PGA Tour: Diamond In The Rough
Posted by: mike April 28th, 2017
By Art Colasanti
Director of Sales- L2 Putters
Last week I had an opportunity to attend the Mitsubishi Champions Tour event in Atlanta. I had forgotten how much fun it was to go to a Tour event and not get run over by a multitude of spectators. The first tour event I ever went to was in Miami in 1965, my first year in college. I parked my car in the parking lot at Doral (Doral at that time was in the Everglades) walked through the front gate and proceeded to the first tee.
The story gets even better. Upon arriving at the first tee, who is about to tee off but Sammy Snead, knock me over with a feather. A small town boy, recently removed from the comfort of his high school years and now thrown into the big city and the first person I watch hit a golf ball is one of the all time greats, special. There I was, me and possibly 8 others watching Slam-in Sammy Snead. You ask "can it get any better", the answer is yes. No marshals, no ropes, no press, just me 8 others and two other players and their caddies. Three and half hours later the players were exchanging pleasantries on the 18 green.
Oh yea, during that 3 1/2 hour round of golf, I watched Sammy hit every shot, directly opposite from him. If it was at the green, I was standing on the green fringe, special. Also, I had lunch, walked right up to the concession stand, no lines, got my lunch and didn't miss watching a single shot. A couple times, Mother Nature called and I could actually use an on course rest room, what a surprise. It gets better>>>
After watching Sammy Snead play 18 holes I proceeded to the practice tee area. Upon arrival I came across my first crowd control, A single rope that separated the players and spectators for safety reasons. The rope was no more than 10 feet behind the players and each day it was moved as the players were moved to improve the quality of turf they were hitting off. I then went over to the practice putting green,and to my surprise, again a single rope at the greens edge just to be sure patrons stay off the green. The caddies placed the players’ clubs just inside the ropes on the green side. Gary Player approached the green, signing autographs as he walked. I walked over to his bag because I wanted to see the new fiberglass shafts he had just been endorsed to play. When I arrive at his bag his caddie was standing by it and I asked him if I could see one of Gary's club. He looked up at me and said "sure kid, go right ahead" so I did. To my surprise, the fiberglass shafted club I pulled out was actually a steel shafted club painted BLACK, same as a fiberglass shaft would look like.
To my surprise, this weekend filled me with nostalgia for my introduction to the Tour all those years ago. Now, these players are not the best players on the planet but they are awfully impressive.
I guess what I want my message to be to you is this...if you are looking for an enjoyable day with family and friends, and enjoy watching masters of their trade, the PGA Champions Tour is the place to be. A pleasant trip back in time.