ANA 2016 Pro Am

March 31, 2016

Watched a little yesterday and saw all I needed to see.

Former LPGA Commissioner Charlie Meacham played with Mike Wahn and I caught them on the ninth green. Said hi to Charlie and got this photo. Come to think of it, Carolyn Bivens would have rounded off that group nicely. 🙂

Cahrlie Meacham ANA 2106 pro am


Then I waited for Caitlyn Jenner to appear. She was playing with Abby Wambach.

Caitlyn catches the bunker with her tee ball on ten. Video.

Caitlyn Jenner ANA pro am 2106 swinging

They played with Danielle Kang on that side and heard that after Danielle chipped in on 18, Abby took off her shoes and jumped into Poppie’s Pond.


To all who have experienced this tournament when it was truly a premier event, it will always be known as “The Dinah”.

Dinah Shore wall


Volunteer Dave will be working the tee on number nine the first two rounds only. He was notified that he may have to wear a wireless tablet around his neck on a lanyard. It is to provide access to real time scoring for the players and caddies if requested. Something new the LPGA is trying this year. I guess they wish to know how many Lydia is ahead. 😉


Mutt and Jeff (Matt and Dave) are still running the caddie area and it’s been a steady downhill slide for the last twenty-five years. I thought of getting an afternoon pro-am loop but after hearing that only one caddie got work in the morning, futility became the word of the day. Went to Sam’s Club for a fill-up and a slice instead. The weather turned nasty anyway. Would not have been a fun time.


Flipper was in the house looking for a loop. Wonder if he has the FBI on speed dial?


The Other Dave

March 30, 2016

Dave Hamada has to be the top fan of the LPGA. With 77 tournaments under his belt as a volunteer (add one more for this week). Starting back in 1984 at the Women’s Kemper Open at the Royal Kaanapali course, Dave has traveled throughout the country following his passion.

I’m staying with him this week along with Bully. Bully is cooking and I installed a new router and attempted to fix some stuck vertical blinds. I’m batting .500.

Here are just a few of the mementos of Dave’s participation.

Dave Hamada souvenir badges


Bully and I hooked up with Mark Scott at La Casitas Restaurant Sunday evening. For three hours we chatted, drank and ate.

Larry_Mark and Bully Palm Springs 2016


Then there was this:

Amy Alcott happy with Olympic course design


Kia Classic 2016 – Round Two

March 25, 2016

Walked the front nine just for exercise. Easy peasy even with some very steep climbs.


Another caddie got the ax. This time after the first round. A friend is on the sack today.


Sometimes rookies have to learn the hard way and one in particular was hit dearly in the pocketbook yesterday. Her group was on the clock for eight holes and she was over the allotted time for a shot on three occasions. That totaled up to a whopping $3000 in fines! Slow play has been a bugaboo for many years on the LPGA. Emptying the wallet may be the answer. We’ll see.


Kia Classic 2016 Pro-Am

March 24, 2016

A couple of caddies were let go after last week but those jobs were snapped up quickly. Not being a part of “the new caddie network”, I had no chance.


I did manage to loop the pro-am. The morning groups walked but there clubs were on carts driven by volunteers. The afternoon walked also but had to take a caddie provided by Premier Caddies. Afraid I wasn’t qualified 🙂 I applied anyway but was welcomed in with open arms. It was $100 + tip for the day and even though Avaria has some steady climbs, seemed like easy money.

I was first assigned to the 11:50 group off of number one, then moved to the following group and finally the 11:50 off of ten.

Met my guy just before tee time and noticed his bag was not of the carry-it-yourself variety. It was large and sans double strap. Just my luck. The only trunk in the group and I get to carry it.

Walking to the tee I noticed my loop had a pronounced limp. Found out he had rolled his ankle and looked to me that he would not make it nine holes.

When we arrived at the tee, things turned my way. My guy had some connections and finagled a buggy for the round. Alleluia! It was a sweet ride and really easy money.


As we exited one of the greens, a guy started talking to me and mentioned he used to be Tommy Bolt’s caddie. I sounded impressed but wasn’t. Just trying to be nice.


Like last week, the pros only had to play nine holes then switched at the turn and it was the same yesterday. We had Mo Martin and Katie Burnett. Also, the pro’s caddie receives $50 from the tournament for the effort and the promise of total consciousness upon death.


Monday qualifying scores:

Kia Classic 2016 Monday qualifiers


Ran into Aree Song. She has a golf school in Bangkok but for the last two weeks has been mentoring one of her students Benyapa Niipahtsophon.


Scraper snagged a bag for the second week in a row. Had Flic Johnson as the first alternate and got in before the qualifier started.


Caddie area repartee: Caddie sits down and says “Mind if I smoke?” another caddie replies “Mind if I fart?”


Snickers in the caddie area. How appropriate.

Kia Classic snickers


I left round one play in the early afternoon but not before hearing of a two shot penalty given to Wei-Ling Hsu for slow play.


Then there was this:

Rinker to defend title at Chico’s Patty Berg Memorial in April

Caitlyn Jenner OK with exclusion from men’s golf tournament at Sherwood Country Club


Founders Cup 2016 – Round 1

March 18, 2016

Walked all eighteen with Tom. As usual, it’s really boring from outside the ropes but it was good to get some exercise and see the course.

Ran into Wendy Ward by the practice green then Betsy King came along. Talked about the Symetra Tour, Olympics and other things with Betsy. Good to see both of them again.


Quiet Dave came up from Tucson to pay his respects. I left him a ticket at will call but after searching their computer, couldn’t find his name. They eventually gave him one anyway but wouldn’t the tickets be arranged in their envelopes alphabetically? That’s how they are in most places.

BTW, I need to correct Dave’s status. He is not retired but unemployed like the rest of us. 🙂 He’s still living the good life though.


Scraper was still on ShanShan’s bag. The word is her caddie has been hit hard with the flu and he’s not the only one. Did you know a ten ten supply of Tamiflu is over $300? (wasn’t for me)


If a caddie is unable to dine with his player inside, a lunch ticket is provided. A tournament concession stand or a couple of food trucks are the options.


Those who can’t do, teach: After a disappointing day with the flat stick, caddie Jeff Steffler spent some time on the practice green with his player and the session went something like this I assume.

No, no. This doesn’t look right.

Steffler with Jodie Ewert putting

Do it like this.

Steffler putting with Jodie Ewart

Looked better her way. 🙂


I took the day off today. May go out tomorrow.


Then there was this:

Voices: Sandra Post On The Interest Taken In Her By A LPGA Founder – Listen to the audio. This is a fantastic interview.

LPGA honoree Englehorn grateful for career

Downey Classic gets new title sponsor

LPGA Hall of Famer Se Ri Pak retiring after season

Officials announce plans for this year’s Danielle Downey Classic

Brittany Lincicome Was Given First Pitch Honors At Dodgers-White Sox Spring Training Game


Founders Cup 2016 Wednesday

March 16, 2016

No job this week. The same goes for a handful of others. Scraper was empty but picked up Shanshan Feng the last two days. Her caddie has come down with something and if he doesn’t recover, the big man may be in for the week.


Talked to Upstate Jay. He’s in Cartagena Columbia waiting for the Web.com Tour to arrive. An error in scheduling has him there two weeks too early. He assumed it was the same time as last year and we all know what happens when one assumes. A good motel is ultra cheap so the wait won’t cost much.


It was only a matter of time. The official water of the LPGA comes all the way from Korea.

LPGA official water


Eighty-four vied for the two spots available in the qualifier. Here are the results.

2016 FOunders Cup Monday qualifiers


Congratulations to Karen Stupples. As of last week, she is a citizen of the greatest country on the planet. The United States of America!


Then there was this:

Top finishers at Symetra Tour event to earn exemptions into LPGA major – This is huge.

A different kind of swing, D-backs go from baseball to golf

Remembering Annika’s historic 59 on 15th anniversary –  I was one of the fortunate to see the final putt drop.

ANA wants its own place in golf world

Ha Na Jang embroiled in Olympic-style fracas ahead of LPGA Founders Cup

Annika Sorenstam and Arnie Palmer to redesign 3M golf course


The Quiet Man

March 13, 2016

Hooked up with “Quiet Dave” this week. It was great catching up even though I did most of the talking. 🙂

Dave left the tour ten years ago and is currently retired and living the good life on the southeast edge of Tucson.

I visited his home on Wednesday and we gazed at the sun through one of his two telescopes. It was equipped with a special filter so our eyesight remains intact. Very cool and we could even see two sunspots.

Friday we took a trip to Reid Park Zoo and was photobombed by a giraffe.

Quiet Dave and me Reid Park Zoo

For those in the know, you’re familiar with the troll that accompanied Dave on all his road trips. I’m happy to report the troll has survived and has even made a couple of friends.

Quiet Dave troll

I arrived in Phoenix this morning and hopefully Dave will follow, albeit for only one day. He’ll try to make an appearance on Thursday.


A caddie/player/officials party is scheduled for Tuesday. Food and drink will be provided at a local restaurant by BucketBoy Graphics. They provide the yardage books for the tour.


No more shagging putts on the practice green is a new tour regulation. Caddie or coach, it makes no difference. Wonder who will be the first violator? Just a matter of time.


Then there was this:

Marathon LPGA Classic to air on CBS in 2016

Symetra Tour announces Gosling’s Dark ‘n Stormy Classic at Atlanta National Golf Club


Randolph Park

March 8, 2016

Randoplh Park sign The LPGA played from 1981 to 2004 many years at the Randolph Park facility here in Tucson. Check out event’s history and winners here. Most years it was played on the North Course but eventually migrated to the Dell Urich (South) Course. Yesterday I walked a lap around the park which brought back many memories. Some good and some not so good. After working off what ever calories it took to complete the 3.5 miles, I immediately put them back on at the In-N-Out across the street. 🙂 Held myself to a double-double only. No shake or fries. I hadn’t had that much meat and cheese in one sitting in awhile. Didn’t sit well but I got over it.


Not far down the street from Randolph sits the Palm Court Inn. Most of the caddies stayed there and even some players until it started going downhill. Eventually only the caddies returned. It was cheap and within walking distance to work.

I worked two off-seasons there with Motorcycle Jim. I was on the front desk and Jim, well, I’m not sure what he did. He was the jack of all trades I believe.

The Inn eventually became a place for the downtrodden and a police substation. I enjoyed the work but it wasn’t all good. A woman was killed there when I was on duty and was found by her sister. Don’t believe they ever discovered who did it.

Only $149 for the week. Make your reservations early.

Palm Court Inn


Let’s take a stroll down Randolph Park’s memory lane:

On the ninth hole, Anne Marie Palli hit a duck with her approach to the green and the ball wound up in the pond (which is now a dry ditch unless it rains). She called for an official and requested a do-over. Sorry Ann Marie, it’s the rub of the green.

The ninth green.

ninth green Randoplh Park Tucson


I witnessed an albatross from Siew-Ai Lim in a Monday qualifier on the South Course. The ball landed on the right fringe, rolled up to the second level of the green, reversed direction and entered via the backdoor of the hole which was on the front level. Unfortunately, she didn’t qualify.


Randolph is where Lori Garbacz had her only win in 1999 during a very tumultuous career. Rick “The Nerd” was on the bag.


After firing me in the parking lot after we finished, Heather Daly-Donofrio gave me a very original reason. Heather said that every time she looked at me, it reminded her of bad golf. 🙂 You can’t argue with that. Good times.


During a practice round with Leslie Spalding on a hole that bordered the street, someone drove bye in a Hummer and she queried “Larry, if you had the money, would you buy a Hummer?” “They’re only twenty bucks.” I replied. It took a second or two but she finally got it. More good times.


Here’s one for the books. It happened in the first morning group on the North Course one year. The final player to tee off (name withheld for good reason) snapped it left over some mounds which was close to the OB. She sprinted off the tee and everyone thought she just wanted to find her ball in case she had to go back. Not quite. A lone photographer witnessed her trying to kick it back in play multiple times. He relayed his observation to one of the caddies and added that he wished he had his camera ready at the time. Would have made a great shot. Obviously, her foot wedge was as bad as her driver. She had to re-tee.


Then there was this:

After losing home in fire, Frank named LPGA Caddie of the Year

How the PGA Tour commissioner wants golf to be like soccer

Tumbling suitcase leads to LPGA golfer’s injury

Catriona Matthew stays on course for Rio Olympics

Olympic success can change minds in China, says Feng


Parked In The Desert

March 7, 2016

I decided to head west last Wednesday. No bag lined up but the itch to get on the road needed scratching.

Stopped overnight in Biloxi (right down the street from where I lived for three years), Fredericksburg TX and El Paso. Instead of culminating the remainder of my trip on I-10, I decided to red line it. After spending the night at a Motel 6 on Country Club Dr. (aptly named for the El Paso Country Club just down the street) all I needed was a right hand turn and follow my GPS.

I found that the 6’s online rate was very different than the walk-in. $15 more in fact. After confirming this was not a mistake, I sat in the lobby and made a reservation on my phone before checking in. How asinine is that?

After sucking down my fill of coffee at the neighborhood MacDonald’s early the next morning, I was off on the final leg. This route to Tucson took me through Bisbee and Tombstone. Both towns have interesting histories and worth a visit.

Once I got out of the El Paso city limits, the surrounding desolation was daunting. A breakdown would have me sitting for some time. Cell service was non-existent and an occasional Boarder Patrol vehicle was about the only other traffic. No illegal alien sightings.

Speaking of illegal activity, check out this story. I drove right right through there.


Bisbee’s copper mines put this burb on the map. The 850 foot deep Lavender Pit mine (now closed) is one of the roadside scenic views. If you call massive devastation of the landscape scenic. Would make one heck of a landfill.

Bisbee open pit mine

This wasn’t my first time here. Many moons ago, Dan Cannon (Book’em Danno) and myself toured the underground Queen Mine.

danno_and_me


Reenactment of the gunfight at the OK Corral is one of the main attractions in Tombstone. Here’s  Virgil, Morgan, and Wyatt Earp, and Doc Holliday on there way to the showdown.

Tucson gunfighters


It only cost me $118.82 in gas to get here and found the lowest price so far when I arrived.

QT gas price


After exiting a local Walmarto in Tucson, I spotted this low-rider putting on a show. They’re more common here than one would think.

low rider Tucson


Then there was this:

Golf’s Olympic test event snubbed by EVERY PGA Tour player

PGA Tour, LPGA announce ‘strategic alliance agreement’


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