Daily Blog Updates

Tuesday Morning, October 22th, 6:34 am Woke up at the JW Marriott Hill Country at TPC San Antonio!

Andy Reistetter with Tom Horan on 17th Tee, TPC Las Colinas at Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas

Andy Reistetter with Tom Horan on 17th Tee, TPC Las Colinas at Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas

I am definitely in golf and great hotel mode! The round Saturday at Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas in the TPC Las Colinas Course was a beautiful experience! I played with Tom Horan, the host of Speaking of Golf who is a great guy! We were joined by Steve, a member at Cherry Hills in Denver and his son Joey who is quite a proficient player as he birdied Nos. 5&6 back-to-back! Joey is a sophomore in high school and it was good playing with him though the saying “C’mon, hit it while we are young, did not apply because well he is young! The par-3 17th is a great hole along with No. 18, both framed by the Four Seasons Resort!

Sunrise along I35 heading to San Antonio... just me and Torch, my Infiniti M30 Baby!

Sunrise along I35 heading to San Antonio… just me and Torch, my Infiniti M30 Baby!

Sadly I rose at 3:30 am on Sunday to drive to TPC San Antonio and the JW Marriott Hill Country for the 10 am Bloggers, Breakfast & Birdies media event (Twitter #BBBatTPC)  which was associated with the Champions’ Tour AT&T Championship this week on the AT&T Canyons Course. It was well worth it for two reasons. There is something about seeing the sun rise, especially when you are on a journey. Every day is a new day and the key is to not have any old expectations or think you know exactly what will happen that day. The second reason was that it was a great event! I met so many cool people and learned so much about social media, especially Twitter. My handle there is GolfJourneyRio and use the hashtag #JoueneyToOlympicGolf when you want to communicate with me via Twitter.

_Bruch Fun 3 Plate (640x480)After a scrumptuous breakfast we played the first nine (Masters lingo) of the AT&T Oaks Course. I was tweeting and somewhat distracted but managed a half way decent shot on the par-3 7th and surprisingly won the Closest-to-the-Pin contest! The gift was a signed TPC San Antonio flag by 2010 Valero Open champion  and Masters champions Adam Scott. I am using it for a raffle this week so please donate to The First Tee to get in! This trip is all about raising $100,000 for The First Tee. Please be one of my 1,000 friends that donate $100 or one of 10,000 that donate $10, the amount does not matter, do what you can and we will get there. Please join me on this trip by doing so!

Andy Reistetter with the BBB organizers- Sara Johnstone (social media consultant), Emily Kelly (PGA TOUR), GM Matt Flory and Lauren Harrison (Zimmerman PR).

Andy Reistetter with the BBB organizers- Sara Johnstone (social media consultant), Emily Kelly (PGA TOUR), GM Matt Flory and Lauren Harrison (Zimmerman PR).

Of course after a little time at High Velocity where we ate, drank and watched football I snuck back out on the course to take some beauty shots and played the last five holes. The par-3 16th with the bunker in the middle of the green and the mammoth JW Marriott behind (1,002 rooms) is spectacular! I rejoined the group at the firepit and had a great time personally connecting with the fun people to connect with on Twitter. Bloggers and Golfers, all are we!

The Bloggers in High Velocity at JW Marriott San Antonio with cell phones down at rest for a moment!

The Bloggers in High Velocity at JW Marriott San Antonio with cell phones down at rest for a moment!

Yesterday was a great day today as it feels like I am on a golf trip these days! Four of us, an A-List guy, a golf spy and a well-shirted minister played in the morning. Then in the afternoon I headed out to the AT&T Canyons Course and interviewed ten Champions players during a pro-am. I asked them for their reaction to golf being in the Olympics after an absence of 112 years, what they thought defined the “Olympic Spirit of Golfers” and what they thought of this fellow Andy Reistetter and this “Journey to Olympic Golf.” Some really good material! What a blast! Thanks to my recruited volunteer-turned-videographer Tom May!

Andy Reistetter with Mike Hulbert at the Champions Tour's AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio.

Andy Reistetter with Mike Hulbert at the Champions Tour’s AT&T Championship at TPC San Antonio.

Here is my first interview with Mike Hulbert gauging professional golfers’ reaction to golf in the Olympics and the “Journey to Olympic Golf.” I played against Mike and Joey Sindelar in one memorable Section IV High School Championship at En-Joie Golf Club, home of the former BC Open and now Champions Tour Dick’s Sporting Goods Open. Memorable in the sense that I did not whiff on the first tee like my teammate and friend Chuck and only got beat by these Elmira/Horseheads boys by a handful of strokes. Okay so it was only a one day tournament!

I forgot that his first win on tour in 1986 was by one stroke over his childhood friend and high school golf rival  Joey Sindelar. Mike was insightful sharing words like “whole different thing, unique and challenging,” but it was his gesture to his heart that spoke to me. Somehow that gesture says it all when it comes to the “Olympic Spirit of Golf.” He had my “yardage” right too, about 13,000 miles to Rio from here!

CLICK here for the video interview with Mike Hulbert.

Today I head to Houston with the intent of interviewing Jack Burke, Jr. at the Champions Golf Club and attending the Opening Ceremony for The Spirit International, an amateur, Olympic-like golfing competition. After that I head into Mexico next Monday, October 28th! Wish me well, I need it! Good living and golfing until the next blog update!

 

Saturday Morning, October 19th, 11:38 am Woke up at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas!

The Five Diamond Award of the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas.

The Five Diamond Award of the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas.

Every day has been a good day on this “Journey to Olympic Golf” but today will be extra special. I am playing the Four Seasons Resort Course which has hosted the Byron Nelson Championship for the last 31 years. This place is amazing and there is no question what “Five Diamonds” mean in terms of comfort, service and “being home away from home.”

After the sendoff at TPC Sawgrass, Atlanta and St. Louis I did not think this Odyssey could get any better but it did. Staying with and visiting with Jack Fleck and his wife Carmen was a memorable life experience. As much for the golf but just to be around two lovebirds late in life really inspired me as to how much being in a loving relationship can mean in one’s life. I will have much to share on what Mr. Fleck shared with me in later writing and video interviews.

Andy Reistetter with U.S. Open Champion Jack Fleck and Head Golf Professional Jeremy Moe at Hardscrabble CC in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Andy Reistetter with U.S. Open Champion Jack Fleck and Head Golf Professional Jeremy Moe at Hardscrabble CC in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

Jack too me out to Hardscrabble CC on Thursday morning and I met another great guy- Head Golf Professional Jeremy Moe. I have a great video of him and Jack and an interesting thing about Moe is that he plays hickory clubs and recently won the National Hickory Open. The highlight of the day and trip so far was presenting a replica 1904 Olympic Golf Gold Medal (which I received from the folks at Glen Echo CC) to Mr. Fleck. It seemed fitting to me that a man who won the U.S. Open at a club named Olympic and did not have the opportunity to play golf in the Olympics really deserved to have that medal, if only with some recognition from me.

Do not speed through McCurtain, Arkansas... they are waiting... you will get a ticket!

Do not speed through McCurtain, Arkansas… they are waiting… you will get a ticket!

No question about it though I experienced the lowest point of the now week old journey Thursday afternoon driving from Fort Smith, AK to Dallas, TX unfortunately through Oklahoma. I was distracted talking to a friend on the cell phone (hands-free by the way) and  was speeding through a little town called McCurtain, OK and deservedly so was pulled over and received a ticket. I drove about 50 feet and paid the $129 fine at the “Municipal Building.” Then, safely I pulled over to do a phone interview with a Jacksonville Times-Union reporter but when I restarted my journey the GPS told me to go onto the Indian National Turnpike. I went 30 miles in the wrong direction with no exits. I was tempted to do a U-turn but did not want to get another ticket!

I am late for my tee time, have to run!

Wednesday Morning, October 16th, 7:05 am Leaving St. Louis Heading to Fort Smith, AK to visit Mr. Jack Fleck

The Olympic Rings at Glen Echo CC

The Olympic Rings at Glen Echo CC

What an inspiring way to celebrate my birthday! Staying at the historic Union Station Hotel in downtown St. Louis and playing golf with my hickory clubs at Glen Echo CC where golf was last played in the Olympics in 1904. I woke up, got dressed in my knickers and went down to the lobby asking which way to the train out to Glen Echo just like those golfers who were here in 1904 to qualify for the Olympics!

I can’t tell you how connected and in tune I feel with the “Olympic Spirit of Golf” being here and coming from an Olympic weekend in Atlanta with Olympian Dennis Berkholtz.

Andy Reistetter with Olympian Dennis Berkholtz in the Bobby Jones Room at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Andy Reistetter with Olympian Dennis Berkholtz in the Bobby Jones Room at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

Now it is off to see a really spiritual guy, Mr. Jack Fleck, 1955 U.S. Open Champion. This trip, “following the sun to the southern hemisphere” is partly inspired by the man he beat in a playoff at Olympic Club- Ben Hogan. I plan to present Mr. Fleck with the replica Gold Medal given to me by the Glen Echo CC. If golf was played in the Olympics during his playing days he surely would have made the team! From Glen Echo CC to Jack Fleck!

Pictures tell a story, pictures with captions bring you closer to the “Olympic Spirit for Goflers”

Monday Morning, October 14th, 7:21 am Leaving Atlanta Heading to St. Louis

Guess who was the mystery guest of Bill Hughes at the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass?

Guess who was the mystery guest of Bill Hughes at the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass?

Life has been a world wind since leaving my condo and heading to TPC Sawgrass Friday afternoon for a Farewell gathering. Interview with Calvin Peete was awesome. He hit his first hickory club on the back tee. Had some fun with Bill Hughes the GM, Kaeerir Lecker won the drawing and was thrilled to have a set of hickory clubs!

Saturday morning I drove around the fountain at the Clubhouse for good luck. My starting mileage was 127.149 and I left at 9 am. I could not have had a better host or visit to Atlanta. My host was 1972 Olympian Dennis Berkholtz and we had a wonderful time together visiting the Olympic Torch, Bobby Jones’ gravesite, East Lake Golf Park, Centenniel Park and playing Atlanta Athletic Club. I am not totally immersed in the spirit of Bobby Jones and the 1996 Summer Olympics.

I left the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday morning, October 12th at 9 am."Torch," my M30 baby had 127,149 miles on her and I am hoping to see her in Rio with me with 140,000 plus in 3 months!

I left the Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass on Saturday morning, October 12th at 9 am.”Torch,” my M30 baby had 127,149 miles on her and I am hoping to see her in Rio with me with 140,000 plus in 3 months!

Dennis is the first Olympian that I have known personally and I know it has changed my life already. I am beginning to think this “Journey to Olympic Golf” is a life changer for me. And maybe you too. Come join me! But first click this First Tee link and make a little donation. Like meeting Jim, visiting the First Tee of North Florida, playing the Brentwood Course with a couple of kids really got this whole golf ball rolling and it looks like it is going to roll right into the cup for an ace!

ps- I too, like David Toms laid up on No. 18 and made a 15 footer to finish off a great round and great experience. Unlike David Toms, I was bunkered twice before doing so and in the water once. Mine was for a double bogey, his a par but there were three strokes between us as it was a par-5 for me! But making that putt felt as great!

ps- one thing I do know about Atlanta is that the Blue Ridge Grill in Buckhead is a great place to meet people!

 

No. 16 at the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club with Olympian Dennis Berkholtz and members Jim Teate and Geoff Taylor.

No. 16 at the Highlands Course at Atlanta Athletic Club with Olympian Dennis Berkholtz and members Jim Teate and Geoff Taylor.

Friday, October 11th, 11:17 am Home in Creative Condo, Ponte Vedra Beach, FLI am excited to be going to TPC 19 Happy Hour this evening to interview Calvin Peete, winner of 12 PGA TOUR events, including the 1985 THE PLAYERS Championship, and say good bye for a while to my friends here in Ponte Vedra Beach. The highlight of the evening is a drawing for a set of hickory clubs for all who have donate to The First Tee. The goal of the “Journey to Olympic Golf” is to raise $100,000 for the First Tee. Please support this cause if you can!

CLICK here to donate to The First Tee!

Atlanta JTOG all set up! Plans could not have worked out better. Focus in Atlanta is to capture the Olympic Spirit from the 1996 Summer Olympics and the great golfer Bobby Jones. I drive up to Atlanta tomorrow Saturday morning and am staying two nights with a former Olympian. On the schedule are visits to Centennial Olympic Park with the Torch, Bobby Jones gravesite at Historic Oakland Cemetary and Eastlake Golf Club. We are meeting with a group of former Olympians Saturday night and Sunday we are playing Atlanta Athletic Club, home club along with Eastlake to Bobby Jones and where Keegan Bradley won the 2011 PGA Championship. What a great start to the “Journey to Olympic Golf.”

Melissa was an awesome help picking out my new Canon Power Shot SX280HS camera!

Melissa was an awesome help picking out my new Canon Power Shot SX280HS camera!

I love my new Canon Power Shot SX280 HS camera! Thanks Melissa and Best Buy!

On Monday morning I leave for St. Louis playing Glen Echo CC with my hickory sticks. That is golf was last played in the Olympics in 1904.