Spectators and schmoozers flocked to the Jamie Farr Kroger Classic LPGA presented by AllTel at Highland Meadows last week.
While golf was the focus, socializers surrounded the links. The fun started at the entrance, where visitors were offered free ice cream and other refreshments on the way to the tournament.
The clubhouse patio was the prime spot to see and be seen, but the Champions Tent and the Margarita Cantina were popular too. If you were privy, you had seats in the Sky Box where hobnobbers had a prime view of the golf action on the 18th green: It was THE place to be.
The “no cell phones” rule was enforced, as was the “Quiet, please” when golfers were in play nearby. Unfortunately, some folks had too much fun to keep the noise down and some let their cells ring — until security caught them. Out on the links it was more peaceful, except for the roar of applause for the golfers.
Folks living along the links had ringside seats in the shade, and one home even had a lemonade stand during the Pro-Am days only.
Schmoozing was nonstop, and you never knew who you might see. Trish Yunker saw herself coming and going on Friday — she wore the identical golf togs of golfer Dale Eggeling of Tampa, and they are both brunettes. The 1st-tee announcer, Bill Roemer, while taking a break on the patio, said all of the golfers were really nice. Jerome Bechstein of Bowling Green and Arlene Stover of Perrysburg said jokingly: “It beats working!” when they were at the LPGA on Friday.
Marianne Gleckler and Cheryl Truckor of Metamora chatted with their friend Sandy Drennan of Lyons over lunch on the clubhouse patio. Michelle Hills, who was host for Heather Bowie, followed her for a few holes before heading back to her volunteer position as media chairman. Marcia Siemens was busy telling LPGA golfer Tammie Green and husband, Bill Parker, about her game in the Toledo Edison-ProMedica Pro-Am. Marcia was a putting machine.
Those who participated in the Mercy Health partners Putting Pro-Am were the putting champs. Several putters joked that the miniature golf course — laid out with string and tiny tree branches — needed a few 2x4s, windmills, and water hazards, but they all had fun. Of course, they might not want to quit their day jobs.
Golf over for the day, golf groupies moved the fun to Our Place, where they mingled with LPGA pro Se Ri Pak; Hamway's new location at the old Tavern on the Main — since Winfield's closed this week — and other local hang outs. Saturday night after the last putt went into the hole, a party open to the public took place at the Margarita Cantina patio. Also on Saturday evening, Sue Hague-Rogers and Rita Mansour hosted a backyard party in honor of Nancy Lopez, with great food, dancing, and singing till the late hours under the stars on a lighted disco floor. Golfer Kim Bauer, who didn't play in the Farr this year but came in support of her friends, joined in the Nancy tales with other golfers. But it was all in fun, and Ms. Mansour said what everyone felt: “Toledo loves you, Nancy, and wants you to come back!” Pros seen were Jackie Gallagher-Smith, Annette “Babe” DeLuca, Clarissa Childs, and Ms. Eggeling.
In the crowd was Ms. Lopez' caddie, Tom Frank, who has been with Ms. Lopez for 15 years and said, “She's the greatest woman of all time. It's been the most relaxing of all times this year.” Mr. Frank, who has a line of men's fashions called Motion Active Wear, or MAW, will probably be scooped up by a new pro soon.
Sunday evening, Barb Ardoyno hosted her annual after party, and Pat and Bruce Maison had a cook out to chat over the great golf they saw at the Farr.
So what did the tournament host do all week?
Jamie, the energizer bunny, arrived for the July 4th fireworks and parade and attended his Woodward High School reunion.
LPGA activities started last Sunday night at Highland Meadows, and he kept going strong with interviews, pro-am events, and the tournament.
He also played golf at Inverness Club and Stone Oak Country Club and dined at area restaurants including Ciao, Real Seafood, Mancy's Steak House, Matthews, and Beirut, where he and actor friend Ron Masak received a birthday cake from the owner of Juan's Fine Pastries,who just retired and closed his shop. On Thursday night Jamie and friends watched the game from the Pepsi suite.
While on the links, Jamie's wife, Joy Farrah, a Jacobson's fan, sought out treasures locally: Paula Brown's gifts, Jan Pugh's pottery, Jill Henning's hats, Kathie Padilla's beaded purses, and more. She was with longtime friend Venice Michel, whose husband, Don, is a child hood friend and one of the first chairmen of the Farr tournament.
Past tournament chairmen were seen all week, including Don Decker, Tom Urban, Fritz Fisher, Tony Clark, Jay Hall, Guy Mabry, Dick Ransom, Don Breese, and Keno Hatfield.
Also seen during the week were Ron Vail, Ken and Jalna MacLaren, Gina Thompson, Jacque and Rick Yocum, Karen Merrels, Jen and Chuck Swisher, Kathy Hart, Carol and Chuck Stocking, Tom Heintschel, Carol and Mike Anderson, Betty Schultz, Paul and Jan Smart, Orris Tabner, and Christine and Bernie Kuminkoski.