TeeOffNation Member - Dave Blakelock
10 Unforgettable Memories
On March 14th, #TeeOffNation member Dave Blakelock started his journey of playing 100 golf courses in 100 days to help raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. And after 10,000+ miles, 1,800 holes and 8,945 shots, Dave accomplished his dream and made plenty of memories along the way. Here are his Top 10 moments.
10. The Purple Ball Ritual
- Prior to Dave’s trip, Dave and the TeeOff Team decided on the ritual of playing a purple ball in honor of someone who had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s on the 3rd hole at every course.
- "I was a little skeptical of the ritual before the trip, but I didn’t appreciate the impact that it would have on people. It personalized the whole idea of the trip. When you play for a person’s loved one, the reaction that I got across the board was very moving and kept me going.”
9. Meeting Don Petty
- On Day 3, Dave played with #TeeOffNation member Don Petty. Don recently finished playing golf in all of the lower 48 states in honor of his son Jeff, who tragically lost his battle with cancer.
- “Don is a character. Along with his tradition of placing a piece of Jeff’s shirt in every 17th hole, he has a tradition that when his round is over, he takes a shot of Fireball. So, we all went out to Don’s van in the parking lot and took a shot. Even one of the workers there took a shot with us.”
8. Meeting Up with Old Friends in Texas
- On Day 31, after traveling through California & Arizona, Dave played with his brother and two childhood friends five days in a row from Austin to Houston.
- “The four of us basically grew up together so that was a really fun outing. We all learned about Texas winds during that stretch.”
7. Visiting the Callaway Headquarters
- On Day 8, Dave visited the Callaway Headquarters to take a tour of the facility and record an interview on the podcast, “The ShipShow.”
- “They were very helpful and supportive of the effort. Because I’ve played Callaway clubs for 30 years, it was surreal that I was touring their headquarters.”
6. Fielding a Purple Ball Request
- On Day 14, Dave arrived at Laughlin Ranch with someone in mind to honor with a purple ball, but that all changed when he walked in the clubhouse.
- “I talked with his secretary for a bit. I told her what I was doing and why I was there, and she told me that her mom has Alzheimer’s. Spur of the moment, I asked if I could play a ball for her mom. After the round I gave her the ball, and she got up from her desk and gave me a huge hug and thanked me. That was the reaction I got from across the country.”
5. Meeting Teryn Gregson
- On Day 72, Dave played a purple ball for the grandfather of PGA TOUR broadcaster Teryn Gregson. On Day 97, Dave met up with Teryn and gave her that purple ball.
- “I reached out to her and asked if I could play a purple ball for her grandfather. She immediately accepted. Then I brought the purple ball to the Travelers and gave it to her. That was a special time to see how meaningful that was to her.”
4. Playing in a Torrential Downpour
- On Day 95, Dave and one of his good friends arrived at Mohawk Golf Club only to be greeted by the worst weather of the trip.
- “We ended up playing 18 holes in monsoon-type rain. We were the only two people stupid enough to be out on the course.”
3. Playing with Someone Battling Alzheimer’s
- On Day 98, Dave played a few holes with a man who was battling Alzheimer’s.
- “Starting at 11, we had him play with us for 3 holes. By that 3rd hole, all that muscle memory came back. You could see he had a nice swing, hit the ball 150 yards, and he had this sense of joy on his face that was really special.”
2. Playing TPC Sawgrass
- On Day 53, Dave played his favorite course of the trip, TPC Sawgrass – Stadium Course.
- “The question that everyone asks is, ‘What was your favorite course?’ The course is just so beautiful. Everywhere you look you want to take a picture because there isn’t a blade of grass out of place.”
1. Playing a Purple Ball for Mom
- On Day 33, Dave, his brother and two close friends received news that his mom had passed away after her battle with Alzheimer’s.
- “We all played a ball for my mom that day. It was good to be with guys that I had known for 50 years. It was a special afternoon to be able to honor her in that way.”