Just arrived home from the Regions Bank Charity Classic in Birmingham, Alabama, the whole week made me feel like my year is just beginning. First off, I stayed at Ross Bridge Resort which overlooks the wonderfully hilly golf course where the tournament is played that has vistas that are spectacular, with beautiful evenings that made me feel like I was in the prettiest place in the world.
Tuesday Tim Simpson and I hosted the Junior Clinic for close to 900 children from the local Birmingham junior high schools. Robert Holmes of the Regions Bank for the 14th year has grown this event into one of the best on all tours. Tim and I have never seen such a turn out, with food, drinks, and all the trimmings for a great picnic. I think the children were very interested in learning about life lessons related to Tim miraculous brain surgery, his competitive spirit, and fortitude to persevere in competitive golf. I always enjoy Tim and his stories. My college roommate hasn’t lost his touch with the kids.
All week my son Charles caddied for me for the first time in our lives, which made me so proud, and overwhelmed with great feelings to see my son doing so well having recently married a local girl, Elizabeth Lee from Birmingham, and working so hard in all his endeavors. He has made many good decisions in his life and this surely makes a Dad feel good knowing how much he has grown up, and how competent he is. It was funny, I asked him to write down the numbers because I can’t do all the math for the layup, front of the green, etc in my head as quickly as he does, so I’m left waiting on him for answers. We worked out our system, and became a great team. Charles thinks in numbers which is a great combination for me because I’m more of a feel player. I’ve never experienced my son in this competitive manner before, I would recommend having your son caddie for you because he saw me under pressure with different situations, which made our personal relationship grow in ways not known before hand. For an added bonus, my wife came in for the weekend, I was able to receive some valuable computer help, see Charles’ new family, and enjoy some great meals together. Hot Hot Fish Restaurant was as good a restaurant as you’ll eat in across America-outstanding!
To top off the week, I was able to see the 16th Street Baptist Church where the four little girls were killed which ignited the country to support the Civil Rights Act, and “live out the true meaning of its creed, that all men are created equal.” Watching Martin Luther King’s I have a dream speech was very moving to see in The Civil Rights Institute right across the street from the first Black church of 60 that were built in Birmingham from 1854 to 1921. I would recommend making the trip to spend a day learning about such an important time in our history. You will enjoy it.
The Bruno team that manages the tournament really went beyond the call of duty, helping Regions Bank cross the $11million charity mark benefiting this year the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. I look forward to playing next year to see what they will do next. All the best, and see you at the Senior PGA next week. Chip