December 16, 2013
By Lindsey M.
If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to play a round of golf with PGA TOUR golfer and 2010 U.S. Open Champion Greame McDowell, here’s a first-hand account from three lucky golfers who had the chance to tee off with G-MAC himself on Wednesday.
McDowell’s home course, Lake Nona Golf and Country Club in Orlando, Fla., made a serene background for the 18-hole round that David Wick, Bill Cuebas and John Ardary will not soon forget. Representing some of GolfNow’s most-loyal golfers, David, Bill and John were given the opportunity to play with McDowell as part of a surprise customer appreciation experience offered by GolfNow and Cleveland Golf/Srixon.
Bill, a Tampa native, said meeting and playing golf with the Northern Irish pro was like being on a roller coaster. “I was so excited. He was so cool, but it didn’t matter – I was a wreck,” Bill said. “I was so nervous I forgot to put my golf shoes on until after we played the first few holes.”
All three admitted that they were nervous at the beginning of the round, but after a few holes, Graeme’s warm nature, fun-loving sense of humor and helpful pointers put them at ease. He willingly took goofy pictures, signed scorecards and even called John’s son at college to tell him that his dad was playing well.
“I had no idea how funny he is,” Bill said. “He was one of the boys, and it was as if we were friends that hadn’t seen each other in a while.” David, a resident of Lake Mary, Fla., agreed: “It was just like playing with one of your buddies. Well, if we had a buddy that was one of the best golfers in the world!”
As the group played through one of the most naturally beautiful and exclusive golf courses in Central Florida, they encountered perfect warm Florida weather and even a few deer.
At each tee, McDowell gave them a few insider tips on how to play the hole. If there was an errant shot, McDowell was quick-witted to lighten the mood: “I think that one landed in Henrik Stenson’s backyard.” And he was gracious, offering to stand in the bunker to demonstrate how he would set up for the shot, letting the other stand in his footprints to hit. Following the round, McDowell even invited the guys to have a beer with him at his restaurant, Nona Blue.
“The best part of the day for me was just watching Graeme play,” David said. “Until you get that close to someone at that level, even if you’re a decent golfer, you can’t understand just how good a top PGA TOUR pro really is. I thought I knew – I didn’t.”
John, David and Bill all agreed it was “a round to remember,” “absolutely perfect from start to finish,” and “over the top – much more than I ever expected.”
“Did you ever see that movie City Slickers?” David explained. “There was a scene where the characters discuss and compare the ‘best day of their lives.’ Well, short of the day I got married and the birth of our daughter, Wednesday tops my list.”
To learn more about GolfNow’s great loyalty program, visit GolfNow.com/Rewards.
Feature image courtesy of Lake Nona Golf & Country Club.