Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational

Stories from my visit to the Crowne Plaza Invitatational at the Colonial Country Club in Fort Worth to play in the Pro Am and watch the Tournament.

Sixteenth Hole At The Colonial

Colonial 16th (1 of 1)

Bogey for me here. I put the tee shot into the bunker left, then popped it up to the rough on the right. I chipped down and then putted in. But another in our group already was in the hole for a par.


“Like” the Crowne Plaza facebook page to support Birdies for the Brave, and follow @crowneplazainv on twitter.

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May 22, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Appleby Tweets On Our “Wounded Warrior”

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Stuart is right. Robert Leonard, the focus of our little pro-am group at the Crowne Plaza Invitational is an amazing individual. If I had lost a leg to a roadside bomb, I would be very unpleasant to be around. Robert, on the other hand, was relentlessly cheerful, even as he struggled to walk the eighteen holes of the course on his high tech, carbon fiber prosthesis. I count myself fortunate to have met him; Mrs. Golfblogger fell in love with him. We both hope to see him again.

You can support Robert, and other brave men and women by liking the Crowne Plaza facebook page.

May 21, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Armed Forces Day At The Crowne Plaza Invitational

imageThis Saturday, Crowne Plaza marks Armed Forces Day at the Colonial by playing host to six of the 86 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. It’s the 150th Anniversary of that honor, and Crowne Plaza will donate $1,000 for each birdie made on the 17th hole on Saturday to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. There also will be a ceremony following play off the 18th green. Rory Sabbatini, who has been a supporter of Birdies for the Brave, will participate.

Sabbatini’s work is through the United Through Reading program, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to uniting families facing physical separation by facilitating the bonding experience of reading aloud together – particularly for the more than one million American children who are separated from one or both parents due to military deployment.  The nationally-acclaimed programs developed by United Through Reading provide opportunities for emotional bonding that relieve the stress of separation and instill a love of reading by enabling family members to read aloud to children on DVD. United Through Reading’s programs help bring far-away family members back home for a little while each day, and help turn what might otherwise be tentative, anxious family re-introductions into joyous reunions.”

In addition to the Medal of Honor work, Crowne Plaza will donate a room night to Birdies for the Brave for every birdie made on Saturday.

The Medal of Honor dates to the Civil War, when in 1861 and 1862, separate bills were passed providing for an award for those who “distinguish themselves by their gallantry in action.”  Six soldiers who participated in the Andrews Raid were the first recipients (an event later made into the Disney movie, The Great Locomotive Chase. Those of us of a certain age will remember that Fess Parker starred in that one) Since 1941, more than half of the awards have been given posthumously.

The award often is erroneously called the Congressional Medal of Honor. The confusion comes because the citation includes the line “in the name of Congress.” It’s actually awarded by the President, on behalf of Congress. The official name is “Medal of Honor.” Confusingly, the foundation is the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation. I’m surprised that so many journalists get this wrong, because it was in my AP stylebook from back in the day (unless its changed).

Armed Forces Day was inaugurated August 31, 1949 to consolidate the separate days honoring the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.

Below, you’ll see a nice photo from Armed Forces Day 1951, showing Airmen from Andrews AFB in Maryland passing in review in front of President Truman. I grew up near Andrews, and Mrs. GolfBlogger was stationed there when we met. We had our wedding reception in the Andrews Officers’ Club.

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May 20, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Crowne Plaza Invitational Night Life

Fort Worth Night

One of the things that’s most impressed me about the Crowne Plaza Invitational is that it’s as much a city wide cultural event as a golf tournament. There are a ton of things to do at the course other than watch golf, and the party extends outside the boundaries of the Colonial. In downtown Fort Worth, on Sundance Square, Crowne Plaza has brought the tournament to the city. There’s music, food and drink, putting contests, a driving cage, sponsor venues, an opportunity to test drive new Cadillacs and a jumbotron for watching the action. Crowne Plaza has gone all out for this event.

Mrs. GolfBlogger and I relaxed in the Plaza Thursday night after eating at Mi Cocina, an excellent downtown Tex-Mex restaurant. I don’t know the name of the band, but they reminded me a lot of classic Allman Brothers. I’d had an excellent frozen margarita for dinner, so I passed on the Cadillac test drive.

There’s a rumor that a PGA Tour event will return to Michigan in 2013. I would highly recommend that the organizers contact Crowne Plaza and the Colonial Tournament Committee to find out how it’s properly done. I can easily picture Campus Martius in downtown Detroit becoming a center of celebration like Sundance Square.

“Like” the Crowne Plaza facebook page to support Birdies for the Brave, and follow @crowneplazainv on twitter.

May 20, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Stuart Appleby Tweets On The Pro Am

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Very cool. Stuart Appleby tweeted about our group.

And he’s right. We were exhausted. I have no idea how Robert Leonard, our Wounded Warrior, made it. He was limping badly by the twelfth hole.

Stuart Appleby is a real gentleman who made our round a quite enjoyable. The best part: he lined up our putts for us, and I learned quite a bit from comparing his reads to mine. His were invariably right.


“Like” the Crowne Plaza facebook page to support Birdies for the Brave, and follow @crowneplazainv on twitter.

May 20, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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The Tweet Caddies

imageThis week at the Colonial, Crowne Plaza has unleashed a brigade of “Tweet Caddies”—young people who roam the course looking for interesting happenings, and then tweet about them. They’ll also help you learn to Tweet if you’ve not yet figured it out.

I say “young people,” because I assume there were guys doing the job, but to be honest, all I saw were young ladies, with pony tails sticking out the backs of their Nike caps.

Another neat Twitter feature at the Crowne Plaza Invitational: If you mark your own tweets from the course with the hashtag #CPIAC, your tweet may show up on the electronic video scoreboards. It actually was a lot of fun to sit in the stands, while Twitter reports from across the course filtered in.

“Like” the Crowne Plaza facebook page to support Birdies for the Brave, and follow @crowneplazainv on twitter.

May 20, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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Quail Breakfast At The Crowne Plaza Invitational

Quail Breakfast at the Colonial

Not to be outdone by Augusta’s pimento cheese sandwiches, the Colonial has its own culinary tradition: quail, a dish traditionally served at breakfast on the first day of the tournament. It’s a tradition that began when a Colonial member who also was an avid hunter invited a few friends over for quail before a tournament. The “few friends” grew until the club was serving multiple breakfasts on the opening day. As you can see from the photo (taken with a point-and-shoot, so I apologize that it’s not up to my usual standards), the breakfast also include cheese grits, biscuits, gravy and eggs.

I’d never had quail before and wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The easy answer is that it “tastes like chicken,” but that’s not quite right. Another easy out would be to say that it’s like chicken but “gamier.” I think it’s a rather mild taste, like chicken, but that if you were to place the two side by side, you’d notice a difference. The cheese grits were delicious, and Mrs. GolfBlogger really appreciated the biscuits and gravy, which she missed from her years in Texas.

At our particular quail breakfast, we were treated to a talk by CBS golf producer Lance Barrow and Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief, who presented a City Council proclamation and the key to the city to IHG CEO Andy Cosslett. Mayor Moncrief noted that Crowne Plaza has raised $6 million for charity in 2011 alone, and that the economic impact of the tournament for the Fort Worth area is $33 million.  In his talks, Barrow said that the Crowne Plaza Invitational would be shown in 206 countries, and that, at one time or another over the weekend, one billion people would tune in.

Tournament Director Chuck Scherer also spoke, giving a brief history of the tournament and of the jackets. More on that later.

“Like” the Crowne Plaza facebook page to support Birdies for the Brave, and follow @crowneplazainv on twitter.

May 20, 2011 |  Category: The Crowne Plaza Invitational
Posted By The Original Golf Blogger

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