This past weekend has been the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill in Orlando. We happen to be lucky enough to live right across the street from Bay Hill, so for the past few years, Chris and I have gone to the tournament with friends since it’s a short walk from our house (but, let’s be honest… we still drive…).
(Martin Kaymer, above)
Last year, we went to the “Wine and Dine on Nine” event. You purchase a ticket package that gets you into this huge tent on the 9th fairway, where they had little tents set up inside from various restaurants around Orlando. You can mosey around, snack and nibble on each restaurant’s snack plates, and get unlimited beer and wine (a necessity, if you’re going to be committed to watching golf all day long).
This year, we decided to try a different event they offer called “Birdies and BBQ.” It was in the same tent on the 9th fairway, but this time they had BBQ at different tables and unlimited beer of all types.
We spent all day on Saturday with our friends, Danielle and Quinn, walking around the golf course, seeing friends and watching golfers.
Mostly, Danielle and I people watched. We picked golfers in outfits we loved, and decided that neon colors looked surprisingly good on them because they are so tan. We checked out cute, young 20-something boys in their snazzy little golfing outfits walking around with their slightly bored, perfectly coifed girlfriends. We picked out those couples who were about our age, who had pretty much given up on trying to look anything other than like ourselves (a gift of being in your 30’s, I have learned). We spotted older, smartly dressed women and chose which style we wanted to dress like when we came back as grandparents one day. And we stalked a young kid who was wearing golf pants with giant yellow and green pineapples all over them.
Without a doubt, though, the most entertaining part of the day came just after we arrived at the golf course around 10:30 in the morning. We found a nice little hill overlooking the 6th green and planted ourselves there with a morning beer (don’t judge!) and prepared to watch Rory McIlroy come through in a few minutes. As we were waiting, golfer, Ian Poulter, finished on the 6th hole and was walking right by us to the 7th tee box.
As he walked by, these two young guys sitting about four feet to the right of our group yelled out, “Nice putt, Ian!” But Mr. Poulter didn’t respond. So, thinking he couldn’t hear him, the young guy says somewhat under his breath to Poulter, “Yeah, you suck.”
All of a sudden, Ian Poulter stops walking, turns right around, and walks back down to the 6th green. He walks up to an official standing there, points to the kid who yelled out, and immediately, the official gets on his radio. Poulter walked off to the next hole, smiling broadly at the kid. It was pretty clear that the young guy was about to get thrown out.
“Geez,” he mumbled, loud enough for those of us who were snickering around him. “I didn’t realize Ian Poulter had such good hearing.”
(Rory McIlroy above)
We sat there while more officials gathered and the police were brought in. At which point, the guy stopped talking and all his own friends began stepping slowly away from him, fearing they would be taken down with their buddy.
As bad as this all sounds as I type it out, it was INCREDIBLY funny as it happened. The kid reminded me so much of the two boys I lived with in college, and I couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for him and his GIANT MOUTH.
In the end, the police came over (who were kind of laughing, too) and gave him a talking to. As they were talking to him, though, his buddy was standing a few feet away putting the entire thing on SnapChat, which made me laugh even harder. They agreed to let the guy stay, but I can guarantee that he wouldn’t yell ANYTHING out for the rest of the day!
(Bubba Watson, above)
From their, our day just got more fun. We wandered around, following some of our favorite golfers, and would sometimes just plant ourselves at a hole for a while and watch whoever came through. When we got hungry or needed another beer, we would head back to our tent and fill up before heading out again.
(Jason Day, above)
It was a perfect day date with my Pookey and is quickly becoming one of my favorite Orlando traditions.
Next year, we want to try to bust into someone’s corporate, air conditioned chalet. But that’s going to take some planning and plotting. Danielle and I have a year to figure out how to make that happen.