JTOG Day 75: From Panama to Santiago, A Brief Update!

Merry Christmas from Santiago, Chile!
I hope this finds you happy, healthy and with loved ones during the holidays!

Please make a last minute donation to The First Tee if you haven’t already. We are blessed in the United States to have such a great program to help young people gain the skills and confidence to make a positive difference in the world. I have met many people along the way throughout Latin America working on similar initiatives. Give what you can as every dollar will make a difference!

As for me, I am doing fine. Though alone this Christmas and far from home, I am not lonely. This “Journey to Olympic Golf” has truly been a lifetime experience meeting wonderful people along the way.

My latest handle has been “golf voyager and documentarian.” I have been doing a lot more voyaging than documenting. The website has the latest material.

Here is a quick update. Panama was awesome- came across an ex-Pat bar in Coronado and found a home in Panama City playing the Golf Club of Panama and Santa Maria. Tough decision but left Torch with the Infiniti dealer who is planning to auction her off for junior golf at the Panama Open. The decision was the right one since I don’t think I ever realized how big South America is!

I flew to Cartagena, Colombia and played Karibana, an awesome resort you will likely hear more about soon. Then to Bogota to play Los Legartos. Interviewing German Calle, the golf columnist and broadcaster in Colombia was a thrill and visiting Monserrate truly inspirational. From Bogota I went to Medellin to play Camilo Villegas’ home course. Colombia is a golfing country like no other and I loved meeting the people and visiting the places I did.

On to Lima, Peru to play Los Inkas and Lima Golf Club and, see La Planicie in La Molina. Then on to Santiago, Chile where I played the Los Leones GC this morning with two golfing brothers and had a blast! So much material to process and document, my head is spinning a bit for sure!

On Thursday I fly to Buenos Aires, Argentina and have a Brazil VISA appointment there at noon. The last three plus weeks will be spent in Argentina and Brazil which is where I need to be when it comes to golf history and the Olympics. I will be excited to return home for the PGA Show in Orlando on or around the weekend of January 18th.

I feel like I have experienced Christmas each day of this “Journey to Olympic Golf.” This being the 75th day I am like the kid on Christmas morning every morning. Golf uniquely brings people together in so many positive ways. It seems to me if you are a golfer you are automatically friends with everyone, especially in new places, whether they are golfers or not. One thing this trip has reaffirmed for me is that first we are all citizens of this world and secondly of our country, family, religion, sport and on and on. Yes we are all truly unique and uniquely make up this world… for only a very short period of time.

So in the Christmas spirit, I wish you all good health, joy and happiness! I remember my recently departed “kindred spirited” friend Harry Horton and realize all the good things in life are there for us to enjoy. So celebrate life today and enjoy!

(Facebook Post, Andy Reistetter, 12/24/13)