing 3 balls on the #16 Par 5, (creek winding up the right side, cutting across the middle and running up the left side by the green) causing him to miss the cut.  It was also the first time he had lost 3 balls in one hole in a competitive round.

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Edited by SOONERMAGIC, 27 March 2018 - 10:52 AM.


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#36 cardoustie

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    haha, we don't play for 5's

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:14 PM

I won't tell you my stories about my only 2 major visits but had an unreal time at Shinnecock in 1995 and ANGC in 1996

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#37 DavePelz4

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:29 PM

View Postcardoustie, on 27 March 2018 - 01:14 PM, said:

I won't tell you my stories about my only 2 major visits but had an unreal time at Shinnecock in 1995 and ANGC in 1996

Need to get to a PGA and an Open before too long .. need all 4 on my bucket list

The Uncle Cardie slam???

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#38 bbfifas

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 01:51 PM

Senior PGA event Naples, FL, The Vineyards Golf Course.  ~10 years old.    I was obsessed with Chi Chi Rodriguez I don't know why I think it was because he was unconventional but successful. (I had his horrible follow through in my swing for a while). He hit a drive into a tree are and I ran up to the ball and I was there with just one other older guy and Chi Chi walks up.   The guy says "Chi Chi, what are you going to do now?" ,  Chi Chi looks over at us and goes "s***!" with a smile.  He proceeds to hit some nasty duck hook around the tree on the green. LOL.  I got his autograph afterwards too.
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#39 schley

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 02:32 PM

I think it was 1991 Western Open at Cog Hill, which was the first one there after transitioning from Butler National.  Great time.  I remember Tom Watson was playing with a marker, that turned out to be his son I believe.

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#40 bermuda

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 03:49 PM

1983 PGA Championship. I was 13, and we were visiting family in LA, and I talked my mom into letting me go to the tournament. She said OK as long as my uncle took me and went, too. Once we got in, I told my uncle I wanted to follow Nicklaus all 18 holes. He wasn't up for that, so I walked it on my own and met up with my uncle at the 18th. Was really disappointed Nicklaus lost to Sutton, and probably more disappointed today that I didn't write down everything that happened so I would remember it better today. When you're young, you think you'll remember everything forever.

ETA: Actually my first tournament was a couple of weeks before that at the Anheuser-Busch Golf Classic at Kingsmill when Calvin Peete overtook Sutton, who shot 77 the last day. See what I mean about you need to write this stuff down so you'll remember it 30+ years later?

Edited by bermuda, 28 March 2018 - 12:46 PM.


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#41 SOONERMAGIC

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 04:31 PM

View Postbermuda, on 27 March 2018 - 03:49 PM, said:

When you're young, you think you'll remember everything forever.

Ain't that the truth!

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#42 LYG

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:29 PM

Caddied for Gardner Dickenson....one of only three Hogan long-term pupils.

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#43 DK<80

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 07:57 PM

2012 was the year....

1. Practice Round @ Torrey Pines for Farmers Insurance Open (couldn't go the other days.....decided to go down on a Monday or Tuesday which was open back then.  really different feeling when there's nobody out on the course.)

2. Northern Trust Open (now Genesis Open) when Bill Haas won in a playoff.

3. Kia Classic (free tickets!)

Been playing since 1995 and had yet to go to any event until 2012.  Should have gone to Toshiba to round out the local events that year!  (Safeway and CareerBuilder would have been a little farther away!)  Hadn't gone to any other events since until this year, went back to Riviera.  Yes, Tiger being there did affect my decision to go.  I would have gone to Torrey but January is tough for whatever reason.
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#44 byoshio82

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:02 PM

1998 PGA Championship. Got to walk inside the ropes with Tiger the first round. Then parked cars for the VIP’s the rest of the tourney and was able to get out in the afternoons to walk around and watch golf. Incredible watching Tiger and Vijay that week. Biggest thing I recall is the sound their ball made going thru the air!!!
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#45 Nosebuckle

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:13 PM

2000 WGC Bridgestone. I was sitting in the grandstand behind the 18th green when Tiger hit that absurdly unnecessary approach in the dark to win by 11. Incredible experience that I didn't appreciate at the time.


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#46 lowndes

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 08:43 PM

1997 Tour Championship

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#47 memphishorn

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:22 PM

1963 Memphis Open (now FedEx St Jude Classic). The winner that year was Champagne Tony Lema.

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#48 RSinSG

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 09:25 PM

View PostSteele47, on 26 March 2018 - 08:58 PM, said:

Not sure of exact year since I went a few times but one year at the Bob Hope Desert Classic myself and a few friends were leaving the tournament after Sunday's final round.  I'm thinking it was probably 1983.  Anyway, we were stuck in traffic.  Snails pace trying to get out of there.  I was sitting in back seat of his Toyota Celica.  My friend Bill was driving.  As we're stuck in gridlock Bill says as he's looking in the rear view mirror, "Holy Expletive!! Bob Hope is in the car behind us!"  I turn around and sure enough there's Hope sitting in the passenger seat of a cop car.  Of course I wave and he waves back smiling and just then he and his cop driver pass us on the shoulder bypassing all the traffic.  

Hadn't thought of that in years.

I was the cop who drove him in 1995. Our department (Palm Springs PD) used to pick him up at his house and take him to the tournament. He loved for us to use the overhead lights once we got on the side streets. That year one of the Spanos family (either Alex or Dean) rode with us.

1995 was a crazy tournament as Bill Clinton, Gerald Ford and George H Bush all played. Scott Hoch was the defending champion and had the "honor" of playing in a 5 some with the presidents and Bob Hope. It was a crazy scene. I was security for Hope along with a hoard of Secret Service agents. It literally looked like a parade proceeding down each fairway with all the security and media. I was impressed Hoch was able to shoot a 69.
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#49 paint94979

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Posted 27 March 2018 - 11:54 PM

2009 Presidents Cup... awesome time but i drank too much.

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#50 OrangeGravy

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:03 AM

I've only been to one. The PGA Championship at Sahalee the year Vijay won. It was pretty cool. Went the first 3 days and decided I'd rather watch on TV to actually follow the tournament. I spent most of the time on the range or practice green. I followed Phil for a while just to get a look at hit wife (I was young and she was hot). Saw Tiger on the practice green before he Teed off and he walked past me pretty close and I remember thinking he'd be bigger, but he about the same size as me (6'-185lbs)

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#51 TerpFangolfer

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 02:05 AM

1980 Kemper Open @ Congressional - I was 15. My grandfather (who was the one who started me in golf) was marshaling. 13th hole IIRC.

Don't remember much other than John Mahaffey won. Was there a few years later for the famous Freddie scene on 18...


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#52 BForrester

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 08:54 AM

I've still not attended a PGA tour event.  Sounds pretty dull, to be honest.  Like other sports, I'd rather participate than observe.  That said, something like the Ryder Cup would be awesome to attend.

Edited by BForrester, 28 March 2018 - 08:55 AM.

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#53 Sixcat

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:25 AM

I will offer this anecdotal cautionary tale for anyone considering a similar move.  I volunteered with the local high school golf program from 2006-2014.  The coach, some dad's and myself took the kids to Quail Hollow for the Wells Fargo in 2010 as reward for winning a third state title in four years.  We had one kid on the team who had been homeschooled prior to reaching high school.  I'm not suggesting his root issues were due to being homeschooled but he was extremely lacking in social skills among a whole host of other behavioral issues.  

Within a half-hour of entering the gates on Sunday, this 16 year old kid walks over to the beer vendor and asks for an O'Doul's.  They asked for ID, to which this kid replied, "I don't need one, it's non-alcoholic".  As it became more clear, he would not be getting his beverage, the kid became exceedingly belligerent.  Something with which those of us associated with the golf team were all too familiar.  To make a long story short, Charlotte's finest escorted the kid out of the gates with his father following a short distance behind.  I'm not sure where they went or what they did all day but the rest of us stayed to watch Rory's epic 62.  They were waiting for us in the parking lot with the bus that night.

A few weeks later, the mother attempted to blast the rest of us during a school board meeting, suggesting we supplied the kids with alcohol, which we most certainly did not.  You could see her anger toward us turn to disgust with her husband when it became painfully clear, the boy's father had lied to her about the true nature of the incident.  We never saw any of them again!

I've been to a few professional events.  None were more memorable than that one.

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#54 lumberman2462

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 09:43 AM

Crooked Stick, PGA Championship 1991.....High School buddy had an uncle (that he'd rarely been around) who was a pretty high up exec at AT&T and we ended up with 4 passes to everything - and I mean everything. VIP Parking, AT&T and other corporate pavillions (that's free food and drinks and nobody asked a bunch of kids for an ID).

Was awesome.  First person I saw when exiting the tent was The Great White Shark himself - hat and all - and he was 5 feet away.

Saw all the legends that week.  Seve, Shark, Arnie, Jack, Watson.  Watched Norman, Seve and JM Olazabal have a little short game session in the bunkers and there weren't 5 other people there....Shark was giving Seve advice and Seve was listening.

Nobody had ever heard of John Daly but we watched him bomb drives and it was something else.  There were several holes that were crowned or what I'd call up and downs.....The drive would be slightly uphill and then down to the green.  Daly was long enough to carry the hills and get the roll that few others in the field could get.  That's where the legend was born.  He'd hit drives that were 50-60 yards futher than anyone else.
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#55 salmon1a

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 10:16 AM

2004 PGA Championship at Whistling Straights - followed Tiger and O'Meara for a few holes in the practice round and watched VJ (eventual champion) dunk several balls in Lake MI.  The practice round was more fun to watch in that you could jump around different holes and encounter random professional golfers with very few other spectators.  That's how we stumbled upon Tiger's group who appeared out of nowhere to play a practice round.  By their third hole the crowds got too crazy and we cut over to watch VJ.


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#56 Metzexpress4

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 10:41 AM

2016 PGA Championship at Baltusrol. I was volunteering for the event and was assigned to hole 6. I forget which practice round it was but I was on the left side of the hole and Wyatt Worthington was hitting out of the rough. I commented that it was amazing that they could play out of such deep, thick rough and that I had no idea how they did it. He handed me a 5i and gave me a two minute clinic on how to play it out of rough like that. Such a cool experience and really nice of him to take two minutes to make a memory. That same tournament I had the chance to chat with Stevie Williams for a few minutes on the tee box as they waited for the fairway to clear.

Finally, after finishing my volunteer shift on Sunday, spent a the rest of my day (5 hours) sitting in the grandstand behind 18 green watching every group finish. It was so much fun watching Jimmy win but even crazier seeing Day drop his eagle putt and stare back down the fairway toward Walker's group.
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#57 BoogieThumper

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 11:32 AM

First and only tournament so far was the 2012 US Open at Olympic Club (SF). I remember the weekend before my back went out, I was close to selling my ticket. I was literally walking the course popping Vicodin and Ibuprofen. I went on Thursday and followed Tiger, Phil, and Bubba. It was a madhouse but one of my favorite days ever. Once that group was done, I bought some cookies and sat on that hill overlooking the green on 18 and watched group after group finish. I will most definitely attend the 2019 Open at Pebble.
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#58 KingMike

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:08 PM

"Massacre at Winged Foot", 1974. There were a few decent golfers in that field, too, har har.

The memory that never leaves is the first pro tee shot I witnessed: Nicklaus. Wow.
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#59 FiveSixAce

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Posted 28 March 2018 - 12:22 PM

Doral in the early 2000s.  Got me hooked.

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#60 Hawkeye77

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Posted 29 March 2018 - 08:37 PM

1999 U.S. Senior Open

Bought tickets wanting to finally and actually see Nicklaus on a range and on a golf course - hip kept him out, damn I was disappointed.

Good news is on a practice round day my dad really enjoyed it when we followed Palmer around a bit.  Saw him hit a 50 yard low checker I still remember vividly. Also remember seeing a tall, lanky guy in the distance hitting a shot and went over that way and it was McCord - man he had a good looking swing. Had a couple extra tickets I gave to a couple friends of my dad, who went with us - for a few years after they still kept trying to pay me for them they had such a great time.

First time I'd seen touring pros (even if they were seniors, still unique and talented golfers to me) hitting on a range - all sorts of different swings/ball flights and what a sound their balls made at impact.


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