By CHRIS DOBROWOLSKI firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — SUTTONS BAY — Logan Price considers himself just an average, every day club pro.
But the second-year pro at the Leelanau Club will be the envy of many golf fans at this weekend’s Bridgestone Invitational.
Price was invited to attend the upcoming PGA Tour event in Akron, Ohio, which includes a day to watch the action on Friday as well as a day where he’ll be walking right alongside the competitors as an honorary observer during Thursday’s opening round.
“What that means is I get to meet the three players that are playing together before they tee off and then I can walk down the fairway with them, alongside them and the caddies and the person that keeps score, that sort of thing — inside the ropes rather than where everyone else is outside the ropes,” Price said.
As a club professional — Price has been in the profession since 2000 and has over 16 years experience working in the golf industry — he has an agreement with Bridgestone that is somewhat like a sponsorship. One of the benefits is an opportunity for a select few to attend the World Golf Championships tournament, which Bridgestone has been the title sponsor for since 2006. He will be one of three pros from Michigan who have been invited to the event.
“It’s a pretty cool opportunity,” said Price. “It kind of surprised me when I got the invitation. It’s one thing to watch those Tour players go about their business and play on television, or watch them at the range to hit balls. But to be, from what I’m told, in pretty close proximity and watch them prepare for the shot, then hit the shot and then walk up to the next shot and just kind of see how they go about their business of playing a competitive round of golf should be interesting.
“I can liken it to maybe being the first or third base coach during a Tigers game. You’re not right in the action. You can’t play, but you’re on the field.”
Price was contacted about possibly going over a month ago, but he didn’t have any reservations about accepting.
“Oh, not at all. As long as I could get time off from work to go during the busy time of the summer to go down and watch the tournament. That was my only reservation,” said Price, who leaves on Wednesday and will return to Traverse City on Saturday. “It’s been probably 15 years since I went to the old Buick Open. So I haven’t seen a PGA Tour event, other than on television, in a long time. I thought, ‘what the heck, why not?’”
Price won’t know until Wednesday what trio of players he will be following, but whichever group he’s paired with figures to include some of the bigger names in the game.
“It’s a pretty good field at the Bridgestone Invitational. It’s a World Golf Championship event and only the top 100 players in the world are invited to play,” he said. “And it’s the week before the PGA Championship, which is the last major tournament of the year so I think Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and all the big names will use that as a tune-up before they get to the year’s final major.”
Price said he would be happy to get the chance to watch any Tour players up close, but if he could have his choice he’d like to follow Mickelson.
“I just like the way he handles himself,” said Price. “I think he understands his place in professional sports and professional golf. He understands how good his fortune is. When he’s out in public or out on the course competing in a tournament he’s just a fun guy to watch interact with players, interact with the crowd and that sort of thing. He’s a classy guy and he’s professional. He smiles, he doesn’t blame others for a bad shot and he doesn’t throw his clubs and curse.”