It’s an annual tradition in my household that my dad and I rise and shine early one morning in mid-June and drive with our friend Rex to the FedEx St. Jude Classic golf tournament in Memphis for the day. We’ve been going to this tournament for as long as I can remember and it’s always an adventure. We usually cruise in and out of the corporate cabana, watch the players warm up on the driving range, then follow our favorites for a few holes while sipping on Arnold Palmers. This year we added a new addition to our party, my dad’s friend Brian. And he hooked us up with VIP tickets, y’all. We were watching golf in true VIP style. And I met Phil Mickelson!!! Check out our adventure in pictures below!
Before you start, please watch this music video. Yes, all four of those men are professional golfers (one of whom spent quite a while as number one in the world), and yes, that’s them actually singing. I followed Ben Crane (the one in the helmet and red jumpsuit) for a few holes and he’s one of my favorite players. Plus Ricky Fowler serves as some pretty nice eye candy. You’ll thank me later.
First thing’s first: the outfit. I wore my new Lilly Pulitzer Walsh short in Ariel Blue Hippy Hippy Shake and my new Lilly Dusk Racer Back silk tank top in navy, Polo by Ralph Lauren hat, Kendra Scott Hayden necklace, and carried a Vera Bradley cross body.
The corporate cabana was gorgeous, y’all! The first floor held the food stations…we’re talking BBQ, chicken, salad, dessert, fully stocked bar, etc. Incredible. The upstairs had a lounge and an outdoor grandstand where we could watch the players come up the 18th fairway. That’s where we spent most of our time and it was heavenly!
I was able to see my favorite players at the tournament at least once: Ben Crane, Camilo Villegas, Boo Weekley, Ken Duke, and of course, Phil Mickelson. Photography on the course is absolutely prohibited (so don’t ask how I got the picture of Ben Crane above…shhhh!) but some of the players stepped outside of the clubhouse for autographs and TV interviews after signing their scorecards. Phil stood right in front of us for his interview with CBS then signed autographs for the massive line of people. Dad and I were lucky enough to be at the front!
Each year, there’s a line of tents at the entrance to the tournament of sponsors showing off their wares with email sign-up sheets and freebies. Dad scoops up as many mini bottles of sunscreen as he can while I go for the koozies. The Brooks Brothers tent is always my favorite, though. Brooks Brothers is the official apparel sponsor of the tournament and they encourage spectators to “show their stripes” on Seersucker Sunday to show their support for St. Jude. I made my way to the official tournament merchandise tent that sells everything from wine glasses to Oakley sunglasses emblazoned with the tournament logo. I picked up some koozies, a fitted tee, a couple Tervis tumblers, and the cutest rubber duck I’ve ever seen. It looks like a golf ball. So. Stinking. CUTE.
After we had sweated, golf-clapped, and spectated to our hearts’ content, we piled in the car and made our way to Owen Brennan’s Restaurant of Memphis. Owen Brennan’s is a wonderful cajun place we always go to after the tournament to guzzle water and sweet tea and to cool down from the extreme heat. I went through a mini outfit change (top from Forever 21), and ate an amazing bowl of crab and lobster bowtie pasta. Rex’s tradition is to start out with grilled oysters and then move onto turtle soup.
There’s just something about watching the world’s greatest golfers in person that you don’t get by watching on TV. You can see their facial expressions, see every roll the ball takes down the fairway, and you can just feel the tension and excitement of the players as they walk up to the 18th green. You have a chance to be up close and personal with the players, something you don’t get too much in other sports. I mean, Ben Crane actually smiled and thanked me for congratulating him on a good hole! You don’t get that anywhere else. It’s a tradition that I will keep for many years with my dad and our friends.