On Wednesday, February 17th, I was invited by Administaff to tee it up at the Allianz Championship presented by Administaff Pro-Am Event at The Old Course at Broken Sound Club. It was a picture perfect day for South Florida despite the cooler 60 degree temperatures. For Floridians, that’s chilly! Tee time: 12:45 pm. Pro: Olin Browne.
I arrived at the club around 11 am to get registered, locate my playing partners, warm up and have lunch before our appointed tee time. When I arrived at the Pro-Am participant area of the driving range, it was packed with a sea of male participants. As I made my way to an open space on the range, I noticed a rather distinguished man hitting balls next to me. At closer inspection, it was Paul Azinger the 2008 victorious U.S. Ryder Cup Captain. 2009 marks his debut on the Champions Tour. Naturally, I had to get a photo with him. At that point, I knew it was going to be a great afternoon!
When my foursome arrived at the 14th tee (our starting hole for the afternoon shotgun) Olin Browne was there ready and waiting. A three time PGA Tour winner and Assistant 2008 Ryder Cup Captain to Paul, he was engaging, witty and provided our group with an exhibition of fabulous golf shots. Luckily my first tee shot was a good one and my first tee jitters disappeared quickly. I was encouraged as we played the course to hear enthusiastic comments from members of the gallery upon seeing a woman in the group. I understand I was one of only five women that afternoon playing in the Pro-Am!
Turning 50 is a good thing! In 2010, the Champions Tour welcomes a strong “rookie” class that includes Fred Couples, Paul Azinger, Corey Pavin and Mark Calcavecchia. Adding these names to the great list of Champions Tour players like Peter Jacobsen, Loren Roberts, Fred Funk, Jay Haas, Olin Browne, Jeff Sluman, Fuzzy Zoeller and World Golf Hall of Fame members Bernhard Langer, Ben Crenshaw, Nick Price and Tom Watson truly reinforces how good these players really are. While the PGA TOUR’s Charity platform “Together, anything’s possible” puts an increased emphasis on the philanthropic endeavors conducted week in and week out, I am reminded of their slogan “These Guys are Good”. Truly, they are really GREAT! I had a wonderful time — truly a WOW. Thanks Administaff for the invitation.