2018 World Am Myrtle Beach: PLAY-by-PLAY on Social Media!

CLICK HERE for Andy’s Feature Article on the 2018 World Am in Myrtle Beach!

Four rounds means 15 new golfing buddies from around the world but this is my GTWA golfing buddy Tom Gorman!

Four rounds means 15 new golfing buddies from around the world but this is my GTWA golfing buddy Tom Gorman!

Competing in the 35th World Amateur in Myrtle Beach, SC was the best competitive golfing experience of my lifetime! Granted I am an amateur golfer and my game this week certainly is proof of that but I have been up close and personal with golf for my entire lifetime. Club Champion, Member-Guest Winners, and even qualified once for the Illinois State Championship and competed against a bunch of flat-belly college players is my amateur experience. Plus I have followed the PGA TOUR for the last eleven years and worked over 200 professional events. Why am I telling you this? So that you know that when I say ‘Competing in the 35th World Amateur in Myrtle Beach, SC was the best competitive golfing experience of my lifetime!’ that is authentic and true!

Here are my posts in chronological order for that amazing week in Myrtle Beach! Only room for a few pics in the text but there are 183 in the Picture Gallery beyond the text!

Enjoy and I hope to tee it up with you in the 2019 World Am in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina! Play well!

Oceanfront accommodations at the Caravelle Resort! Sunrise! Nice!

Oceanfront accommodations at the Caravelle Resort! Sunrise! Nice!

Last leg of the 2018 East Coast Golf Journey- competing in the 35th Myrtle Beach World Amateur Golf Championship! A 4-day event on 4 different golf courses; 3,183 golfers; 66 flights; 50+ golf courses masterminded by Chris King! Kickoff/Welcome Party at Broadway at the Beach was a blast!(Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-26-18)

Loving my room/efficiency at The Caravelle Resort! Nice to swim in the ocean after golf yesterday & the sunrises (moon too) are spectacular! Nice transition back home to PVB! Let’s have a TROML Day today! #MBWorldAM   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-28-18)

It's not where you start but where you finish. But my name was up there in first place after Round 1 for all the other 3,200 golfers to see at the 19th Hole!

It’s not where you start but where you finish. But my name was up there in first place after Round 1 for all the other 3,200 golfers to see at the 19th Hole!

WOW, what a first day the Myrtle Beach World Amateur Championship! First a 79 at Wachesaw Plantation East, then the world’s largest 19th Hole! I call it the World’s Largest Party in Golf! And it’s a Monday night! WOW, what fun! Good to see some old friends in golf & make some new ones too! Caledonia Golf & Fish Club tomorrow!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-27-18)

Off to a good start! One birdie, no double bogey, no 3-putt round of 79! TROML Baby! #MBWorldAM   (Facebook Post with 1 Pic, Andy Reistetter, 8-27-18)

With my new golfing buddies after Round 1: Duke, Barry, & Clay!

With my new golfing buddies after Round 1: Duke, Barry, & Clay!

Rough Round Two… tough golf course, a great Mike Stranz design in perfect condition, weather delay, poor execution… shot ÷18, 88, net 77, bogey golf was I today… scores likely high though cart mate shot 79, other two had 93s… disappointed though I did my best throughout the battle… 19th Hole tonight, largest party in golf, tomorrow will be a new day!   (Facebook Post with 1 Pic, Andy Reistetter, 8-28-18)

 

 

Need I say it again... Pure Inspiration, Pure Courage, & Pure Determination is Hugh III Royer...

Need I say it again… Pure Inspiration, Pure Courage, & Pure Determination is Hugh III Royer…

Pure Inspiration, Pure Courage, & Pure Determination is Hugh III Royer… chilling commentary on skin cancer, taking ownership of your healthcare despite the failings of healthcare professionals, and living & loving life to its fullest! First met Hugh Royer III several years ago when he was inspiring juniors in golf… now he is inspiring adults in life! Thank you Hugh! All the best to you & family!  (Facebook Post with 1 Pic, Andy Reistetter, 8-28-18)

 

Amazing golf courses! I played Wachesaw East, Caledonia, Legends Parkland, and Aberdeen. This is the 18th at Caledonia!

Amazing golf courses! I played Wachesaw East, Caledonia, Legends Parkland, and Aberdeen. This is the 18th at Caledonia!

Shoot 88… go from leading by 3 strokes to T5 nine strokes behind… go to the 19th Hole of the World Am, the Biggest Party in Golf…have a BLAST… now there are only 4 golfers ahead of me with two rounds to play… going low tomorrow on Moving Day! #MBWorldAM   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-28-18)

No moving for me on Moving Day… disappointing 87 (net 76) in Round 3 BUT still T5 with only four guys in front of me! I still have a chance to win this thing! Another great 19th Hole experience this evening! Seafood & Karaoke Night! The Biggest Party in Golf just goes on and on and on! #MBWorldAM   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-29-18)

Don't ever call me a sandbagger but I do feel good about my net 290, Plus-4, T4 finish!

Don’t ever call me a sandbagger but I do feel good about my net 290, Plus-4, T4 finish!

Final Day of the 2018 Myrtle Beach World Amateur! Shot 41+39=80 to finish 4th in my flight! The fourth & final night of the 19th Hole was a celebration extraordinaire! WOW, an amazing experience to play & party my way through this 4-round handicapped competition! Definitely an add to any golfer’s bucket list. Organized, orchestrated, & conducted to perfection, pleasure, & performance of all the golfers participating! Concluding experience of the 2018 East Coast Golf Journey for Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary! Time to head home to Ponte Vedra Beach!   (Facebook Post with 30 Pics, Andy Reistetter, 8-30-18)

The World Am was a great finish to the memorable month-long, 4,173-mile East Coast Golf Journey!

The World Am was a great finish to the memorable month-long, 4,173-mile East Coast Golf Journey!

The month-long, 4,200 mile, 11-different beds 2018 East Coast Golf Journey has been successfully completed! WOW, so many wonderful golf & travel experiences, family & friend visits! TROML Baby! Thank you to ALL the great people and events that helped make August 2018 a memorable month! Much appreciated with gratitude! Andy’s Golf & Travel Diary #MBWorldAm #DSGO (Facebook Post with 1 Pic, Andy Reistetter, 9-2-18)

Here are those 183 pictures of golf, the 19th Hole and a hole lot of FUN!

CLICK here to play in the 2019 World Am in Myrtle Beach!

 

Capturing the Spirit of Byron Nelson at Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas

The statue of Byron Nelson looks normal size from 30 yards but up close his story is so inspirational it is bigger than life.

The statue of Byron Nelson looks normal size from 30 yards but up close his story is so inspirational it is bigger than life.

I went to Dallas to capture the Spirit of Byron Nelson. I spent three nights at the Four Seasons Resort & Spa in a villa overlooking the 18th green of the TPC Four Seasons Resort/Las Colinas Course. The HP Byron Nelson Championship has been in existence since 1944 when Byron Nelson won the inaugural event. Since 1983, when Ben Crenshaw won, it has been played on the TPC Las Colinas Course. There is golf history everywhere on this resort property but especially on the Byron Nelson Plaza where, in the watchful eye of a clock tower (Byron loved clocks), there is a nine foot statue of the Legend of Golf.

What I realized is that when you are 30-40 yards away from Mr. Nelson’s statue he looks almost mortal, no bigger than any of the golfers that pass by, even another charter member of The Sports Club, also named Byron Nelson (true fact, no relation). But when you come closer, talk to folks who knew him personally and absorb the memorabilia in Champions Hall you get a sense of the Spirit of Byron Nelson.

CLICK here for Part 1 of a Video Interview with Tim Cusick, Director of Golf Instruction, Four Seasons Resort & Spa Dallas.

CLICK here for Part 2 of a Video Interview with Tim Cusick, Director of Golf Instruction, Four Seasons Resort & Spa Dallas.

Andy Reistetter with Vail Tolbert, Director of Public Relations at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas.

Andy Reistetter with Vail Tolbert, Director of Public Relations at the Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas.

I received an awesome tour of the property from Vail Tolbert, the Director of Public Relations. Then  I interviewed Tim Cusick, the Director of Golf Instruction and Rob Cowan, The Sports Club Manager along with the other Byron Nelson, an amateur member of the Sports Club.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Rob Cowan, Manager of the Sports Club, Four Seasons Resort & Spa Dallas.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Byron Nelson, an amateur member of the Sports Club with a familiar name.

The highlight, of course, was playing the TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas course (no pun intended). My playing partners were Tom Horan, host of the popular Golf Talk America radio program “Speaking of Golf,” and a delightful father Steve & son Joey duo from Denver, Colorado. We surely felt the presence of Byron on his golf course at his home club.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Tom Horan, host of “Speaking of Golf” on the 17th tee at TPC Four Seasons Las Colinas.

I had the pleasure of corresponding with Mrs. Peggy Nelson who I met at the 2010 BNC when she released her book, Life with Lord Byron: Laughter, Romance, and Lessons Learned from Golf’s Greatest Gentleman. Here is a Q&A with Mrs. Nelson:Andy Reistetter, Journey to Olympic Golf:   What are your personal thoughts about the Olympics? What is your favorite event, favorite Olympian, most memorable moment and why? Did you and Byron watch them on TV or ever attend in person? Do you have any recollection of conversations you had with Byron about the Olympics in general?

Mrs. Nelson:     Byron and I always admired Olympic athletes and the dedication and sacrifice it takes for both them and their families to reach that highest point of endeavor, no matter which sport it is.  My favorite event would be figure skating, and Peggy Fleming was quite a heroine for me–I was honored to meet her one day many years ago and she was so lovely and gracious–every inch the champion still.  Of course, her Olympic victory was before the event became so prodigiously athletic with all the requirements for multiple jumps, so grace and fluidity were more important.

Byron and I never attended an Olympic event  but watched quite a bit on TV, and were always amazed at the talent and determination the athletes displayed.  We didn’t talk about it a lot nor do I recall Byron saying anything specific about the events, though he enjoyed watching.  I think he liked the summer sports more, because he was never a fan of cold and snow!

Andy Reistetter, Journey to Olympic Golf:     Byron played on two Ryder Cups and captained a third team. What did it mean to him to play for his country? What emotion would characterize it best? What thought or story was his favorite about the Ryder Cup?

Mrs. Nelson:     Byron loved playing and captaining in the Ryder Cup–he said being selected captain by the team was the greatest honor he ever received in golf.  Of course, he loved America and so was very proud to play for the USA; at the same time, when the Ryder Cup was held in Portland, Oregon in ’47 and the British team’s expenses were provided by an American. Byron was very pleased to be part of that team as well as being glad the competition could resume.  As for stories, you might check his autobiography How I Played the Game, because there are several in there.

Andy Reistetter with Mrs. Peggy Nelson at the 2010 BNC.

Andy Reistetter with Mrs. Peggy Nelson at the 2010 BNC.

Andy Reistetter, Journey to Olympic Golf:     Golf will be played in the Olympics for the first time in 112 years in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. In your opinion, what would it have meant to Byron to be an Olympic Golfer? How do you think he would have defined the “Olympic Spirit for Golfers?” How would it have differed, if in any way, from his Ryder Cup experience?

Mrs. Nelson:     One of the things Byron admired about both the Ryder Cup and the Olympics was the spirit of good sportsmanship that pervades both types of competition.  I don’t know that he ever realized there had been golf in the Olympics so long before he was even born, but he surely would have loved to be on the American team–well, if he could maybe have qualified ….!

Good luck with your Olympic Story!

Peggy Nelson

Thank you Mrs. Peggy Nelson for your wonderful insight and sharing Byron with his admiring golf fans through your book and theses responses.   Andy Reistetter, Journey to Olympic Golf

Here are my pictures and comments from this inspirational visit to the professional home of Byron Nelson:  

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Journey Artwork is Coming…

An "in progress" photograph of the JTOG artwork from Suzanne McCourt.

An “in progress” photograph of the JTOG artwork from Suzanne McCourt.

Suzanne McCourt, the Olympic Golf Artist, has created a special piece of artwork to celebrate the “Journey to Olympic Golf.” The artwork will be revealed soon. Here is an “in progress” photograph of her work. I first met Suzanne at Pebble Beach where she became the first woman to have her artwork on the cover of the program for the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Since then she has contributed to golf in a number of ways including a First Tee fundraiser at TPC Sawgrass and creating a piece of artwork celebrating Ken Venturi’s golfing career and induction into the World Golf Hall of Fame.

The Journey Started at Glen Echo CC in St. Louis

As host of Olympic Golf in 1904, Glen Echo CC proudly flies the Olympic Rings!

As host of Olympic Golf in 1904, Glen Echo CC proudly flies the Olympic Rings!

Where better to start an epic, historical and unique “Journey to Olympic Golf” than Glen Echo CC, host club to the last playing of Olympic Golf in 1904. The magical day, which also happened to be my birthday, was October 15th, 2013. The odyssey turned out to be a 100-day, 14-country, 18,471-mile joy ride (in Torch, my 1992 Infinit M30 baby), fly, float and walk all the way down to Rio de Janeiro, the next host of Olympic Golf in 2016. Come with me to St. Louis and stay at the Union Station Hotel and play Glen Echo CC with hickories like the great amateur golfers of the day did at the 1904 Summer Olympics (and World’s Fair) in St. Louis.

CLICK here for a Highlight Video of the Kickoff of the “Journey to Olympic Golf.”

With Union Station historian Darlene Menietti.

With Union Station historian Darlene Menietti.

Staying at the historic and authentic Union Station Hotel in downtown St. Louis took me back in time to the 1904 Olympics and World’s Fair. Like those Olympic golfers from a bygone but not forgotten era I woke up, grabbed my hickory clubs and came downstairs looking for the train to Glen Echo. I did not find a train but I did see a beautiful Great Hall and met Darlene Menietti, the historian for the Union Station. This delightful woman educated me on what it was like coming to St. Louis to the Olympics and World’s Fair 1904. Still unable to find the train I ended up driving Torch out to Glen Echo CC.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Darlene Menietti, the Historian of Union Station.

With Rob Stewart, GM of Glen Echo CC.

With Rob Stewart, GM of Glen Echo CC.

The drive out to Glen Echo was short with intermittent rain, same weather as Saturday, September 24th, 1904, the day Canada’s George Lyons won the Olympic Golf Gold medal. The entrance to Glen Echo is grand and stately with a narrow road that traverses and meanders through the golf course finally taking a turn to the right up a gentle hill to an impressive clubhouse. I knew I was in the right place immediately. What other club flies the Olympic Rings Flag and has a Torch outside the front entrance. I saw the Torch in Torch and my imagination was lit. Wearing knickers and toting a bag of authentic hickory-shafted golf clubs It was September 1904 to me and I was there to feel that special Olympic Golf Spirit. Rob Stewart, Glen Echo’s General Manager greeted me warmly and told me a bit about the history of the Club.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Rob Stewart, GM of Glen Echo CC.

With Club President James Storey on the 18th green at sunset.

With Club President James Storey on the 18th green at sunset.

I met some incredibly nice people at Glen Echo CC starting with Club President James Storey. James was my host for the day and was a wonderful host indeed. He introduced me to Ernie Coe who was Club President at the time of their Centennial in 2001. Mr. Coe was a fountain of knowledge and a fellow historian and documentarian. This kind gentleman gave me copies of several magazine articles and the Glen Echo Country Club 100 Years book which I will treasure for the rest of my life. James also introduced me to long time member, since he was 8 years old in 1929, Bob Sido who shared that golf was and still is “a family experience” for him. Mr. Sido believes, like many of us do, that golf teaches one to be “trustworthy and to behave and do the things that are right.”

 

With Centennial Club President Ernie Coe.

With Centennial Club President Ernie Coe.

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Ernie Coe, Centennial Club President (Part 1 of 2).

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Ernie Coe (Part 2 of 2).

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Bob Sido, long time member of the Glen Echo CC (Part 1 of 2).

CLICK here for a Video Interview with Bob Sido (Part 2 of 2).

 

Before teeing off, or rather posing for many, many beauty shots (not of us) with James Storey, member Mike Leuken and my friend and fellow golf travel writer Ron Cobb we enjoyed lunch complete with a bowl of hearty Minnesota Wild Rice Soup. I also interview Golf Course Superintendent Joe Wachter who shared information about course changes  over the years. True to his words, the golf course played “firm and fast” despite the rainy weather.

Ready to play Olympic Golf at Glen Echo CC with Ron Cobb, Mike Leuken and James Storey.

Ready to play Olympic Golf at Glen Echo CC with Ron Cobb, Mike Leuken and James Storey.

The picture gallery below contains many pictures including those of Bob Sido, Joe Wachter and others on met on that memorable day at Glen Echo kicking off the “Journey to Olympic Golf.” Rob Stewart was prophetic in his words that there is “no better place to start my journey” than at Glen Echo CC, host of Olympic Golf in 1904. After a day full of history, friendship and golf my time at Glen Echo ended on the 18th green at sunset with James Storey. But her Spirit and that of the 1904 Golf Olympics came with me on the Journey and remains with me today. As I changed in the locker room to head back to the Union Station Hotel, James and I decided to swap sweaty shirts. My PLAYERS for his Glen Echo CC shirt which I wore proudly throughout the Journey at key moments and  towards the end when interviewing Hall of Famer Roberto De Vicenzo in Argentina and walking the Olympic Golf Course with Gil Hanse in Rio de Janeiro.

One thing I know for sure is that the Journey started at Glen Echo CC in St. Louis, where and when it will end I do not know!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Join Andy on a Journey Back to Guatemala, Mission: Golf & Life

View of Guatemala City.

View of Guatemala City.

Please join me as I return to Guatemala in late March on a Mission of Golf & Life. When I visited Guatemala for the first time during the “Journey to Olympic Golf” I was inspired by the country, the people, and the golf. This trip, tentatively outlined below, combines three days of playing golf, three days of volunteerism and one day watching the final round of the NEC Series – PGA TOUR Latinoamérica on the Fuego Maya Course at the La Reunion Resort & Residences, a Dye Design, in Antigua. This is a great way to see and know a country and its people, play golf and give something back, all in one trip.

The Guatemala flag flies over the Top Tee Cayala public practice facility. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea).

The Guatemala flag flies over the Top Tee Cayala public practice facility. The two sky blue stripes represent the fact that Guatemala is a land located between two oceans, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean (Caribbean Sea).

On Monday, March 24th we will travel to Guatemala City, Guatemala (GUA). All travel, lodging, transfers, and golf will be arranged by me and my sister Joanne, a certified travel agent from Long Island. I will be your host on the trip and will be assisted by local people I know. You will be treated like family, like I was, and your safety is reasonably assured throughout your visit to Guatemala. Although I know a great mechanic, Olaf, in Guatemala City we will not be traveling in Torch as I did. She is in Panama City and will act as a consultant on this trip from afar. When everyone arrives, after checking into a great boutique hotel (for the next four nights) we will go on a guided tour of Guatemala City, the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala. Afterwards we will enjoy a welcome dinner together and learn the details of our upcoming three days of volunteer work.

A peaceful place- the 10th green overlooking Lake Amatitlan. Notice the two domes to the right.

A peaceful place- the 10th green overlooking Lake Amatitlan. Notice the two domes to the right.

On Tuesday, March 25th we will play Hacienda Nueva, a Larry Packard design (same as Copperhead at Innisbrook)  and enjoy a night of first rate entertainment.

Wednesday, March 26th will be our first day of volunteering for the House of Rafael Ayau, the oldest and largest orphanage in Guatemala. Mother Inés (Ayau Garcia) and the nuns of Holy Trinity Monastery provide shelter and education to the high-school level to children from newborn babies to adolescents of sixteen years of age. In the evening we will be joined at dinner by a Guatemala couple to learn more about the history and culture of Guatemala.

CLICK here to learn more about the House of Rafael Ayau and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.

CLICK here to learn more about mission work at the House of Rafael Ayau.

With Nico Asturias who's mission it was to bring golf to the public and kids in Guatemala. Mission Accomplished with the help of architect Perry Dye and others!

With Nico Asturias who’s mission it was to bring golf to the public and kids in Guatemala. Mission Accomplished with the help of architect Perry Dye and others!

On Thursday, March 27th we will do a second day of volunteer work. In the evening we will visit the Top Tee Cayala, a futuristic and fun public practice golf facility. We can even go across the street for a little shopping spree at Paseo Cayala.

On Friday, March 28th’ we will complete our volunteer work, travel to and stay the next two nights at the Mayan Golf Club in the outskirts of Guatemala City. The club overlooks Lake Amatitlan and Pacaya Volcano which last erupted on May 27, 210 and covered the golf course with six inches of volcanic ash. Let’s hope for two quiet nights of inactivity!

With Sister Yvonne of the Holy Trinity Monastery.

With Sister Yvonne of the Holy Trinity Monastery.

On Saturday, March 29th we will play the historic Mayan Golf Club and afterwards visit the Holy Trinity Monastery overlooking Lake Amatitlan. I first met Sister Yvonne at the Mayan Golf Club and look forward to seeing her again and meeting Mother Inés (Ayau Garcia). After visiting Guatemala City and doing some volunteer work I think this day will be a special one. Hopefully we will be “in the zone” both on and off the golf course. There is something about being around an active volcano that brings a special perspective to life!

Sunday morning, March 30th we will travel a short distance  to La Reunion Resort and Residences (the whole trip is tightly compacted, La Reunion is within 60 kilometers (30 miles) of the GUA airport in Guatemala City) to watch the final round of the Stella Artois Open. Can you guess what the featured drink will be? We will enjoy the resort for our final two nights in Guatemala! La Reunion is surrounded by two volcanoes- one active (Fuego) and the other inactive (Agua). When I first arrived at night there was a fiery red ribbon of lava. Again, let’s hope for a quiet visit.

Fuego Course at La Reunion with Volcano Fuego... keep your eye on the volcano, you never know!

Fuego Course at La Reunion with Volcano Fuego… keep your eye on the volcano, you never know!

On Monday, March 31st we will tee it up and play the Fuego Course ourselves! Play where the pros play and play to their Sunday hole locations! Monday evening we will visit the nearly 500-year old city of Antigua, do some sightseeing and have dinner.

Sadly on Tuesday, April 1st we will leave Guatemala and travel home. I am working on airfare, lodging and golf pricing as you read this. My first look at airfare looked pretty reasonable from Jacksonville either through Miami or Houston. If you are interested in this trip please contact me at AndyReistetter@gmail.com and we will work up a firm price quotation for you. Included in the quotation will be a $100 donation to The First Tee and a $100 donation to the House of Rafael Ayau.

I hope you can join me on this Journey to Guatemala, Mission: Golf & Life.

 

 

 

Where in the World is Andy Reistetter? Get the Latest JTOG Blog Update Here!

Welcome Back to my little creative condo in Ponte Vedra Beach!

Welcome Back to my little creative condo in Ponte Vedra Beach!

I flew from Rio de Janeiro to Orlando for the PGA Show on Friday, January 17th, 2014 to complete the 100-day, 14-country, 18,471-mile “Journey to Olympic Golf.” Here are the Video Updates while driving Torch, my Infiniti M30 baby through Costa Rica. As I process the material from the trip I will post more under the columns Resorts/Golf Courses, Experiences and People. In addition to the six countries below the Journey took me to and through the USA, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil for a total of 14 countries.  A couple of other FUN FACTS are 6,549 miles driven in Torch, 42 golf days on 35 golf courses, 607 holes played with 70 different golfing partners, 35,144 pictures taken, 1,066 GOPRO videos from Torch’s dash and a total electronic storage of 673 GB!

Andy is on the 17th green of the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica golf course in Peninsula Papagayo.

Andy is on the 17th green of the Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica golf course in Peninsula Papagayo.

CLICK here to for Andy’s Video Update leaving Costa Rica on Monday, 12/2/13.

CLICK here to for Andy’s Video Update leaving Nicaragua on Wednesday, 11/27/13.

CLICK here to for Andy’s Video Update leaving Honduras on Saturday, 11/23/13.

CLICK here to for Andy’s Video Update leaving El Salvador on Monday, 11/18/13.

CLICK here to for Andy’s Video Update leaving Guatemala on Saturday, 11/16/13.

CLICK here for Andy’s Video Update leaving Mexico on Sunday 11/10/13- “Capturing the Spirit of Golf in Mexico.”

CLICK here for Andy’s Video Update leaving Mexico on Sunday, 11/10/13- “Capturing the Olympic Spirit in Mexico.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REAL Intercontinental hosts JTOG in Central America!

From San Salvador, El Salvador to San Jose, Costa Rica, the Hotel REAL Intercontinental literally has been my “home away from home.” I wish they had hotels in every city I will be going to in South America and would continue to sponsor “Journey to Olympic Golf” with fabulous accommodations. I have stayed at four properties over the last weeks and each one has been a real treat. While comfort, security and fine dining are to be expected and consistently there at the highest quality level what intrigues me about the REAL Intercontinental hotels is the way they uniquely identify with and share the local culture and city atmosphere in each country.

CLICK here for pictures and videos of Andy’s stay at the Hotel REAL Intercontinental San Salvador

My very first visit to a REAL Intercontinental in San Salvador.

My very first visit to a REAL Intercontinental in San Salvador.

San Salvador was my first stay ever at a REAL Intercontinental. My lasting first memory will be how special I felt being welcomed by everyone. From Alberto behind the desk to Fernando the concierge I was immediately drawn into and enjoying the Salvadorian culture. Local artist Fernando Llort’s piece “El Camino Real de mi Pueblo,” the story of my people, say sit all. The Real Intercontinental San Salvador and the people of the country are welcoming tourists with open arms!

CLICK here for pictures and videos of Andy’s stay at the Hotel REAL Intercontinental Tegucigalpa, Honduras

These two little elevator buttons are very important for business and other frequent travelers!

These two little elevator buttons are very important for business and other frequent travelers!

On to Tegucigalpa, a beautiful drive up into the rock faced mountains. Not a huge height (about 1,000 meters) but dramatic nonetheless. The functionality of the Real Intercontinental locations came quickly to me- in the nicest part of town next to the biggest and most modern shopping malls. Women must love to stay at REAL Intercontinental hotels! But more than the functionality, the personality of REAL Intercontinental people was as evident as in San Salvador. Maybe that is why they call it a REAL hotel, the people are real, welcoming, interactive, entertaining and fun to be with. Just check out my videos with Tegucigalpa’s General Manager Alfonso Martinez and Concierge Dania Ferrera and you will see what I mean!

CLICK here for pictures and videos of Andy’s stay at the Hotel REAL Intercontinental Managua, Nicaragua

Splendid rooms, highly functional for work and comfortable for fun!

Splendid rooms, highly functional for work and comfortable for fun!

In Managua it was easy to find the REAL Intercontinental even for a guy without a GPS or a street-level detailed map! See a sign (if you are lucky) for the mall and follow it. What really impressed me was the Concierge Jeasson Comacho. Let’s face it, it was mid afternoon when I arrived and all I wanted to do was check in, change my clothes and head to the golf course. That being said, there is only one golf course in Managua and it is not like they host a PGA TOUR event every year at the Hotel REAL Intercontinental. When I came down, Jeasson had the directions to the golf course ready and handed them to me with a “play well” farewell. Amazingly I drove right to the golf course without getting lost!

CLICK here for pictures and videos of Andy’s stay at the Hotel REAL Intercontinental San Jose

It was a sad good bye for me when I checked out of the Hotel REAL Intercontinental San Jose.

It was a sad good bye for me when I checked out of the Hotel REAL Intercontinental San Jose.

Sadly, San Jose is to be my last Hotel REAL Intercontinental stop in Central America. I called ahead for directions and found it easily even though I arrived well after dark. Hungry I went over the Multiplex Mall which was of course across the street to get something to eat. Not a shopper by nature I was horrified to remember and realize that it was Black Friday. Now I am not current on Black Friday in America but it seemed ten times more intense then when I last found the latest and first Super Nintendo and 3-in-1 Fisher Price pool, ping-pong and something else table for my kids who are no longer kids these days. Returning to the sanctuary of the REAL Intercontinental I was comforted by Oscar the bar manager and settled down for a comfy and warm sleep amidst the pristine sheets of the best hotel in  Central America!

 

 

 

Drive Dye Designs in Central America!

This might be the ultimate golf trail! I know I am on the ultimate golf trip- the “Journey to Olympic Golf.”

Drive Dye Designs in Central America!

I did. Well I flew to Roatan like everyone else as Torch is not a swimmer. Give me credit though I started driving in Florida. If you can’t drive like me, well then, put a peg in the ground, place a golf ball atop it, choose a weapon of choice and have a go at it and drive Dye Designs in Central America how ever you want!

Here is the order I took them in:

CLICK here to visit Top Tee Cayala in Guatemala City.

CLICK here to visit La Reunion in Antigua, Guartemala.

CLICK here to visit El Encanto in San Salvador, El Salvador.

CLICK here to visit Black Pearl at Pristine Bay Resort on Roatan, Honduras.

If you want to meet the transforming mastermind behind these charming gems…

CLICK here for Video Interview with Perry Dye (3 parts).

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Capturing the Spirit of Golf & the Olympics in Honduras!

CLICK here for Andy’s Video Recap of the Spirit of Golf and the Olympics in Honduras.

Click here for Video Interview Part 1 of 2 with Henry Kattan, President of the Golf Association of Honduras.

Click here for Video Interview Part 2 of 2 with Henry Kattan, Marketing Director of the National Olympic Committee of Honduras.

CLICK here for Video Interview with Rodolfo Castaneda, Swings & Beauty Shots of the CC of Tegucigalpa.

CLICK here for Video Interviews with two Junior Golfers in Honduras.

With Diego and Eduardo, two junior golfers playing golf out of the CC of Tegucigalpa in Honduras.

With Diego and Eduardo, two junior golfers playing golf out of the CC of Tegucigalpa in Honduras.

Some may ask how is it possible to capture the Spirit of Golf and the Olympics in Honduras?

Honduras has only a couple of golf courses and has never hosted the Olympics like Atlanta, St. Louis or Mexico City. In fact, Honduras has never won an Olympic medal of any kind in ten appearance in the Olympic Games.

But their newest golf course, the Black Pearl in Pristine Bay in the Caribbean Sea is a world class Dye design. But in their last Olympic appearance in London in 2012 they sent 27 athletes, nearly three times more than ever before.

After visiting the Olympic Village in the Honduras capital of Tegucigalpa, playing the Tegucigalpa Country Club and flying out to Pristine Bay to play the Black Pearl, I can tell you without question that the Spirit of Golf and the Olympics is alive, healthy and posed for a medal in 2016 at Rio De Janeiro.

 

 

CLICK here for NPR’s Carrie Kahn’s article My Jewish Grandpa’s Triumph At Hitler’s Olympics.

 

 

Capturing the Spirit of Golf in El Salvador.

CLICK here for a Video Recap of Andy’s visit to El Salvador.

 

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