Golf - Past, and Present

Trip Start Oct 20, 2012
Trip End Jul 11, 2013

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Another day in Paradise... '57 ?????

Flag of United States  , Florida
Thursday, February 21, 2013

The World Golf Village, just off of I95 in St. Augustine, is not only famous for it's renowned residents, as in Emma Jane and Phil, but also for being home to the World Golf Hall of Fame.
 Em & Phil, who happen to be volunteers at the Hall, led us on a personal tour (free!) of the famous tower, from which you can see the only course designed by Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer together. One of the highlights of the Hall is an incredible tribute to Bob Hope, golf's greatest fan, which takes you through his entire career. Then you wind your way through the history of golf and all of it's storied players as you climb the tower, culminating in the trophy room with an incredible crystal display which hangs above your head arranged in the arc of the perfect swing.

Phil, who was a car salesman all his life, knew Bob Hope personally - having sold him some Cadillacs - and even got to play nine holes with " old ski nose". Phil parlayed his connections with a lot of celebrity clients into many rounds of golf, getting down to a three handicap. A pro once told him, that he could have gone pro if he could just get rid of that baseball swing. I have been told the same thing ! You can imagine the stories we heard from a lifelong car dealer and part time New York City bartender.
Em and Phil also gave us a tour of nearby St Augustine - now we're into buildings that are 500 years old... I find it hard to believe that Florida waited some 300 years to open it's first bar! Ever the seasoned tour guide, Phil whisked us around and through what is considered the oldest city in the U.S., pointing out his barbershop, his lube shop, his optometrist office .... oh yeah, and a really old hotel where he and Em go to have lunch in the deep end of an old indoor swimming pool. Actually, he was very informative and knew quite a lot of the local history, and he somehow remembers everyone's name, right down to the lube mechanic.

Phil was always quick to point out to anyone who would listen that Em and Mary ran the Harden & Weaver Golf & Tennis Tournament for nine years, which under their guidance became the largest tournament on the Eastern Seaboard and fundraiser for Children's Hospital. In the 21 years of its existence, it had been run completely by volunteers, and grew from raising $150,000 in its early years to netting $450,000 with 540 golfers and 100 tennis players, all orchestrated by Mare and Em [and a few others]. Maybe there's a spot for them in the Hall !

Once again, Mare and I have been treated royally and would love to stick around long enough to try some of Phil's famous rutabagas, but we have to make room for the next guests, who I'm sure will be treated to mimosas with their eggs benedict or a hearty chicken pie,for dinner, just as we were.

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Bob Neuman on

Hope you go to the Gator place!

Jimmy Lawson on

When you cross over the state, do yourselves a favor and find some mom and pop orange stand, and get you some blood oranges, as well as honeybells, you will not regret that move.

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