Capturing the Spirit of Golf in Guatemala

CLICK here for Andy’s Video Recap of six-night Guatemala visit.

CLICK here to visit La Reunion in Antigua, Guatemala.

 

 

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

 

Capturing the Spirit of Golf in Mexico

CLICK here for a Video of Andy recapping the Spirit of Golf in Mexico while driving along on the “Journey to Olympic Golf”

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Federico Valdez, Executive Director of the Mexican Federation of Golf (FMG).

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Ian Gardner, Rules Expert & Former Executive Director of FMG.

CLICK here for Andy’s visit to the Club Campestre de la Ciudad de Mexico (CC of Mexico City)

CLICK here for Andy’s visit to the Club de Golf Mexico (Golf Club of Mexico)

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

Par-5 Sixth hole with President Aleman tree guarding the green. Like President Eisenhower's tree on the 17th at Augusta National Golf Club.

Par-5 Sixth hole with President Aleman tree guarding the green. Like President Eisenhower’s tree on the 17th at Augusta National Golf Club.

Miguel Alemán Valdés (Wiki) served as the President of Mexico from 1946 to 1952. As a successful attorney, his first practice was in representing miners suffering from silicosis. He won two notable legal victories in defending workers against corporations. The first was in securing compensation for dependents of railroad workers who were killed in revolutionary battles; the second was to gain indemnities for miners injured at work. These victories gained him great favor with Mexico’s labor unions.

Alemán ran for President in 1946 as candidate of the PRI (Party of the Mexican Revolution (an earlier name of the party later known as the PRI), and was the winner of the elections held on July 7 of that year, defeating former foreign minister Ezequiel Padilla to become the first non-military candidate to win the presidency of Mexico. He was inaugurated as President of the Republic on December 1, 1946[5] and served until 1952.

As president, Alemán pursued industrial development, increasing the extension of the nation’s rail network, improving highways, and constructing a number of major schools. To accomplish this, he negotiated a major loan from the United States in 1947. Alemán and U.S. President Harry S. Truman rode in a parade in Washington that attracted an estimated 600,000 well-wishers.[7

He also worked extensively on irrigation and farming, greatly expanding the national production of rice, sugar, bananas, coffee, oats, and pineapples. In 1947 he initiated a huge project to control floods and generate hydroelectricity in the state of Oaxaca, culminating with the opening of the Miguel Alemán Dam in 1955.

He gave women the right to vote in municipal elections during his term, and in 1952 elevated Baja California to state status. He played a major role in the development and support of the city of Acapulco, which is now well known all over the world as one of the principal tourist destinations in Mexico and Latin America.

Capturing the Spirit of the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City

CLICK here for a Video of Andy’s recapping the Spirit of the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City while driving along on a “Journey to Olympic Golf.”

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Paulina De Labra on the 1968 ‘Cultural Olympics.”

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Adriana Gonzalez Duran of the National University of Mexico.

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

Met Paulina De Labra and musicians Hector Infanzon and Rodrigo Macias at the Fuente de Cibeles. Paulina’s uncle, Lenen Molina was the organizer of the “Cultural Olympics” during the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City. Paulina, who grew up in the Olympic Spirit, shared her own perspective and her uncle’s insight into what defines the “Cultural Olympics.” Friendship, respect, the right to create, to develop and realize one’s own dreams in life circles that never end. A lasting memory for me of meeting this “Child of the Olympic Spirit” is  that “there is only one kind of humans, human beings.” We all wake up that way each morning!

CLICK here for video interview with Paulina De Labra.

 

Hurdler Norma Enriqueta Basilio, one of the stars of the Mexican team, became the first woman to light the Olympic torch.  In all 5,516 athletes from 122 nations competed in 172 events.

 

CLICK here for my friend Beto Corral’s web page dedicated to the Olympic Village where he lives in Mexico City.

A bit of our history. A little history of the Olympics in 1968

The 1968 Olympics, officially the Games of the XIX Olympiad, the so-called modern Olympic Games were an international multi-sport event. They were the first to be organized by a developing nation, a Spanish-speaking nation and even the upcoming games in Brazil 2016, the only in Latin America. Were held in Mexico City, Mexico, from 12 to 27 October 1968.

Were made well into the autumn in the northern hemisphere , because Mexico City is affected by the rainy season from early May to early October (according to tradition the rains end capital on October 4 , so that date is called ” the cordonazo of San Francisco ” ) , which would have affected a large number of sports to be held outdoors.

Startup Mexico City was not well accepted as Olympic host , by the press and public opinion.The press argued two reasons :
• The altitude of Mexico City (2300 meters) above sea level , which means that air is 30% less oxygen , which would significantly weaken the evidence.
• Mexico was an underdeveloped country . And so for these reasons it was thought that these Olympics would be a disaster.
Mexico fought these arguments with the claim that ” If the Olympic Games are an opportunity for investment and social and economic benefits ,” who better to receive than a developing country . So the ’68 Olympics were a success , despite these two serious drawbacks.
In support of its Olympic bid , the Federal District Department presented to the IOC a book in French , English and Castilian of 207 pages called ” Mexico – Requests – Requests Demande ” that responded to the questionnaire not only official , but it had a historical sketch Mexico city , a list of sporting events previously made ​​a detailed report of the sports facilities that were available and would have to be built , the climatic conditions of Mexico city , different medical opinions of the possible effects of its height ( 2,240 m above sea level ) and a detailed study of communications systems that had the city in early 1963.Mexico City was chosen to host the International Olympic Committee Meeting held in 1963 in Baden -Baden , Germany. The other cities that had been proposed were Lyon in France , Detroit in the United States and Buenos Aires in Argentina .
The sports facilities were built in Mexico capital and Acapulco Bay hosted the sailing events , the rowing and canoeing facilities were held in a channel of 2 kilometers located in a natural park with a capacity for 55,000 spectators.It was obvious that the IOC headquarters in conferring to Mexico , did not think his altitude could damage the health of the participants , much less some pilgrims attested and unfounded comments that appeared in the press of various countries :” If the athletes have to conform in six or eight days at a height of more than two thousand meters … I’ll be pessimistic :they will drop like flies ! ” ” One should not be influenced by the propaganda of the Mexicans, who naturally are putting their city in the clouds , etc. .. ”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team USA Wins Gold at The Spirit International

I did not know about The Spirit International until Charlie Epps, Houston’s preeminent Golf Professional and coach to two-time Major Champion Angel Cabrera, mentioned it to me in a phone conversation. His comment went something like this- it sounds like what you are doing is right along the lines of The Spirit International, an amateur, Olympic-like golfing competition. The Spirit is a biennial event opposite the World Amateur Team Championships  and played at Whispering Pines Golf Club. As luck and fate would have it I was nearby and could extend my stay in Houston to attend the Opening Ceremonies and I am very excited to do so!

CLICK here for video interview with United States Captain Paige MacKenzie

With Paige Makenzie, the United States Captain for the 2014 Spirit International.

With Paige Makenzie, the United States Captain for the 2014 Spirit International.

Paige MacKenzie, United States Captain would end up leading her team to victory at the 2013 Spirit International. She came back to captain the team after being a player on the 2005 team. To say she is a spirited captain of a spirited team in a spirited amateur international event is an understatement. Her exuberance for this event, the experience it provides to amateurs and to the game of golf is clearly evident in our video interview. Living with the teams of Italy and Mexico at Camp Olympia created lifetime memories and connections for her. Paige grew up wanting to play in the Olympics and joked that she was too tall to be a gymnast. With golf in the Olympics in 2016, all little and grown-up girls now have that opportunity. Being mentally focused, relaxed and performing at the right time is the path to Olympic Gold according to Paige.

CLICK here for video interview with Corby Robertson, Founder of The Spirit International

CLICK here for video interview with Eric Fredricksen, Tournament Director

CLICK here for Video Interview of three volunteers who are members too!

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

Bloggers, Breakfast & Birdies at JW Marriott & TPC San Antonio on the Way to Rio

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!

I was invited to the first #BBBatTPC media event ever. If you don’t know what #BBBatTPC is you are not far behind me. Mainly a Facebook guy I am getting into Twitter big time these days. That’s a hashtag and if you go to Twitter and hit #Discover on the header and search for BBBatTPC  you will see all the fun we had staying at the JW Marriott Hill Country and playing around at the TPC San Antonio.

This is a big deal for the PGA TOUR, priming the pump, so to speak the Sunday before the Champions Tour AT&T Championship on the AT&T Canyons Course. In a way, it reminded me of the Web.com Small Business Seminar I attended at TPC Sawgrass a few weeks ago. Social media and internet technology is coming, no, it’s already here to help enhance the golf experience and grow the game, attracting the younger folks.

CLICK here for a video summary of this FUN event!

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).

I learned a lot about social media from the leadership team assembled for this event- Emily Kelly, Director, Business Development for PGA TOUR Golf Course Properties; Lauren Harrison, from the Zimmerman Agency; Matt Flory, the General Manager of TPC San Antonio and Sara Johnstone, a social media expert with HTSB Consulting.

I also learned a lot about this particular joint TPC and JW property. In fact it is a one-of-a-kind, first time ever to have both on the same property with the same ownership. Think about that. The person making the beds, cooking the food and setting up your golfing experience all work for the same owner.

This combo JW and TPC is one of only three golfing facilities to host two PGA TOUR events. Interestingly, TPC San Antonio and Pebble Beach Golf Links hosts both a Champions Tour and a PGA Tour tournament while the flagship TPC Sawgrass hosts THE PLAYERS Championship and the Web.com Championship. The Headquarter guys go a bit over the top with one and goes deeper with the other demonstrating that the future of the game is the golfers coming up through the system. San Antonio and Sawgrass utilize two courses whereas Pebble only has that one special links by Sweetwater Cove and the Pacific beyond.

JW Marriott Hill Country at TPC San Antonio, an awesome twosome!

JW Marriott Hill Country at TPC San Antonio, an awesome twosome!

Like other professional sports, namely baseball, basketball and football, the PGA TOUR has now entered the revenue field of naming rights. The two courses at TPC San Antonio, host to the AT&T Championship and the Valero Texas Open, are named the AT&T Canyons and AT&T Oaks Courses. You can get a dial tone anywhere in the meandering hill country with your AT&T phone while playing TPC Sawgrass, even where I hit it.

I learned from my fellow bloggers. I know that sounds like you, I and Tiger Woods all swing a club and make contact with a golf ball (most of the time) so we are all in the same category of golfers. Not all bloggers are created equal either though I was level par with one who has yet to purchase a smart phone and does his blogging by laptop PC.

Let me introduce you to some of the folks who I blogged with for a weekend at the JW Marriott and TPC San Antonio and had breakfast with. I had fun too even though they made all the birdies. Not a single one for me.

Ryan Heiman, shirt & tie designer!

Ryan Heiman, shirt & tie designer!

There was the minister from Minnesota named Ryan Heiman, who played in long sleeve traditional shirts and ties he designed. They are traditional only in appearance as his design modifications make them more functional than Polo shirts, namely skin protection from the sun too! Plus the biggest advantage is that you can sneak away from work, (even church?) for a few holes or a bucket of balls and no one is the wiser of it. Here is a guy who is trying to bring back the Gentleman’s Game. By the way, the name of his company, Vesti Ascendi, means to “dress up.” So dress up and play like a gentleman!

CLICK here for Ryan’s Vesti Ascendi line of shirts and ties.

Andy Reistetter with Chip Gist doing an interview in front of the Wall of Texas Fame at TPC San Antonio.

Andy Reistetter with Chip Gist doing an interview in front of the Wall of Texas Fame at TPC San Antonio.

Another guy, Chip Gist is “Texas Bound for Golf,” even though he lives in Austin. I guess Texas is so big, you can be bound for other parts of it even if you live there. A great guy and a Texas historian of the game as you will see in a video interview he did in front of the Texas Wall fo Fame in the Clubhouse at TPC San Antonio. Chip is the concierge for the Texas Golf Trail so point yourself towards Texas and give him a call!

CLICK here for Chip’s Texas Bound for Golf Concierge Service

Tom Bedell capturing a Blogger in action, Ms. TPC San Antonio herself, on the 18th green.

Tom Bedell capturing a Blogger in action, Ms. TPC San Antonio herself, on the 18th green.

Tom Bedell is the only member of both the Golf Writers Association of America and the North American Guild of Beer Writers. We are only opposites in that I came from a visit to the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas and he was heading that way, but I do have an Android!.

 

CLICK here for Tom’s Golf & Beer Writings

CLICK here for Tom’s article on our fun at the #BBB@TPC

Our "BBBatTPC" official foursome- Andy Reistetter, Ed Schmidt, Ryand David and Chip Gist.

Our “BBBatTPC” official foursome- Andy Reistetter, Ed Schmidt, Ryand David and Chip Gist.

Ed Schmidt is another one of us golf travel gurus. Note that I inserted myself into that category just like the blogger label earlier. He is based out of Orlando, Florida (Golf’s second home to Ponte Vedra Beach), and has written over 2600 articles in a career spanning 26 years. For you math whizzers out here that is 100 articles a year or one about every three to four days. Definitely a golf guru and a good guy to play golf with. He yelled duck on the short par-4 sixth hole right before Heath McCall of Bunkers Paradise failed to call the warning shot and almost made the green not so much a paradise for me (in reality our other two playing partners had waved Heath up and I was daydreaming and not paying attention).

CLICK here for the Golf Travel Guru’s website

CLICK here for the Golf Travel Guru’s article on his visit to the JW Marriott Hill Country and the TPC San Antonio.

CLICK here for Heath McCall’s Bunker’s Paradise article on our entertaining Sunday at TPC  San Antonio!

Tim Halberg, the Golf Spy, went undercover for the BBBatTPC event as Ian Poulter.

Tim Halberg, the Golf Spy, went undercover for the BBBatTPC event as Ian Poulter.

I met a spy at the Bloggers, Breakfast & Birdies event, at least I think I did. I guess you are never too sure who is pretending to be a golfer these days. I did manage to figure out his identity- Tim Halberg. Sorry to out his like this, hopefully not as big a deal as the Lindsay Moran CIA deal. Maybe there is a book in this… Blown My Cover, My Life as a Golfer?

CLICK here to get to know Tim as a professional photographer.

CLICK here to check out the My Golf Spy website.

I don’t think Tim is the The Chief, more like Agent 59, I have seen his golf game and my wallet was lighter afterwards, he may be a Thief too!

That’s all for now from my new world of Twitter and Blogging… it is really easy… join Twitter and discover #BBBatTPC and discover the JW Marriott Hill Country and the TPC San Antonio, an awesome place in Golfing Paradise!

After a day full of Blogging, Breakfast and Golf (sadly no Birdies) I was ready for a nap! I guess I wasn’t the only one! More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

Dufnering at TPC San Antonio with my blogger buddies!

Dufnering at TPC San Antonio with my blogger buddies!

 

 

 

 

Capturing the Spirit of Olympic Golf at Glen Echo CC in St. Louis

All I can say is that I was not there in 1904 when golf was last played in the Olympics but I feel like I was. Nobody on this earth was there, it will be a gap of 112 years when an Olympic Golfer tees it up in Rio, that’s like 2-3 generations ago! Playing my hickory clubs, wearing knickers, and walking the fairways which have mostly remained unchanged in the last century was a humbling experience. I felt the presence of all the golfing legends, including the last Olympic Golf Golf Medalist George Lyons who won at Glen Echo. For me it was a perfect day and validation that I am on a personal journey to define the Olympic Spirit within me and also on an Odyssey with you to define the “Olympic Spirit of Golf and Golfers.” To me, nearly holing out a mashie on the par-3 ninth hole, was all the evidence I need to know I am on the right road to Rio de Janeiro!

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

Capturing the Spirit of Bobby Jones

If one is searching to define the “Olympic Spirit of Golf & Golfers” what better person and place to start than with Bobby Jones and his home, Atlanta? I visited his grave site in the historic Oakland Cemetery, Eastlake Golf Club where the young lad learned to play golf under the watchful eye of Stuart Maiden and played the Highlands Course at the Atlantic Athletic Club where Bobby moved with the club in 1967.

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

 

Capturing the Olympic Spirit of the 1996 Games in Atlanta

On my way to St. Louis to officially kick off the “Journey to Olympic Golf” at Glen Echo CC, purely by chance and fate, I realized I would be driving through Atlanta which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996. Not only that but Atlanta is the home of Bobby Jones. So in one weekend I was three-for-three- on a journey and capturing the Spirit of the Olympics and Golf. When your actions and behavior match perfectly the title of your endeavor in life that is a good thing!

I was hosted by 1972 Olympian Dennis Berkholtz (1972 Team Handball, Olympic Coach in 1976) which was an amazing experience in of itself. We visited the Torch monument near Turner Field, explored Centennial Park, the lasting focal point of the 1996 Games and I met and interviewed another Olympian named Bob Pickens (1964 Olympic Greco-Roman Wrestler).

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

 

TPC Sawgrass Farewell for Journey To Olympic Golf

What a great way to start out on a “Journey to Olympic Golf” from the Home of THE PLAYERS, the PGA TOUR and Bill’s Building! The Clubhouse at TPC Sawgrass, an awesome place! What an inspiring interview with Calvin Peete, Champion of the 1985 PLAYERS. We had the drawing for the set of hickory clubs and guess who won? Kerrie Lecker!

CLICK here for the video of the Drawing for the Set of Hickories

CLICK here for the video of Bill Hughes’ unveiling of the “Journey to Olympic Golf.

More videos, pictures, & posts coming… what would you like me to write about?

 

Andy Reistetter with Clavin Peete, 1985 PLAYERS Champion. Calvin hit his first hickory club on October 11th, 2013!

Andy Reistetter with Clavin Peete, 1985 PLAYERS Champion. Calvin hit his first hickory club on October 11th, 2013!
Andy Reistetter with biographer Susan Brandenburg

Andy Reistetter with biographer Susan Brandenburg

Three Amigos- Andy Reistetter, Stokes Hill & Mike Pugh

Three Amigos- Andy Reistetter, Stokes Hill & Mike Pugh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting mileage for "Torch," my M30 baby was 127,149 on Saturday, October 12th at 9 am leaving from the Clubhouse.

Starting mileage for “Torch,” my M30 baby was 127,149 on Saturday, October 12th at 9 am leaving from the Clubhouse.

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!

TPC Sawgrass GM Bill Hughes with a mystery guest at the JTOG Farewell at the Clubhouse on Friday, October 11th.

TPC Sawgrass GM Bill Hughes with a mystery guest at the JTOG Farewell at the Clubhouse on Friday, October 11th.

Winner Kerry "Hutchie" Lecker and her two daughters!

Winner Kerry “Hutchie” Lecker and her two daughters!

What is Journey to Olympic Golf (JTOG)?

What is the “Journey to Olympic Golf” and who is Andy Reistetter?

Andy Reistetter, with a goal to raise $100,000 for charity, will “Journey to Olympic Golf” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, host of the 2016 Summer Olympics, from St. Louis where golf was last played in the Olympics in 1904. The three-month road trip will pass through the Southwest United States, Mexico, Central and South America. The tour will stop in each country with a day of local volunteerism, visits to historical sites and featured golf destinations. The journey will conclude with a flight back to the January 2014 PGA Show in Orlando where the specifics of the charitable donation will be announced.

Andy is more than a freelance golf writer, broadcast assistant and golf entrepreneur. Ultimately he is an inspiration seeker, whose next mission is to celebrate golf’s return to the Olympics. Part a personal journey to define the Olympic spirit within and part golf promotion, daily updates and videos will be posted on www.JourneyToOlympicGolf.com. Planning for the tour is underway and how it progresses and evolves will also be blogged. Please contact Andy at AndyReistetter@gmail with your comments and suggestions.

In addition to your individual donation for miles traveled, golf courses played and birdies made, Andy will donate 20% of any revenues received from sponsors. The tour will visit each country in Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) and South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela).