Florida’s First Coast of Golf Experience – Day Two

If you missed the first post, check out Florida’s First Coast of Golf Experience – Day One to catch up.

The Fila gear of the day consisted of a white California Polo with a green Torino hat worn by Don and a green Innsbruck Striped polo with the white Torino hat worn by yours truly.

Florida’s First Coast of Golf Experience Day two began with a trip to the World Golf Hall of Fame where we had a guided tour from Travis Hill, Director of Communication. Even though I live only two hours away, this was my first visit to the famed establishment.

The World Golf Hall of Fame opened in 1998 and it’s purpose is to honor the history of the 550-year-old game of golf by preserving the legacies of the world’s greatest players and contributors. The Hall of Fame members include golfers, both professional and amateur, course architects, journalists, innovators and noteworthy teachers.

Through revealing and inspirational storytelling, the establishment honors it’s 136 members and their finest moments. The exhibits include artifacts (all donated by the members), works of art and photography significant to the history of golf and it’s members.

The World Golf Hall of Fame Class of 2011 was inducted on May 9th and consisted of Ernie Els, Doug Ford, President George H.W. Bush, Frank Chirkinian, Jock Hutchison, and Masashi “Jumbo” Ozaki.

World Golf Hall of Fame CEO Jack Peter said about the class, “This is a special night, the Class of 2011 comes from South Africa, Japan, the United States and Scotland. The global nature of this wonderful class embodies so much of what the World Golf Hall of Fame stands for. We are all thrilled to welcome all of them into the World Golf Hall of Fame Family.”

During the tour we visited a temporary exhibit, dedicated to the late Bob Hope, where they have artifacts, photos and various write ups about his impact and contributions to the game of golf.

The rest of the tour included, a replica of the Swilcan Bridge, golf clubs and golf balls throughout the ages, an area dedicated to the former and current World Golf Hall of Fame Classes and the trophy room that contains replicas of many of the worlds most prominent professional golf events.

They also have a series of player lockers which contains memorabilia donated by professional golfers. Don and I took a spin on the indoor golf simulator where we played a par 3 hole, which we tied and had to break it with a long drive competition, which unfortunately he won.

After the awesome tour it was on to the maaaaaain event, The Players Championship. We had time to enter the grounds, catch KJ Choi on the practice putting green and lunch in the totally sweet Hospitality House before the Heavens opened up and the torrential downpour ensued. We tried to wait it out, but when word was passed that it could be two hours or more, we fashioned ourselves some box umbrellas and hightailed it out of there back to where East Coast Transportation was waiting.

Much to our disappointment, by the time we got back to the hotel, play had resumed and the players were tearing it up. Ah well..

The next stop on our agenda was the Raintree Cafe, where we met up with a very cool lady named Barbara Golden from St. Augustine Visitor & Convention Bureau. There we dined on a dish called Beef Wellington, their signature dish. It was pretty interesting, it’s a filet of beef coated in pate` and cooked in a puff pastry. It’s savory and contains a variety of flavors. I think you would pair it with a good red wine, but I’m a malt and hops kind of guy and that’s what I paired with it.

After the dinner, it was off to Ripley’s Believe It or Not for a ghost tour on their famous Ghost Train. My wife was insanely jealous that I was able to go on this tour, she’s a ghostly things fanatic.. so I’ll be back here doing it again I’m sure. 🙂 It was a pretty neat tour, as you’re traveling your ghostly tour guide discusses the different spooky places of interest, spinnging thrilling tales of mysterious deaths and sightings.

They give you these energy detectors that you use to find fluctuations of energy in the air that are supposed to be ghostly apparitions. When you find these, you take a picture to see if you can catch it on film. Mine must have been defective, because I didn’t any such signs…. 🙂

The tour ends back at the museum and your given a tour through the building, in the dark and they tell you of two mysterious deaths that happened in the building.

After that, it was back to the hotel for the evening. Overall, it was a pretty good day, full of adventure. It stinks about the Players, but hey, there’s another full day of it tomorrow!

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