A short drive adds interest to the PGA

Welcome to history.

My decades-long friendship with Tater added another golf-based chapter this week when he invited me along to share in a very thoughtful Christmas gift.

Chris’ wonderful wife Linda — OK, that’s what he’s known as in non-nickname moments — thought a day for two at the Tuesday practice round for the PGA tournament would be just right for the guy who covered the sport of golf for the big daily for two decades.

He thoughtfully invited me along for the drive west to Rochester.

Practice makes perfect.

We walked the fairways with many thousands of golf fans, taking in the slopes and contours and watching carefully as the 100-plus best professionals in the world and fortunate handful of club professionals who won their way into the field practiced for the second of four major events of 2023.

Give me the break.

We soaked in the intricacies as the golfers planned their best routes on each hole from tee to green and into all of the hole placements for their upcoming four rounds.

The loose atmosphere for the day made for interesting arrangements.

Big plans.

A golfer or two played by themselves, or in groups of twos. We spotted notable players Tommy Fleetwood and Luke Donald, who nobody would be totally surprised to see at the top of the leaderboard come 6:30 p.m. Sunday, in a gathering of five, a no-no on most days at the golf course.

The 18th hole, where the winner will be declared.

As the announcers always say on TV, you can’t appreciate the changes in elevation until you’re there.

For Chris and I, Tuesday held a lot of up moments.

I’ll be watching on TV today and the next several days with way more interest thanks to the experience.


9 thoughts on “A short drive adds interest to the PGA

  1. As you know, Mark, I know NOTHING of sports, although in recent years, I’ve organized three huge fund-raising golf tournaments. That said, I can at least now appreciate golf stories a little more than before. I love that YOU love golf and got invited to this big deal of a tournament! AND I love that Chris’s wife knew how much you would appreciate going! (Wasn’t Tater one of your bowling tournament guys?) Enjoy! ❤


    • Tater has been one of my golf buddies for decades, Rachel, as well as a co-worker at the big daily for those years as well. Not on the bowling squad, though. Thanks for following along on our golf journey, my friend, you would appreciate the great nature of the whole beautiful course.


  2. How fun for the both of you. Good friends, good times, and good golf!
    We do the practice round day for the Phoenix Open, and it’s always quite fun!


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