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  1. Let me start off by saying I LOVE a good golf trip away from home with my buddies. Playing multiple rounds over several days with a little betting here and there is what really relaxes me when I need time off of work. I don’t need strippers and getting wasted on booze, but a little fun here and there makes for a great time. Last weekend was my annual golf trip…(1 of 3 if you ask my wife, but who’s counting) I planned the trip in November along with @GolfLug, who was a competitor in the Newport Cup, @Joe Guastella who is my lifelong friend from Tampa, and 4 other buddies from my country club here in Northwest Arkansas. I managed to book round trip flights, a rental van, a 6 bedroom house, and 6 rounds of golf over 4 days for about $1300 a man. Not bad IMO. We had perfect high of 75 weather all week and not a single drop of rain. We started our trip at Orange County National on the Panther Lake Course Sunday afternoon. This is where the annual PGA Merchandise show has all their equipment test as their driving range is a 400 yard circle. There had to have been 10 different tee boxes around this giant circular range. Two my Arkansas friends double bogied the first hole, which solidified their spot in the “Disney Princess” room that the rental house had. The course was in great shape but the greens, while smooth, where a little slow. Monday Morning we teed off at Disney’s Magnolia Golf Course, which IMO was not worth $100. They were losing some spots on their greens and the course was pretty packed for a Monday morning. The started actually said “you guys have no idea how much of a pleasure it is to see a 4some hit the fairway on their opening tee shots”…I could see why as there were families everywhere and people from all over the world who don’t golf much. No biggie, everyone should enjoy it no matter what your skill level. We finished up in about 4.5 hours and jumped in the car for a 10min drive over to Grand Cypress. Here we ate lunch and played the New Course, which supposedly had 8 or 9 holes that were identical to St Andrews. This place had more of the country club feel, and was in immaculate shape. The first tee box doubled as a practice putting green. It was sort of weird putting a tee into that grass. #1 and #18 fairways run right next to each other, so you literally had 300 yard wide fairway, with the small creek right in front of the green. My buddy Joey was -3 going into #8 then after a bad unplayable drop, and a creek took a quadruple bogey. Kind of felt like watching a rerun this past Sunday with Jordan Speith just ruining a good round on one hole. Either way, Joey finished with a very impressive 75 for the lowest round of the trip. Monday night we were all exhausted so we headed to Ale House to watch the NCAA National Championship and then checked into Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Boy oh boy we were excited for that Tuesday morning to come. Tuesday at 8 am my phone started blowing up. All the guys said “Get your ass down to the grill now!” I thought they were all messing with me so I slept for another 5 minutes. Then the texts and calls were incoming so I thought something serious was happening. I got ready quickly and walked downstairs only to see The King, Arnold Palmer sitting at the table 20 ft away from ours. The waitress was kind enough to let us go speak to him and while he may be 85 years old and looking like it, he shook our hands firmly and thanked us for staying and playing at his club. He let us crowd around him for a picture and said “Come on in boys, the water is fine!” Wow. Just wow. I got to shake Arnold Palmer’s hand! From there we were like little kids in a toy store all lit up with excitement. We headed out to the range and putting green after breakfast and teed off at 10 am. We had a forecaddie who was great for providing direction and helping read putts. The course was probably in the best shape for our trip, considering they just had the Bay Hill Invitational 10 days prior. Lots of grand stands and logos still up so it felt cool to be playing the course in those conditions. We played in 4 hours and had a late lunch on the patio behind the club. The weather was perfect so we had an 8ft putting competition for $10 a man. Things got a little out of control for one guy, but hey, how many “double or nothing” putts could I make. (8 to be exact) haha. After 2 hours of messing around on the putting green someone says, “hey, is that Michael Breed chipping over there?!?!” Sure enough, Mr. LETS DO THIS was at Bay Hill as well doing a preshow for the Golf Channel due to Masters Week. Michael came over and talked to us. Man this guys on air personality is truly real. Super high energy and just loved talking and telling us stories. Over the next 2.5 hours we talked everything from putting to fixing @GolfLug’s swing (I’ll let him post the video) to some crazy betting he has done on the golf course. Another long day in the books and we didn’t want to wear out our stay at Bay Hill so we headed back to the rental house as the sun was setting. All in all this was a fantastic day and made the whole trip…and we still had two other courses to play on Wednesday. Wednesday morning we headed towards the Orlando Airport to play a course called Shingle Creek. This course was rated the #1 pubic course in Orlando in 2015 (Though I think Orange County National had it beat). It was a normal Florida golf course with lots of water, wing guests and a few decent sized gators. This course played pretty quickly and I thought it was worth the price of admission at about $100. Overall service was great though the cart girl could’ve used another cup of coffee before coming out. After having a Publix Sub for lunch (amazing) we headed to our last round of the trip at The Ritz Carlton. I knew the $150 fee was expected, I mean it is the Ritz, but the course wasn’t in any better shape than the other 5 we had played. I would say it was probably 4th or 5th best. Another great warm afternoon with lots of wind. As you can imagine after 5 rounds we were all pretty tired and this turned into our drinking beer and enjoying ourselves round before we all headed back to reality. We closed out the trip at a great seafood place called Big Finn which is near the Dr Phillips area of Orlando. I thought it was a great success as nobody missed a flight to or from Orlando, we had great weather…and you know, meeting Arnold Palmer and Michael Breed was icing on the cake!
  2. http://www.golf.com/tour-news/2017/09/25/arnold-palmer-death-one-year-later-daughter-peg-reflects-truth-between-brand-man Just read it. No man is perfect and Arnie was far from it. I'm glad Peg felt that she could open up as she did here.
  3. The 1966 Team Championship was dominated by The King & The Golden Bear On this day in 1966 arguably the two biggest figures in golf got together to win the PGA National Team Championship. Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus teamed up to win the $50,000 first price by shooting an amazing 32 strokes under par. A record in its own right. It was their first time being teammates in their careers, they would win again in 1970 & 1971. The dynamic duo put together rounds of 63, 66, 63, & 64 for a 72 hole total of 256. Palmer from a press conference: “I don’t think either Jack or I would have (decided to come and played together) if we didn’t think we had a chance to win. Our plan is to win. If we don’t we’ll just get on with our lives, and try it again somewhere else.” Palmer and Nicklaus have had outstanding success teaming with one another in the past. Below is a list of their results together in team play: 1966 PGA National Golf Club, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida Past Winners National Team Championship 1972 Babe Hiskey and Kermit Zarley 1971 Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer National Four-Ball Championship PGA Players 1970 Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer PGA National Team Championship 1969 No tournament 1968 George Archer and Bobby Nichols PGA Team Championship 1967 No tournament 1966 Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer PGA National Four-ball Championship 1965 Butch Baird and Gay Brewer
  4. In 1958, Arnold Palmer hit his ball over the 12th green in the final round at Augusta National in the Masters. His ball was half embedded, and he asked the walking official for a ruling as he felt he should get a free drop. The free drop was denied. He played out the hole, making a 5, and then, with a defiant attitude, dropped his ball near where it had been embedded and played out the hole again, making a 3 this time. The 3 was upheld, and Arnold Palmer won his first major and first Masters. Ken Venturi was pissed about it. Not because he disagreed that Arnie wasn't entitled to free relief. He was. But because Arnie played a shot with his ball (four, actually) before invoking 3-3: his right to play a second ball.* * It was 11-5 in 1958, I believe: http://www.ruleshistory.com/rules1956.html#11 . Rule 3-3 - http://www.usga.org/rules/rules-and-decisions.html#!rule-03,3-3 a. Procedure for Competitor In stroke play only, if a competitor is doubtful of his rights or the correct procedure during the play of a hole, he may, without penalty, complete the hole with two balls. To proceed under this Rule, he must decide to play two balls after the doubtful situation has arisen and before taking further action (e.g., making a stroke at the original ball). The competitor should announce to his marker or a fellow-competitor: that he intends to play two balls; and which ball he wishes to count if the Rules permit the procedure used for that ball. Before returning his score card, the competitor must report the facts of the situation to the Committee. If he fails to do so, he is disqualified. If the competitor has taken further action before deciding to play two balls, he has not proceeded under Rule 3-3 and the score with the original ball counts. The competitor incurs no penalty for playing the second ball. The red part is important. You don't get to decide, after the fact, that you want to try that all again because maybe the committee will rule in your favor about something that happened four shots ago. Just an FYI, should you ever need to invoke 3-3.
  5. Humble Greetings ..... CBS just closed out its 2nd round Masters Highlights Show with a brief talk with Arnold Palmer. It was upbeat, but left me with a feeling that something was up, even if no one said out loud that something was up. Did anyone watch and feel the same way? Enjoy Your Masters Weekend Frank-0-Sport
  6. Back at Bay Hill in Orlando. This is usually a good tournament to watch. I really like the finishing hole too.
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