Go celebrity sight-seeing at golf courses in Florida and Arizona during spring training
My timing has been a bit off my last few golf trips.
I stayed at the JW Marriott Ihilani Ko Olina Resort & Spa in Ko Olina just a few days before the Pro Bowlers invaded the Oahu resort for what could end up being the NFL’s last all-star game in Hawaii (or anywhere). My son found it cool that Detroit Lions stud receiver Calvin Johnson might have stayed in the same room as us.
A week later touring Florida’s east coast, I played two fun courses where athletes from other sports are known to tee it up. I was just a few weeks early from running into them.
Viera East Golf Club Head Professional Justin Wasson said he’s seen Ken Griffey Sr., Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg and former major league outfielder Marquis Grissom during his nine years at the club (see the 10th hole above). Viera is home to spring training for the Nationals.
Up I-95 in New Smyrna Beach, Venetian Bay Golf Club (see the photo below) regularly attracts crew, fans and even a famous driver or two during the weeks around the Daytona 500.
These stories repeat themselves at dozens of golf courses around the country this time of year. Football and baseball players and coaches are in the off-season teeing it up as much as they can. Spring training looms next week in Arizona and Florida. If you’re dying to catch a glimpse of one of your favorite players – and they play golf – now’s the time to stalk the golf courses ideally located next to spring training sites.
The 55th Daytona 500 will run Feb. 24. Courses around Daytona Beach – from the Ocean Course and Conservatory Course at Hammock Beach Resort in Palm Coast to Venetian Bay and the two LPGA International courses right in Daytona Beach – will be busy during race week.
Start your engines, golf fans! Playing golf is always a good thing, but the sighting of a celebrity athlete will make the day even more memorable.
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