Senior PGA good for allPublished 11:55pm Thursday, May 31, 2012
It’s hard to believe it’s been a week since the Senior PGA Championship got started in Benton Harbor at Harbor Shores.
It seems like it was only a few days ago I got the pleasure of watching some of the world’s best golfers over the age of 50 compete right here in southwest Michigan.
It was a long week, but very enjoyable one. We were treated like kings in the media center and I was witness to some pretty amazing golf.
When I arrived for the Pro-Am, it didn’t take long to run into someone I knew. I recall thinking on my way over to Benton Harbor if I would see anyone.
Heck, I didn’t event get to the media center before that happened. I had barely gotten to the first tee area before I saw more people I knew and it continued that way throughout the week.
I was glad to see that area golf fans were taking in the tournament.
I knew coming into the event that there were thousands of volunteers to work a variety of positions during the tournament.
On the first day of the tournament, I can into Dowagiac’s Dave Daniels. He was working as an electronic scorekeeper for the featured group – Fred Couples, Kenny Perry and Jeff Sluman.
I saw Dave, who is the maintanence supervisor for Dowagiac Union Schools, several times throughout the weekend. He looked a bit tired, but still was smiling everytime our paths crossed.
“It’s been pretty unbelievable,” Daniels said when I asked him about the experience. “Just to walk course with the players. To see the shots. To get a pairing with Fred Couples and Kenny Perry, I’m probably one of the luckiest guys in Michigan right now.”
Daniels that that Thursday round was interesting because of the wind. Many in the field failed to break par, inlcuding his group, but there were times when they took advantage of the wind direction and showed what they were made of.
“When they were teeing off down wind, some of the shots were cannon shots,” he said. “They were unbelievably long.”
One of the best parts of the whole experience for Daniels was getting to interact with the professionals and their caddies.
“You have been able to ask them questions like are these greens anything like the Masters? They said no they are not, the Masters are twice as fast as these. Just to get some insight on the clubs that they are hitting and the yardages and everything that goes on on the course. It was just a lot of fun.”
I am sure that I could talk to any number of other people who took part in the tournament and get the same response.
From my perspective, and those of many others, the tournament ran as smoothly as one could expect. My hat goes off to everyone involved in bringing this event to our area. For the most part the weather cooperated and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves.
Just think, this was the first time we have had a chance to host such an event. When the PGA of America returns to our little corner of the world in 2014, I expect even bigger and better things.
Hopefully those who were closest to the tournament, the people of Benton Harbor and St. Joseph, took the time to enjoy not only the tournament itself, but what this tournament and the entire Harbor Shores concept has given to them.
Scott Novak is sports editor for Leader Publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.