Hanging Out with Phil and Tiger — and Getting a Workout Doing It

What could be better than spending a day outside in the fresh air, rubbing elbows with the golf’s greats and enjoying a few cold beers? Getting an awesome workout while doing it.

Tomorrow, I’m headed to the practice round of the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. I must admit that I have yet to play a round of golf (or even swing a club), but I love watching this sport — especially in person. I’ve been to the Honda Classic in West Palm Beach, Fla., and the Masters in Augusta. Last year, I discovered the Tour Championship when a co-worker offered my boyfriend, Mark, last-minute tickets to the practice round day that's open to the public. We were hooked.

Golf is one of those sports where anyone can be up close to the action. You’re not confined to a seat to watch the game. Instead, you can stand wherever you want to watch someone take a shot (but when there's a crowd, you have to be quick to get a good spot!). For example, at last year’s Tour Championship, we followed Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley around for the day. (Yes, I am a Phil follower; he reminds me a bit of Hugh Grant...) OK, so I didn’t exactly “rub elbows with them,” but I stood within 10 feet of them at times, listening to them crack jokes and talk strategy with their caddies. I felt like we were all buddies by the 18th hole.

And what about this awesome workout I speak of? When you are wandering from hole to hole, following your golfer du jour, your mileage can really add up — and the hills on the East Lake course are nothing to laugh at. I wish I’d had the MapMyWalk app last year to keep track of the distance I covered. I returned home from our day at the course feeling like I’d worked out for hours on end.

We’ll probably head over to the course late tomorrow morning and stay until 5 or 6 p.m., which is what we did last year. We go on the practice round day because things are a bit more relaxed, as are the golfers, and spectators can take pictures. Parking is a breeze because everyone parks at Turner Field (for free) where complimentary buses take people back and forth. Once we arrive at the course, the day will be spent following golfers (maybe we'll see Tiger, since he's actually playing this year), enjoying the beautiful course — which should be even more amazing because of the cool, sunny weather we’re supposed to get tomorrow — and consuming the occasional snack and beer. In other words, a “fit” for this belle.

Tickets for Wednesday are only $20 and increase in price to between $60 and $75 for the tournament days, which run Thursday through Sunday. The other neat thing about this golf event is that children under 18 get in for free, as do active, retired, and reserve military members and their dependents.

And stay tuned, because the golfing fun will continue a week from Sunday, as I head up to Old Edwards Inn and Spa (OEI) in Highlands, N.C. (click here to find the blog that I wrote about OEI earlier this year). I’ve decided that it’s finally time to see if I like playing golf as much as I enjoy watching it — and I figure that there’s no better place to give it a shot than with the amazing professionals at OEI.

Do you have any golfing advice for the belle? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page or in the “Comment” section of the blog. Until next Tuesday — stay FWABulous!