Texas

The Spirit International is an amateur version of the Olympics for golf! I hope to attend the Opening Ceremonies and capture the sense and spirit of this competition when i visit Houston.

CLICK here for an Introductory Video of The Spirit International.

I am excited to be going back to Texas just before I cross the border to Mexico. I lived near San Antonio for 1-1/2 years before I came to Ponte Vedra Beach in early 2008. I remember going to each of the Texas Swing PGA Tournaments in 2007—the Shell Houston Open, the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial CC, the HP Byron Nelson at TPC Four Seasons Resort and the Valero Texas Open in San Antonio. Looking back, I guess that was a harbinger of what was to come for Andy Reistetter!

Texas is golf and I can’t wait to return for a visit though I fear I might get lost in the Texas Triangle of Dallas—San Antonio—Houston, not to mention 6th Street in Austin or the Wurstfest in New Braunfels where I use to live. Luckily it starts after I will pass through or I would have lost a week celebrating life with my old buddies of the Republic (that’s a plug Gino)!

The highlight of my Texas visit will be interviewing Andrea Sloan. If you are not part of Andi’s Army, you need to be. CLICK here for a link to show your support for Compassionate Drug Use. There are over 200,00 supporters now and I bet it will be one million before I meet her in two weeks. She is an inspiration and I can’t wait to meet her!

CLICK her for TEXAS- It’s like a WHOLE OTHER COUNTRY!

On the ‘Journey to Olympic Golf,’ I plan to dedicate a full day of volunteering at least once in every one of the 19 countries I plan to visit. For the United States I am hoping to do that in Dallas, Texas and hope the Salesmanship Club of Dallas or some other volunteer organization can point me in the right direction. All I ask is that it be hands-on and alongside other volunteers for a good cause!

I am hoping to interview Curt Sampson, best selling golf author. CLICK here for Curt Sampson’s website!

A return to TPC Four Seasons Dallas, the only AAA Five-Diamond resort in Texas, would be nice. I would love to interview Peggy Nelson and ask her about Byron Nelson’s thoughts of playing golf in the Olympics. I met her at the 2010 Byron Nelson Classic and her book, Life with Lord Byron is a great insight into the legendary golfer. Here are two articles I wrote about Byron and playing the TPC Four Seasons championship golf course:

Byron Nelson: Leadership Inspired by the Game of Golf

Play TPC Four Seasons Experience Byron Nelson’s Legacy

I hope to play Colonial CC in Fort Worth for fore reasons— 1.) Ben Hogan (that is reason enough as I saw their Ben Hogan room when I was there in 2010), 2.) Colonial CC is a great golf course design with a great legacy of competitions, 3.) Colonial CC hosted the second THE PLAYERS Championship in 1975 when it was a road show before settling down at Sawgrass CC and TPC Sawgrass. I am an amateur PLAYERS historian and want to play all five course that have been a host site), 4.) The historical appearance by World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sorenstam competing on the PGA TOUR in 2003.

A dream would be to interview Ben Crenshaw at the Austin Golf Club! After all, who in golf do you associate with being in direct contact with the golfing gods other than Gentle Ben? “I have a feeling…”

I know this is beginning to sound like a golfing trip, which is partly true. The other part is a quest to define the ‘Olympic Spirit for Golfers’ since no one living on this earth has ever played Olympic Golf. Last to do so were 75 men in 1904 at Glen Echo CC in St, Louis. George Lyon, a Canadian won the Golf Medal and the Western Golf Association team winning the Gold Medal in team competition. Women did play in the only other Olympic Golf competition in Paris in 1900.

I am hoping to interview golfers, Olympians and inspiration people along the way to take a first cut at defining that ‘Olympic Spirit for Golfers.’ Any thoughts or ideas on who to interview or where to go please contact me on Facebook or by email at AndyReistetter@gmail.com.

In Houston, hoping to play Champions Golf Club. Something tells me a conversation with Jack Burke, Jr., who is now 90 years old, would evoke memories of Jimmy Demaret and help define the ‘Olympic Spirit for Golfers.

I would also like to play Redstone Golf Club and see Head Golf Professional Bret Nutt who I had the pleasure of interviewing earlier in the year at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He was teamed up with his father Ollie who is the former president and CEO of the Monterey Peninsula Foundation which runs both the PGA Tour’s AT&T National Pro-Am and the Champions Tour’s Wal-Mart First Tee Open at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Pro son Bret witnessed his amateur father ace the par-3, 155-yard 7th hole at Spyglass Hill with a 7-iron during this year’s first round. Ollie and his board made the decision to put my friend Suzanne McCourt’s artwork on the cover of the 2010 pro-am program, the first time for a lady artist.

That’s all for Texas for now as far as my wish list.  Christmas is still almost three months away but I am hopeful!  (-:

I remember each of the four “Texas Swing tournaments I attended in 2007. The Shell Houston Open in Humble, TX near Houston at Redstone Golf Club. Adam Scott, who I would later see become the first Aussie to win The Masters won in 2007.

The Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial CC in Fort Worth was won by Rory Sabbatini. I remember the, now banned bv the PGA TOUR, caddie races on the 13th hole. I won one race and a guy had no money so he gave me two passes to the corporate hospitality high above the 18th green. It was a memorable finish!

At the HP Byron Nelson, at the TPC Four Seasons Resort in Irving (or Las Colinas at the time), a local Dallas Texan named Scott Verplank won the year after Byron Nelson had passed.

The Valero Texas Open, right in San Antonio at La Cantera Golf Club (now played at TPC San Antonio), was won by Zach Johnson, the first of his back-to-back wins there. Zach has won half of his eight regular season victories in Texas. The other two Texas wins came in three years at Colonial CC to go along with his 2007 Masters and 2013 BMW playoff win. Remember the last in 2012 when he forgot to move his mark back on the 72nd hole but still won?

CLICK here for link to the Wurstfest in New Braunfels, TX— November 1st to the 10th (more than a week!).

Dallas, Texas, Wikipedia

San Antonio, Texas, Wikipedia

Laredo, Texas, Wikipedia

Enter Mexico via the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge over the Rio Grande.

Nuevo Laredo, Tamaulipas, Mexico, Wikipedia